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Posted by: | Posted on: February 27, 2019

តើថ្ងៃទី៣មីនាខាងមុខនេះនិងភាពខ្លាំងរបស់បក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ

ទាំងស្ថាប័នជាតិនិងអន្តរជាតិមើលឃើញថាលោកហ៊ុន-សែនមិនអាចឃុំលោកកឹម-សុខាលើសថ្ងៃកំណត់ដែលច្បាប់អនុញ្ញាតអោយឃុំខ្លួនបណ្តោះអាសន្នមិនអោយលើសពី១៨ខែនោះទេ។ ថ្ងៃទី៣មីនានេះនឹងគ្រប់១៨ខែឬ៥៤២ថ្ងៃដែលច្បាប់តម្រូវអោយតុលាការត្រូវតែដោះលែងលោកកឹម-សុខាជាបន្ទាន់។ បើហ៊ុន-សែនអន្តរាគមន៌តុលាការ ហ៊ុន-សែនអាចធ្វើបានតាមទំលាប់របស់គាត់ដែលមិនដែលមានចំណេះដឹងនិងអនុវត្តន៌ច្បាប់ដើម្បីដឹកនាំប្រទេសនោះទេ។ ប៉ុន្តែកាលៈទេសៈនេះ ជាពេលទុំជរដែលហ៊ុន-សែនទទួលសំពាធទាំងក្នុងនិងក្រៅប្រទេស។

Courtesy: Online Survey on the Return of Acting President Sam Rainsy

លោកហ៊ុន-សែនអាចផលិតផែនការណ៌នយោបាយឈ្នះសម្រាប់ខ្លួនតែវាក៏ជាអាវុធបំផ្លាញខ្លួនឯងដែរ

ហ៊ុន-សែនធ្លាប់យកឈ្នះហ្វ៊ុនសិនបុិកដោយប្រើវិធីដដែលៗគឺឌីហ្វីត(DIFID=divide, isolate, finish, integrate, and develop) ដែលមានន័យថាបំបែក ទុកអោយឯកោ បញ្ជប់ជីវិតនយោបាយ សមាហរណកម្ម និងអភិវឌ្ឍន៌គំនិតថ្មីដើម្បីគូរបដិបក្ស។ ជាលទ្ធផល រដ្ឋប្រហារឆ្នាំ១៩៩៧មន្សល់ទុកអោយគណបក្សហ៊ុនសិនបុិកសល់ជីវិតនយោបាយដូចសព្វថ្ងៃ។ ការរំលាយគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិឆ្នាំ២០១៧នេះ ចាប់ឃុំមេបក្សនិងសមាជិកបក្ស និងហាមឃាត់មនុស្សសំខាន់ៗ១១៨មិនអោយធ្វើនយោបាយ គឺជាទំលាប់នយោបាយឈ្នះដដែលៗរបស់លោកហ៊ុន-សែនបន្តប្រើជារៀងរហូត។

