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Reflecting on 34 years under Prime Minister Hun Sen

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
Photos: Mai Vireak

Six people from different walks of life weigh in on the state of the Kingdom as Prime Minister Hun Sen begins his 35th year leading the country. Text by Khuon Narim with photos from Mai Vireak



Ek Sak, 45, Clothes Vendor

“During the 34 years under Prime Minister Hun Sen’s leadership, we have seen a lot of development in all sectors, including education and tourism. We want to maintain peace, happiness and be able to do business and don’t want the country to return to conflict, like in the past during the Khmer Rouge regime when we lost everything.”

Seng Hoeun, 39, Barber

“We have seen a lot of infrastructure development, but we have also lost natural resources such as forests and lakes. Human rights issues should also be looked into because powerful people still hold sway, especially in land disputes with poorer villagers.”

Chea Sokhunphearom, 31, Construction Worker

“While the country has developed a lot, and we see tall buildings in Phnom Penh, construction workers still earn low wages. I ask the government to look into the livelihoods of construction workers and wish our leaders good health for continued development.”

Voeun Sokna, 18, University Student

“I have seen a lot of infrastructure development and the education sector is also developing with good access to schools. There are many girls attending school now and gender equality is steadily improving in society.”

Norn Bunnat, 39, Monk

“I recognise that there was a lot of development during the 34 years under the ruling CPP, but there are some issues which need to be addressed such as human rights, land disputes and finding new markets for agricultural products. I have also seen more focus on developing religion as many pagodas have been built and monks can access education, including receiving scholarships to study abroad.”

Sun Doeun, 49, Cyclo Driver

“There is a lot of development now compared with the past. Prime Minister Hun Sen has paid attention to our livelihoods by providing $50 per month in subsidy to cyclo drivers because of the competition from tuk-tuk drivers who use apps to attract customers.”

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