Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said on Saturday that the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has supported the people since the fall of the Khmer Rouge, despite their political affiliations.
Speaking during the inauguration of a dormitory and a meeting hall in Prey Veng province’s Preah Sdech district, Sar Kheng, who is also CPP’s vice-president, said the ruling party has won the hearts of Cambodians by always having their best interest in mind and standing by them “in happiness and sorrow.”
Since 1979, the CPP has lived up to its mission of supporting Cambodians from all walks of life.
To carry out this mission, Sar Kheng said the CPP has built irrigation systems, roads, schools, transmission towers and hospitals, and enacted policies that are in line with the situation on the ground. National-level officials regularly meet with people in the provinces to hear their grievances, he said.
“I want to stress that the CPP does not forget about its mission and its beginnings. It has always stood by the people in happiness and sorrow and doesn’t run away from them. We don’t just say this, we take concrete action to achieve this. We are moving forward.
“The CPP has adhered to its principles since the very beginning. These principles are that we fight for the nation and the people. We fight for peace, stability and national development,” Sar Kheng said.
Unlike the Khmer Rouge which betrayed and murdered Cambodians, the CPP has the people’s well-being as its top priority, he said.
Sar Kheng instructed local party officials to protect the rights and interests of all citizens and gain the support of more Cambodians.
“What can we do to expand the number of supporters? We have to behave honourably. We cannot threaten, cheat, or oppress anyone. We must not abuse our power. We have to serve everyone, even if they are not our party members,” he said.
He said the CPP has built a faithful supporter base by protecting the rights and interests of the people. It is because of this base of loyal supporters that the party continues to win elections, he said.
Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute executive director Kin Phea agreed with Sar Kheng’s remarks.
“The party must strive to gain more loyal supporters. This can only be done by always working to protect the people’s rights and interests,” he said.
However, former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker Ou Chanroth claimed that CPP officials have not always worked to protect the people’s rights.
“In the past, we have seen that people suffered due to the actions of ruling party officials. They have undermined the people’s interests,” he claimed.