ក្រោមសម្ពាធអន្តរជាតិកាន់តែរន្ថើនឡើង លោកហ៊ុន-សែនដែលតែងតែអួតអាងតាមការឈ្វេងយល់របស់ខ្លួនថាអន្តរជាតិមិនអាចរំលោភអធិបតេយ្យភាពកម្ពុជាតាមរយៈជំនួយនោះគឺបានក្លាយទៅជាភរច្រើនរែងចាញ់អាត្មាបាត់ហើយ។ លោកហ៊ុន-សែនបច្ចុប្បន្នមិនខុសគ្នានឹងលោកអ៊ីត្លែរទេដែលវិធីសាស្រ្តគឺបង្កើនកំឡាំងយោធាផ្ទាល់ខ្លួននិងកើបកោយយកថវិការជាតិមកដាក់ជាប់នឹងខ្លួនដើម្បីយកឈ្នះគូរបដិបក្ស។ ជាការសង្កេត ទាំងលោកហ៊ុន-សែន ទាំងកូនៗរបស់លោកគឺគ្មានទេវិជ្ជាជីវៈ គ្មានទេក្រមសីលធម៍ និងគ្មានទេការពង្រឹងនីតិរដ្ឋ ផ្ទុយទៅវិញយកនីតិរដ្ឋមកជាឧប្បករណ៌នយោបាយរបស់លោក។ ជាឧទាហរណ៌ស្រាប់កូនមួយរបស់លោកត្រូវបានលើកបន្តុបជាមេបញ្ជាការទ័ពទូទាំងផ្ទៃប្រទេស ប៉ុន្តែរមែងដើរឃោសនាអោយគណបក្សប្រជាជននៅក្រៅប្រទេសដែលប្រការនេះរំលោភលើវិជ្ជាជីវៈយោធាយ៉ាងពេញទំហឹង។ កូនម្នាក់ទៀត ជាមេចារកម្មជាតិ ប៉ុន្តែលួចថតសំលេងមនុស្សទាំងអស់ដើម្បីធ្វើជាឧប្បករណ៌គំរាមកំហែងនិងចាប់ដាក់គុកដោយគ្មានក្រមសីលធម៍និងវិជ្ជាជីវៈក្នុងការគោរពសិទ្ធិឯកជនរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋដែលត្រូវបានធានាដោយរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញជាតិ។ កូនម្នាក់ទៀត មានតួនាទីជាតំណាងរាស្ត្រប៉ុន្តែបានកំពុងបំពេញតួនាទីជាប្រធានអង្គការសង្គមស៊ីវិលសហភាពសហព័ន្ធយុវជនកម្ពុជាដែលសមាគមនេះគ្មានអ្វីក្រៅពីផលិតអន្សមយក្ស ទូកយក្ស និងក្រម៉ាយក្សជាដើម ដោយចំណាយលុយរដ្ឋនិងធនធានមន្ត្រីរាជការដែលជាធនធានជាតិអស់ជាច្រើន ដែលសកម្មភាពនេះមិនអាចប្រៀបធៀបជាមួយក្រុមការពារព្រៃឡង់ឬក្រុមមាតាធម្មជាតិជាដើម បានឡើយ។

គណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិគឺសម-រង្ស៊ីនិងកឹម-សុខាគឺជាមនុស្សតែមួយ

មហាជនបានដឹងច្បាស់ណាស់តាមរយៈពាក្សសំដីផ្ទាល់ពីហ៊ុន-សែននិងទង្វើជាក់ស្តែងរបស់លោកហ៊ុន-សែនក្នុងការបណ្តុះពូជអ្នកប្រជាធិបតេយ្យដោយដៃខ្លួនឯង តែកុំភ្លេចថាទោះជាកូនបង្កើត ឳពុកម្តាយក៏ពិបាកក្នុងការរក្សាកូនអោយធ្វើតាមខ្លួនដែលចង់បាននោះណាស់។ ដូចគ្នាដែរក្រោយពីកំណើតគណបក្សសិទ្ធិមនុស្សដែលហ៊ុន-សែនរួមកំឡាំងកាយនិងថវិកាបណ្តុះពន្លកបក្សនេះមក បែរជាបក្សនេះទៅរួមជាមួយបក្សសម-រង្ស៊ីបង្កើនកំឡាំងគាំទ្រពីប្រជាពលរដ្ឋផ្តួលរំលំបក្សប្រជាជនរបស់លោកហ៊ុន-សែនទៅវិញ។

