H.R.H. Princess Royal NORODOM Arunrasmy
Annual General Meeting
ASEAN LADIES’ CIRCLE in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur June 26, 2003
Yang Berbahagia Datin Seri Sharifah Aziah bte Syed Zainal Abidin, Patron of ALC
Yang Berbahagia Puan Sri Khadijah Mohamad Nor,
Vice President of ALC
Dears fellow Patrons, friends and members of ALC
May I, at the outset, express my heartfelt thanks to Datin Naimah and the members of the Executive Committee for giving the honor to Cambodia to be President of the Asean Ladies’ Circle of Kuala Lumpur for the year 2003-2004 as it was agreed, at the last exco-meeting, that the Presidency of ALC will be passed alphabetically among the 10 ASEAN countries, and Cambodia comes after Brunei indeed.
I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate Datin Naimah and her team for their dedications and tireless efforts during her Presidency. My special thanks go to Datin Naimah for her patience understanding and care, and most of all for the sumptuous lunches that she so kindly prepared for us over the year. We have been so spoilt that I am beginning to worry what I can prepare at our next meeting
With your kind understanding, may I be permitted to brief you a little bit of Cambodia women history and where we stand today in the society. As you are aware, Cambodia’s history has changed dramatically during the last 3 decades caused by war. It was not until 1991 that Cambodia saw the return of Peace with the vital role of His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk (my father) and the strong support of ASEAN.
Following the formation of the first Royal government in 1993, the Secretariat of State of Women’s Affairs was created to mainstream and promote the rights of women that used to be well promoted and developed under the reign of King Sihanouk in 1941-1970. And in 1996, the importance of its functions was upgraded to the rank of Ministry of Women’s Affairs. It’s now plays a very important role in the development of women to attain true equality to men, and in promoting national policy, social recognition of the needs of women, development of the capacities of women in all fields including politics, economy, society and culture.
Nowadays, the Cambodian women represent the majority of the labor force of 55.7% in our society.
With war, sufferings, impoverished living and neglected society, the Cambodian women made it to this world proudly. In Cambodia today, at the Senate we have 7 members out of 61 Senators, at the National Assembly, we have 14 MPs out of 122 and in the government we have 2 as Ministers, 2 as Vice-Ministers and 2 as Junior Ministers. At this point in time, we do not have any woman Ambassador as yet, but hopefully soon, as Cambodia moves toward democratic rules.
It is indeed a great honor for me, as much in the past as it is now in my humble capacity as the new President of ALC year 2003-2004, to have the opportunity to work in these social and humanitarian activities of our circle with the hope to have received the continued supports from all ALC Patrons, members of the Executive Committee and members of ALC in order to push forward and enhance our main objectives that have already been drawn in the constitution, such as:
- Promoting mutual understanding, cooperation and solidarity among women of the ASEAN community in Kuala Lumpur
- Encouraging cultural and social exchanges between members
- Encouraging the advancement of women in the ASEAN region in the fields of education, economics and social standing and finally
- Raising funds to finance these activities whenever is necessary.
Datin Seri, friends and colleagues, no matter how much I would like to be with all of you but it is a known fact that we will be leaving Malaysia this year. When that time comes, as agreed, Malaysia, as Vice-President will carry on until the end of term in March 2004.
To ensure a successful and interesting year for all, and because my term is short, I am open to suggestions and ideas from all members of ALC the activities for year 2003-2004. Your comments will be much appreciated.
Thank you for your kind attention.
H.R.H. Princess Royal NORODOM ARUNRASMY
Cambodian Morning Coffee
Celebrate the 68th Birthday of Her Majesty
Norodom Monineath Sihanouk
Kuala Lumpur June 27, 2003
Yang Berbahagia Datin Seri Sharifah Aziah bte Zainal Abidin,
Wife of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Yang Berbahagia Puan Sri Khadijah Mohamad Nor,
wife of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Mrs. Saida Bladehane
President of Wives of Heads of Missions in Kuala Lumpur
Mrs. Lydia Astley
President of the International Women Association
Distinguished guests and Dear friends,
While Cambodia is celebrating its Queen’s 68th birthday this month, I have the honor to welcome you to celebrate with me the birthday of my Queen and mother, Her Majesty Queen Monineath Sihanouk of Cambodia.
If you have read the Star of June 14th you would know that the khmer rouge war in 1975 took lives of my mother and sister but in 1979, God was really good to me, not only he brought back my father but he gave me a mother. One war took away my family but another war brought us together and even closer than ever.
For more than 50 yrs, she has been by my father’s side, from his years as King, Prime Minister and Head of State to his overthrow in 1970. She has been the tower of strength that has kept my 82 years old father until today. I would like to pay tribute to Her Majesty the Queen of Cambodia, a remarkable woman and mother I look up to, so strong but soft, caring, compassionate, and so pretty. She is my inspiration; she is everything to me, and without her I would not be where I am today and I am lucky indeed.
Distinguished guests and dears friends,
Times have changed and we have to go with the flow. By this, I mean we have so many products these days like 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner, 2+1 facial wash, toner and moisturizer etc…and considering we are all pressed with time with so many invitations and commitments, I think it is convenient to host this All in One Morning Coffee to include everyone of you, the Patrons and members of Asean Ladies’ Circle Kuala Lumpur, Friends and Colleagues of the Wives of the Heads of Missions and Ladies of the International Women’s Association.
As Datin Seri Sharifah Aziah was saying the other day, and I agreed with her, that, we ladies are very active, and work very well together. It is in this same spirit and commitment that I have accepted with great honor to be the President of ALC for the year 2003-2004 as is my way of saying “Thank You Malaysia and Thank You ASEAN” and to enhance our main objectives in promoting mutual understanding, cooperation and solidarity among women of our community, encouraging cultural and social exchanges.
May I take this opportunity to express my warmest thanks and appreciations to all of you for accepting my invitation to be here today. I truly think that our being together would foster our friendship even further and improve our relationship that I firmly believe would contribute to the promotion of peace and stability in this world in our own ways.
Let’s do it “Our Way”.
Ladies, I have always been reminded of the word “K I S S” (keep it short and sweet), so without further ado.
It gives me a great pleasure to invite my friend and colleague Mrs. Saida Bladehane, wife of the Algerian Ambassador and President of the Wives of Head of Missions in Kuala Lumpur to say a few words.