Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday thanked Muslims for supporting the CPP during a Ramadan dinner in Phnom Penh.
Speaking at a dinner with more than 4,000 Muslims at the Koh Pich Exhibition Centre, Mr Hun Sen said last year the majority of Muslims in the country voted for the CPP.
“As long as I hold the office of the prime minister, I will continue to meet Muslims every year,” he said.
“I often say that differences in ethnicity and religion do not pose as obstacles for cooperation and development,” Mr Hun Sen added. “This is the principle of the Cambodian People’s Party that has been cherished for 40 years. I hope my successor will put in effort to protect national unity and harmony between all ethnicities and religions.”
He then addressed Muslim Development Foundation president Othsman Hassan.
“His Excellency Othsman Hassan said there has been no racism or religious discrimination,” Mr Hun Sen said. “You are free to have any religious faith you want.”
“I thank all Muslims for voting to support the CPP in leading the country,” he added. “I am proud that I have the vote of Muslims, which was very high.”
Mr Othsman, who is also a senior minister, thanked Mr Hun for attending the dinner.
“We are proud that Samdech Techo Hun Sen, as head of the Royal Government, is able to resolve concerning issues, including issues related to the Cambodian Muslim community,” he said. “First, we always remember that peace is priority in bringing development and other things.”
Mr Othsman said Muslims support the CPP and will again in the next election.
“Cambodian Muslims will support the Cambodian People’s Party in any circumstance,” he said.
Chi Saleska, an imam from Kratie province’s Chhlong district, said Muslims support the CPP because the party prioritises peace and harmony. He said that during Pol Pot’s regime, Muslims were targetted.
“Samdech Hun Sen does not discriminate and we are committed to support the CPP,” Mr Saleska said. “About 90 percent of Khmer Muslims support the CPP because it has developed our country and freed our religion.”