គ្រប់កាលៈទេសៈណាក៏ដោយ លោកកឹម-សុខារមែងសន្សំចិត្តមិនអាចធ្វើតាមលោកហ៊ុន-សែនចង់បានរហូតនោះទេ តែក៏អាចធ្វើដំណើរជាមួយលោកហ៊ុន-សែនបាន ហើយការផ្តាច់ខ្លួនលោកពីលោកសម-រង្ស៊ី លោកនឹងត្រូវបញ្ចប់ជីវិតនយោបាយរបស់លោកដូចសម្តេចក្រុមព្រះនរោត្តមរណប្ញទ្ធិដូច្នោះដែរ។ មិនមែនជាការចំឡែកទេដែលថ្ងៃនេះ ជំនួយការរបស់លោកគឺមុត-ចន្ថាបង្ហោះសារដោយប្រើត្រាសង្គ្រោះជាតិថ្លៃងថាអតីតគណបក្សសម-រង្ស៊ីបានរត់ចូលគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិក្រោមការដឹកនាំរបស់លោកកឹម-សុខាជាដើម។ តាមពិតហេតុការណ៌នេះបានកើតឡើងតាំងពីភាពស្ងៀមស្ងាត់ពីសមាជិកគាំទ្រជិតកន្លៈនគរនៅពេលដែលគេចាប់មេបក្សដាក់ពន្ធនាគារ ហើយចុងក្រោយក្រសួងមហាផ្ទៃប្តឹងបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិដើម្បីរំលាយដោយតុលាការកំពូលនៅទីបំផុត។ ហេតុការណ៌នេះគឺផ្ទុយស្រឡៈពីប្រទេសវេណេស៊ុយអេឡាដែលលោកជួន-កៃដូប្រកាសជាប្រធានាធិបតីស្តីទី ហើយរដ្ឋអំណាចយោធាម៉ាដេរ៉ូមិនហ៊ានប៉ៈពាល់ទេពីព្រោះខ្លាចកំឡាំងសាមគ្គីរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ។

និន្នាការប្រថុចញ៉ុចរបស់លោកហ៊ុន-សែន ប្រហែលជាបង្ខំលោកកឹម-សុខាកៀរគរក្រុមរបស់លោកអោយសុំសិទ្ធិនយោបាយក្រោមច្បាប់នយោបាយកែប្រែថ្មីដោយសភាឯកបក្សដើម្បីបាននីតិសម្បទាសិទ្ធិធ្វើនយោបាយឡើងវិញ។ វិធីដែលអាចធ្វើបានគឺត្រូវដោះលែងសិន រួចទើបភ្ញង់កាំភ្លើងអោយកៀរគរមនុស្សមកសុំនីតិសម្បទានិងប្រកាសដកខ្លួនចេញពីលោកសម-រង្ស៊ី ក៏ដូចជាជួយកៀរគរអន្តរជាតិអោយទទួលស្គាល់រដ្ឋាភិបាលខុសច្បាប់និងឯកបក្សរបស់លោកហ៊ុន-សែន។

បើលោកកឹម-សុខាបណ្តោយខ្លួនធ្វើបែបនេះជាពិសេសបណ្តោយខ្លួនតាមក្រុមអែបអបដូចជាលោកមុត-ចន្ថានោះ គឺមិនខុសពីធ្វើអត្តឃាតខ្លួនឯងទេ ហើយមិនប្រាកដថាអន្តរជាតិជាពិសេស EBAនិង GSP នឹងបណ្តោយខ្លួនអោយលោកហ៊ុន-សែនបោកប្រាស់ពួកគេងាយៗបានឡើយ។

លោកសម-រង្ស៊ីត្រូវតែធ្វើមាតុភូមិនិវត្តន៌ទៅកម្ពុជាវិញ

ដូចការប្រកាសរបស់លោកសម-រង្ស៊ីថានឹងធ្វើមាតុភូមិនិវត្តន៌វិញគឺពិតជាតំរូវការចាំបាច់ណាស់ ដើម្បីស្តារលទ្ធិប្រជាធិបតេយ្យនៅកម្ពុជា។ ក្រុមការងារនៃការធ្វើមាតុភូមិនិវត្តន៌នឹងជួបប្រជុំគ្នានៅទីក្រុងឡូថ្ងៃទី១៧ខែមីនាខាងមុខ ហើយការស្ទង់មតិតាមអន្តរបណ្តាញមួយបានបង្កើតឡើងដើម្បីស្ទង់យកមតិនិងយោបល់តាមលក្ខណៈបែបវិទ្យាសាស្ត្រដើម្បីអោយការមាតុភូមិនិវត្តន៌នេះទទួលបានជោគជ័យ។

