Hun Sen Urges Cooperation on His Birthday

Instead of flowers for his 56th birthday Wednesday, Prime Min­ister Hun Sen said he would prefer that people focus on building up Cambodia’s infrastructure and encouraging commune officials to work together.

“Today is my birthday, so we must continue with the policy [to build infrastructure],” he said during a road inauguration ceremony in Sihanoukville that was broadcast on radio. “I don’t want flowers, but people have already given me some and that’s fine,” Hun Sen added.

Hun Sen also appealed to commune councilors to work together in the wake of Sunday’s commune election.

“There must be cooperation regardless of which parties they come from,” he said, adding that CPP officials should not discriminate against those who voted for other parties.

“The CPP never regards any political parties as enemies,” he said.

Hun Sen also said he heard that another unidentified political party has asked to discuss decentralization with government officials.

But the law already ensures the power of commune officials and there is no need to discuss decentralization further, he added.

SRP leader Sam Rainsy said he is seeking an agreement with the CPP that commune officials from the ruling party and the SRP will cooperate together.

“There is no choice. We are partners,” he said.

Hun Sen said that though April 4 is officially recognized as his birthday, it is not the actual date of his birth.

According to official documents, the premier should be turning 56 this year but in 2004 he said he had mistakenly reported April 4, 1951, as his date of birth when he be­came a soldier in 1970.

His actual date of birth is Aug 5, 1952, he said at the time.

Despite his years, Hun Sen said that he often feels half his age.

“When I give a speech, I feel that I am only 30 years old. When I play golf, only 25. But if I am invited for eating rice or dancing, 70 or 80 years old,” he added.


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