The government has made “great achievements” over the 2018-2023 sixth legislative mandate, despite the backdrop of unprecedented regional and global challenges, according to Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on May 6.

Sar Kheng, who also serves as the head of the Royal Government Working Group for Battambang and Prey Veng Provinces, made the remark at a meeting with nearly 2,000 civil servants, armed force personnel, and veterans in Battambang’s Kamrieng district.

He touched on the complicated developments and changes in regional and global circumstances, especially those associated with war and geopolitical rivalries.

At the local level, Sar Kheng claimed that “extremist opposition groups’ and those with “negative views” of the administration had sought to sow chaos in society, with intent to topple the legitimate, democratically-elected government. Their “tricks” aimed to hamper social development, he added.

Regardless, the government adopted policies and actions to address these challenges, with the support of civil servants, armed force personnel, authorities at all levels, and the general public, he said.

“In the next five years, we all have important works to carry out to achieve a bright future for our nation. We are optimistic that – standing on our previous achievements and support from all of you – our nation will continue to develop in all sectors as we’ve envisioned,” Sar Kheng said.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said that geopolitical competition in the region and further afield as well as political rivalries in Cambodia are complex issues which partly slow down development in the country.

He brought up the Cold War, Vietnam War and Indochina Wars, which he said pushed Cambodia into 30-40 years of conflict.

“Cambodia only achieved comprehensive peace by the end of 1998 and it continues to this day,” Peou said.