ផ្លូវចេញសម្រាប់គណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិ

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy (C-L) raises hands with Kem Sokha (C-R), deputy of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in front of members of parliament before the swearing in ceremony inside the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh on August 5, 2014. Rainsy and 54 other members of his party were sworn in as members of parliament on August 5, after a year-long boycott of parliament triggered by a disputed election. AFP PHOTO/ TANG CHHIN SOTHY / AFP PHOTO / TANG CHHIN SOTHY

គណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិក្នុងដំណាក់កាលនេះត្រូវអនុវត្តគោលនយោបាយឈ្នៈៗបែបប្រាកដនិយមមួយដែលមានឈ្មោះថា ហ្វក់ខល (FOCAL=Flexibility, Occupy, Convergence, Anger, and Lash-out)ដែលមានន័យថា ភាពបត់បែន កាន់កាប់ រួមជាធ្លុងមួយ ខឹងអោយខ្លាំង និងព្រលែងខ្សែ។ កន្លងមក យើងសង្កេតឃើញថាក្រុមអ្នកប្រជាធិបតេយ្យរមែងធូររលុង បណ្តោយខ្លួនពេក និងចាប់ក្បួនទ័ពមិនត្រូវចំណុច។ ជាឧទាហរណ៌ ហ្វ៊ុនសិនបុិកព្រមព្រៀងជាមួយហ៊ុន-សែនមានសរសេរជាលាយលាក់អក្សរនូវគោលនយោបាយកំណែរទម្រង់ច្រើនគរគក តែចុងក្រោយមិនមែនមិនគ្រាន់តែអនុវត្តន៌មិនបានទេថែមទាំងរលាយខ្លួនឯងទៀត។

១. ភាពបត់បែន= ពេលនេះគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិត្រូវសហការជាមួយអន្តរជាតិធ្វើកំណែរទម្រង់តុលាការអោយខាងតែបានគឺដកមនុស្សអសមត្ថភាពនិងលំអៀងបច្ចុប្បន្នជាពិសេសប្រធានតុលាការកំពូល ចៅក្រម អយ្យការ និងសមាសភាពនៃក្រុមប្រឹក្សានៃអង្គចៅក្រម ជាដើមរួចដាក់មនុស្សថ្មីទៅតាមក្រិតក្រមនៃការជ្រើសរើសដែលត្រឹមត្រូវនិងមានឯករាជ្យ។ គណកម្មាធិការរៀបចំការបោះឆ្នោតដែលសុក្រឹតយុត្តិធម៍គឺត្រូវការមនុស្សថ្មីមិនចំណុះអោយគណបក្សនយោបាយឬត្រូវបញ្ចូលមនុស្ស៣នាក់ចាស់បំពេញតួនាទីឡើងវិញ។ ការដោះលែងលោកកឹម-សុខាគឺមានន័យថាគណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិរស់ឡើងវិញ អ្នកនយោបាយដែលគេហាមឃាត់ទាំងអស់មានសិទ្ធិធ្វើនយោបាយឡើងវិញរួមទាំងលោកសម-រង្ស៊ីអាចវិលចូលស្រុកវិញដោយមិនមានការចោទប្រកាន់តាមបែបនយោបាយណាមួយ ហើយក្រុមប្រឹក្សាឃុំ-សង្កាត់ទាំង៥០០៧អាចធ្វើការឡើងវិញតាមការជ្រើសរើសរបស់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ។

២. កាន់កាប់=ប្រកាន់ខ្ជាប់នយោបាយអហឹង្សាមិនយកខ្មែរណាជាសត្រូវ ពង្រឹងយុត្តិធម៍សង្គមទាំងយុត្តិធម៍នៅចំពោះមុខច្បាប់និងការបែងភាគលាភសេដ្ឋកិច្ចដល់ប្រជាជនទាំងអស់ និងកំណែរទំរង់ប្រព័ន្ធយុត្តិធម៍។

៣. រួមជាធ្លុងមួយ= ប្តូរផ្តាច់រក្សាចំណងកឹម-សុខាសម-រង្ស៊ីជាមនុស្សតែមួយដោយអ្នកទាំងពីរត្រូវមានវត្តមានជាមួយគ្នាជានិច្ច។

