Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered sub-national officials to jointly uphold security in villages in line with the government’s ‘safe village and commune’ policy.
Hun Sen said this at the closing of a Ministry of Interior meeting on Thursday which was held to lay out plans for the year.
The prime minister said focusing on village safety would benefit its residents and ensure they continued to support the ruling party.
So long as the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) rules the Kingdom, he said peace and security must be guaranteed.
“The introduction of the ‘safe village and commune’ policy is the right one, but the problem is that we do not grasp the key. We turned left a little and turned right a little or like the proverb says: ‘To do this, or do that’ without focusing on one thing.
“When we talk to people to find a way to solve their problems, their opinion will emerge. Should they join us? If they do not cooperate with us, their safety is not guaranteed. We cannot carry out our work. It is only through community relations that problems can be solved,” he said.
Hun Sen stressed measures to keep villages safe from drugs. He noted that crime, gambling and violence often arise in villages suffering from drug use.
Without engagement and targeted action, he said, such problems will not be resolved.
“Keep this in mind. Don’t let crime impede people’s happiness and security because their safety is important if they put their trust in us.
“While the CPP is in power, their security is guaranteed. Though they are poor, their security is guaranteed. Here, we need further effort,” he said.
Last year, a Ministry of Interior report said 84 per cent of people expressed their confidence in police forces and 81.1 per cent felt safe in their villages.
Hun Sen said he expected the CPP’s popularity to grow if these numbers can be improved further.
Political analyst Meas Nee said on Sunday that keeping villages safe is a good strategy for the CPP, but it must also take note that villagers fear its turn toward China, which has become its strongest ally.
“Before, keeping the public safe was one thing, but now when Cambodians see our government turning to China more and more, they are in fear like under the Khmer Rouge regime.
“When the government appears to be closer to China, it seems people are scared of the ruling party, which makes it difficult to get support,” he claimed.