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CAMBODIA: Without PM’s leadership, ‘virus would have been much worse’

Everywhere I go, every meeting I attend and every news report I read there is one issue that continues to dominate: PM Hun Sen’s effective leadership during the COVID-19 crisis. The view is that without the PM’s guidance and instructions, the country would have suffered a much greater, and more severe, impact from the disease.

No one has died from the Covid-19 in Cambodia, despite 141 cases in the country, including the eight patients currently taken to hospital. Foreigners are also among the cases detected here.

No lockdown, but greater cooperation. Cambodia never imposed a lockdown and e-learning and digital economy have been introduced; while concerned institutions have closely worked with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other health agencies to fight the deadly Coronavirus.

On the top of that, Cambodia, despite limited resources as a small Least Developing Country (LDC), did not just stand and watch as others, such as the US Westerdam cruise ship, sought help while every other country, including US-controlled island of Guam, denied the vessel entry into their ports in February 2020.

Cambodia welcomed the entry of the cruise ship at its deep seaport of Sihanoukville with a big heart and open arms, as seen when the premier greeted them one-by-one from the ship. It was an act of courage and humanity.

Vong Seyvisoth, standing Secretary of State of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, likened the premier’s leadership style to “the manner of China’s Confucius” that fits well in the context of the Kingdom of Wonder. His leadership style convinced the public to stand behind him – and that made it a successful story in many aspects.

Cambodia can stand today thanks to three main factors: the leadership of PM Hun Sen; the government’s policies and regulations to cope with the developing trends of COVID-19 and the behaviour and participation of the people individually.

The country’s government took a number of appropriate measures – while trying to provide a fair balance between the momentum of economic and trade activities with the reality – to fight COVID-19.

— see Khmer Times for full story