៤. ខឹងអោយខ្លាំង=ភាពអមាសរបស់កម្ពុជាក្នុងការដែលនីតិរដ្ឋនិងប្រជាធិបតេយ្យត្រូវបានគេជាន់ឈ្លីយ៉ាងដំណំបានបង្កជាកំហឹងទាំងសហគមអន្តរជាតិនិងប្រជាជាតិខ្មែរដែលប្រការមិនងាយនឹងរលប់រលាយពីកំហឹងរបស់អ្នកប្រជាធិបតេយ្យបានឡើយ។

៥. ព្រលែងខ្សែ=កំហឹងនឹងក្លាយជាកំឡាំងតស៊ូទាំងរយៈខ្លីនិងរយៈវែងដើម្បីអោយមានការផ្លាស់ប្តូរ។

Posted by: | Posted on: January 23, 2019

Hun Sen takes China to neutralize EBA but 40 private sectors in Cambodia pleas

In his facebook page, Hun Sen has appeared fragile walking and standing to greet China’s private sectors and official top leaders in Peking during his 4 days urgent visit (January 20-24, 2019) after EU announced to tax Cambodia rice export in 3 years beginning this January 2019 in which Cambodia enjoyed its free tax previous years. Cambodia could loss 40 millions dollar per year from this taxing. While Hun Sen is departing for China, the regular Cabinet meetings was cancelled with order to send only security documents to his office while Phnom Penh city was seen by tanks, military armours, and his personal body guard unit mobilizing in an excuse to prepare a drill. Spectators convinced that by ranking and bureaucratic regulation, whenever Hun Sen is absent, the next person is Sar Kheng who is able to conduct regular business of the governance but the Cabinet’s order is totally opposite.

Frequent updating in his personal facebook page with “likes” hike up over 10 millions is to describe his successes in 600 millions loan and buying rice 40,000 tones, Chinese FDI investments, and increasing importing products from Cambodia etc., while the mainstream China’s news, contradictory, confirming the Xi’s intention to strengthening Cambodia’s consent to broaden Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and shared future strategic partnership. Note that Cambodia delegates have failed to inspire China to import rice from Cambodia as China has already promised to import Thailand’s trillion tones of rice to feed its people.

In Cambodia, 40 private sectors wrote letter to EU to express their concerns on the economic crisis if EU withdraws EBA from Cambodia. And the ASIA-EU Ministerial Meeting delegated by Cambodia foreign minister Prak Sokhonn met negative responses from both Didier Reynders and Cecilia Malstrom by emphasizing restoring back democracy, rule of law, and human rights respect in Cambodia if EBA’s withdrawal scheme should be halted.

“[I was] in a bilateral interview [conversation] with my Cambodian counterpart in which I stressed the importance of restoring the rule of law and democracy in the country, which would deepen relations with the European Union,” 
Belgian counterpart Didier Reynders wrote.
“We discussed the EBA agreement and the possibility of a withdrawal of the tariff preferences. [We] reiterated our concerns on democracy, human rights and [the] rule of law. The EU continues to keep the path of dialogue open,”
EU Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom wrote.

Cambodia Faces Next Trade-Sanctions Move by the European Union

Op-Ed: Bloomberg

By Jonathan Stearns January 22, 2019, 8:59 AM PST Updated on January 22, 2019, 3:00 PM PST

  •  EU Commission seeks support from national capitals by Jan. 29
  •  Any decision to suspend tariff benefits still a year away

The European Union moved closer to imposing trade sanctions against Cambodia as a result of alleged human-rights violations in the country.

The European Commission in Brussels has asked EU national governments to give the green light by Jan. 29 for suspending a policy that lets Cambodia export all goods except weapons duty-free and quota-free to the bloc, according to two officials familiar with the matter. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deliberations are private.

Any go-ahead from EU national capitals would still leave a decision by the commission, the bloc’s executive arm, 12 months away. At stake is Cambodia’s place in the EU’s “Everything But Arms” initiative, the most generous part of the bloc’s Generalized Scheme of Preferences for poor countries around the world.

The EU’s Tariff Threats Against Asia’s Autocrats Risk Backfiring

The EU is trying to prod changes in the political behavior of strongman Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen while being wary of damaging the country’s economy, where a $5 billion garment industry employs 750,000 people and is the biggest exporter.

Hun Sen, who extended his 33-year rule last July when his party won a boycotted election, has so far struck a defiant tone with the European side.

The latest internal EU preparations to withdraw commercial benefits for Cambodia follow a Jan. 21 meeting between European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom and Cambodian Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn. The Everything But Arms — or EBA — accord featured in the talks.

“We discussed the EBA agreement and the possibility of a withdrawal of the tariff preferences,” Malmstrom said in a Twitter post after the meeting in the Belgian capital. “Reiterated our concerns on democracy, human rights and rule of law. The EU continues to keep the path of dialog open.”

The EU debate over revoking general trade benefits for Cambodia is separate from a decision by the bloc last week to impose tariffs on Cambodian rice for three years as a result of a surge in imports deemed to have hurt European rice producers.

— With assistance by Nikos Chrysoloras

Greater Sino-Cambodian effort sought for Belt, Road

Op-Ed: China Daily

By AN BAIJIE | China Daily | Updated: 2019-01-22 01:28

President Xi Jinping meets with Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the  Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on Monday. Xi said bilateral relations have developed at a high level. PANG XINGLEI / XINHUA

China and Cambodia should speed up connecting the Belt and Road Initiative with Cambodia’s development strategy, President Xi Jinping said on Monday.

Read More …
Posted by: | Posted on: January 22, 2019

Hun Sen’s populism hangs by a thread

Cambodian leader’s election vow of higher minimum wages and seniority payments for garment workers has put new economic pressure on an industry that was already coming undone

ជាសរុប នយោបាយប្រជាភិថុតិរបស់របបហ៊ុន-សែនចំពោះកម្មករ-កម្មការិនីរោងចក្រកាត់ដេរបានកំពុងមានវិបាកកម្មត្រឡប់មករកខ្លួនវិញ ក្នុងខណៈការរំលាយនិងរំលោភលើសិទ្ធិនយោបាយរបស់គណបក្សសង្គ្រោះជាតិក៏ជាចំណាប់ខ្មាំងចងខ្លួនលោកហ៊ុន-សែនភ្ជាប់ទៅនឹងសសរកន្លោងផងដែរ។ លោកហ៊ុន-សែនរៀបចំជួបកម្មកររាប់មុឺននាក់តាមរោងចក្រដោយតម្រូវអោយរោងចក្របង់ថ្លៃម៉ោងដែលគេមកចូលរួមស្តាប់លោក ហើយលោកហ៊ុន-សែនមានស្រោមសំបុត្រលុយអោយពួកគេពីដៃផ្ទាល់ផងដែរ។ មិនតែប៉ុណ្ណោះ មានការតំឡើងប្រាក់ខែអតិបរមាពី១៧០ដុល្លាមួយខែកាលពីឆ្នាំមុនមក១៨២ដុល្លាក្នុងមួយខែដើមឆ្នាំនេះ បង្កើតច្បាប់បង់ប្រាក់អតីតភាព(severance pay)ដល់កម្មករបើមានការបណ្តេញពីការងារ បង់ប្រាក់បុព្វលាភនិងប្រាក់បំណាច់(seniority bonuses and indemnities) ព្រមទាំងផលប្រយោជន៌(benefits)ផ្សេងទៀត ដោយបើកប្រាក់ខែដូរពីបួនអាទិត្យ(មួយខែ)ម្តងទៅជាពីរអាទិត្យម្តង។ ជាការសំគាល់ រោងចក្រមួយចំនួនបានបិទទ្វារ អត្រានាំចេញឆ្នាំ២០១៨មានត្រឹម៤ភាគរយ ចុះមកពី១៩ភាគរយ ហើយអុឺរ៉ុបបានចាប់ផ្តើមយកពន្ធអង្ករកម្ពុជា និងរៀបចំនីតិវិធីដកEBA។

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen (C) weaves as his wife Bun Rany (top R) looks on during an opening ceremony for the Khmer New Year at Bayon temple at the Angkor complex in Siem Reap province on April 13, 2018. Photo: AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy

Op-Ed: Asia Time

That approach bore fruit, despite widespread and persistent criticism of official corruption and limited labor rights. Cambodia’s embrace of free market policies catapulted the economy in the 2000s, growth rates that underwrote the CPP’s staying power.


Cambodia’s largest export industr
y is facing its biggest crisis, with garment workers and security

But, according to Chanco, the “broad thrust of the [the CPP’s] policies have been populist – and in many cases, interventionist – in nature” since the 2013 general election, when it was nearly beaten by the opposition CNRP. At the time, the opposition had campaigned on a manifesto of higher wages and other populist measures.

The minimum wage of garment workers remained largely static up until 2013, but the CPP has “co-opted the CNRP’s minimum wage agenda over the last five years,” says Chanco.

In a speech before more than 4,000 workers on Sunday, August 20, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen announced that from January 2018, the company owners are to take responsibility to pay 100% of healthcare services, and from 2019 onward, workers will receive retirement benefits as civil servants. Samdech Techo HUN SEN says the owners’ responsibility for paying healthcare costs to the workers would save the healthcare costs at least 8,000 to 12,000 riel, with calling for and encouraging workers to work better. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on Sunday announced before 4,270 workers at the center that by 2018, the minimum wage of garment and footwear workers in Cambodia will not be less than $ 160.

The CPP arguably felt the need to expand even further its populist pledges after it dissolved the CNRP in November 2017 and in the run-up to last July’s general election, which it won overwhelmingly in a poll many observers viewed as a sham.

As the CPP promised on the hustings, the monthly minimum wage for garment factory workers rose on January 1 to US$182, up from $170 last year. That marks a near 300% increase from the $61 minimum wage earned by workers in 2012.

One independent estimate suggests that the latest minimum wage hike will cost garment sector employers an additional $90 million in wages and bonuses this year.

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (C) poses for a picture during a ceremony at a compound of factories in Phnom Penh on September 6, 2017. Photo: AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy

Hun Sen poses for a picture during a ceremony at a compound of factories in Phnom Penh on September 6, 2017. Photo: AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy

Added to this, thanks to CPP promises made last year, employers must now pay workers fortnightly, not monthly, a logistical headache which will also raise administrative and financial costs.

“It’s absolutely the case that Cambodia’s minimum wage has increased too fast over the past few years,” says Chanco.

He says wages have been hiked while labor productivity has remained stagnant and in places even fallen in recent years. At the same time, the price of Cambodia’s garment products has also fallen on international markets without improvements in quality.

Now at $182 per month, Cambodia’s minimum wage for garment workers is only a few dollars less than wages in Vietnam and is considerably higher than the average wages paid in Bangladesh.

Vietnam, which exported $35 billion worth of garment products last year, considerably more than Cambodia, also has far better industrial and logistical infrastructure and boasts overall higher productivity rates, analysts say.

That’s reflected in the cost of power, with electricity rates in Cambodia almost $0.20 per kilowatt-hour, while in Vietnam they are about $0.07.

The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index ranked Cambodia 98 out of 160 global countries. Vietnam was ranked 39, Thailand 32 and Indonesia 46.

The Cambodian government will spend considerably more of its budget in 2019, which increased by 11% from last year, on infrastructure, public works, urban development and vocational training. Investment from China, its main ally, will also bolster Cambodia’s infrastructure.

But there are rising concerns that this may be too little, too late, as Cambodia’s manufacturing rivals, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Myanmar, are also investing heavily in their own manufacturing capabilities.

Supporters of Cambodian People's Party (CPP) parade in an open truck during the first day of campaign in Phnom Penh for the general election on July 7, 2018.Cambodian political parties on Saturday kicked off a three-week-long campaign for a controversial general election later this month, which strongman Hun Sen is poised to sweep after the main opposition were disbanded and their senior members driven into self-exile. / AFP PHOTO / TANG CHHIN Sothy

Cambodian People’s Party supporters in an open truck during campaigning in Phnom Penh for the July 7, 2018, general election. Photo: AFP/Tang Chhin Sothy

Politics are also hurting Cambodia’s competitiveness. The EU is now weighing whether to withdraw Cambodia from its Everything But Arms scheme, which grants Cambodian exports duty-free status.

Cambodia exported roughly $5.8 billion worth of goods to the EU in 2017 under the scheme. The loss of that access is already prompting some investors and purchasers of Cambodia-made goods to move to other, more competitive markets, according to industry reports.

In December, the Ministry of Commerce reported that exports grew by just 4% in 2018, worth $11.2 billion, compared to 19% growth the previous year. Under a new government edict introduced by the government last September and which came into effect on January 1, factory owners now must also make new payments for seniority to employees.

Intended to replace severance pay, in which owners had to pay workers if they were laid off, the new seniority bonus equates to the wages of 15 days’ work and other benefits, and must be paid annually, half in June and the other half in December.

In December, thousands of garment workers went on strike because they wanted seniority payments to be made in one lump-sum rather than two payments made each year, as the law stipulates.

Garment workers who spoke to Asia Times on the condition of anonymity said they are fearful that their employers could try to change their contracts to cancel out their back pay, or could abscond from the country without paying their bonuses.

There are also fears that after factory owners make the first tranche of seniority payments in June, they will face cash-flow problems, meaning they could close down before the second set of payments are made in December.

Workers gather as they rally to mark May Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 1, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Samrang Pring

Workers gather as they rally to mark May Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, May 1, 2018. Photo: Reuters/Samrang Pring

Following the recent unrest, some 1,200 workers were sacked by garment factories in the capital because of their “illegal” strikes, a move supported by local courts.

Some analysts, however, argue that the strikes were merely an excuse for garment factory employers to slim down their workforce in anticipation of falling shipments and profits.

“These new policies, especially the seniority payment, are being blamed for layoffs in the garment sector,” said Sophal Ear, associate professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College at Los Angeles.

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC), an industry body, “is justifying manufacturer layoffs of employees but disregarding who is to blame: not the employees, but the government for coming up with these policies,” he added.

“So why isn’t the government stopping these layoffs? Because it can’t. It launched a policy to get garment workers’ love, but then manufacturers get around it by laying off workers.”

There is not a reliable estimate of how much the seniority payments will cost employers. But it is likely to be in the tens of millions of dollars, especially considering that payments could be backdated for almost 10 years, while some liberal guesses put the total figure close to $100 million.

Continue reading on full article in Asia Time…

Posted by: | Posted on: January 14, 2019

Cambodian PM warns of ‘dead’ opposition if EU withdraws preferences

Op-Ed: Reuters

“If you want the opposition alive, don’t do it and come and hold talks together,” he said.

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday threatened to retaliate against the opposition if the European Union withdraws duty-free trading access over human rights concerns.

Courtesy: The Diplomat

The EU in November began a formal procedure to strip Cambodia of its Everything but Arms (EBA) status, after Hun Sen returned to power in a July general election in which his party won all of the seats after a crackdown on the opposition.

“If you want the opposition dead, just cut it,” Hun Sen said in a speech at the inauguration of a ring road around the capital, Phnom Penh, addressing the European Union and referring to Cambodia’s EBA status.

“If you want the opposition alive, don’t do it and come and hold talks together,” he said.

EBA is an initiative aimed at helping poorer countries. It can be withdrawn in the case of serious violations of human rights conventions.

The EU threatened to withdraw the trade preferences because of a crackdown on the opposition ahead of the July election, which the EU condemned as not being credible.

Hun Sen, 66, who also marked 34th year of his premiership on Monday, said that he would not forgive those who had appealed to Western countries to cut aid to press his government, and said critics should get ready to flee abroad.

“People are prepared to flee, be prepared,” Hun Sen said.

“I won’t forgive them.”

Cambodia’s Supreme Court dissolved the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) and banned 118 party members in 2017 at the request of the government after accusations that the party was plotting to take power with the help of the United States.

The party and the United States rejected any such plot.

CNRP leader Kem Sokha was released from prison in September after spending more than a year in jail on treason charges but remains under house arrest in Phnom Penh.

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