Monday, March 9, 2009

Comments at the Inauguration of the Buddhist Temple of Prek Kong Reaj Pagoda and the Groundbreaking Ceremony to Construct Four Bridges in the District

21 February 08

My wife and I are so happy to join with the Buddhist monks and our people here in the celebration of three programs - 1) the inauguration of the Buddhist temple of the Prek Kong Reaj pagoda, 2) the construction of four bridges and 3) the provision of assistances to help solve problems for the people in the districts of Lovea Em of Kandal and Pearang of Prey Veng province.

It is honored indeed to preside over the inauguration of the Buddhist temple Prek Kong Reaj. I planned to come on February 18 but because I had to go to Banteay Mean Chey with the President of the Asian Development Bank to witness the restoration and rehabilitation ceremony of the Cambodian railways within the framework of railways development between Cambodia and its partners.

HE Chhun Sirun the Governor of Kandal province has already stated that this pagoda is one of the oldest in the area about 379 years ago or since 1962. We may ask why it is called Kong Reaj or "a place where the King stays." It was believed that there was a prince who stayed here waiting for his turn to take the throne. But he failed. According to HE Chhun Sirun the pagoda has been managed and chaired by eleven head monks successively. The pagoda suffered the same ill fate as all Buddhist pagodas in the country, which had been brought to complete ruin. After 1979, the pagoda has been on reconstruction and stage after stage development.

I am so happy to note that there so many people coming to participate in the inauguration of the new temple of the pagoda. I am so happy to share with you today our decision to open constructions of four concrete bridges which will serve our people's need for transportation and travel. Among the four bridges, the Prek Tasor Bridge will be completed this year. I order the release of special fund so that the project will be completed.

The four bridges will serve our people's need for transportation and travel on land both in dry as well as in rainy season, especially those who live along the Tonle Tauch River from the district of Kompong Liev, Pearaing of Prey veng to Khsach Kandal and Lovea Em districts of Kandal provinces. I remember I said when I came to the pagoda of Prey Baing that if I were to be re-elected I would find the means to build the national road 8, and it is now being realized. After we connect the two sides of the Mekong River at Neak Loeung, we might have to think of the possibility to bridge this side of the country to Kandal's Kien Svay and on to Phnom Penh at the Sarika Keo point.

This will lead to the segregation of some communes of Lovea Em into Phnom Penh. We have now the ability to set a larger area for Phnom Penh to better accommodate more than 1.5 million residents or more, and passers by while enlarging the national road width from seven to larger. I would note that when the French left Cambodia, they left us very small roads unlike the British, whose colonial end left those countries like Malaysia, etc. with larger road. For good and all colonialism never proves to be positive.

In between 1979 and 1981, Cambodia was free of waste because there were not many people and not much food to eat. As of present, one can see on TV the advertisement of drugs or ways to reduce weight. Is not this a way to tell that the country has been on the right track of reducing poverty? In this world no country or financial institution would lend us money if they are not sure of our ability to pay back. Take for instance they have agreed to give us a package of loan for the railways only after they have studied our ability to pay them back in principal and in interest.

I wish to take this opportune moment to present you dignitaries who have changed their sides from the Sam Rainsy Pary to the Cambodian People's Party. HE Chao Phally who is a member of the Board of Directors of the Sam Raisy Party and former Sam Raisy Party's senate member is now working as my advisor, and there are many others.

Before coming here I have seen in a newspaper that some one has written a letter asking me to stop appointing these dignitaries to positions in the Royal Government of Cambodia. I would like to give feedback now that I will appoint them all if they join the Government. They may argue about the budget constraint but I also argue that I need human resources for the Government's work.

The opposition party should be well aware of their actions when people start walking out of the party. The Khmer saying goes "cold water attracts all sorts of fish." I wonder what is going to happen when s/he gets hold of power, as being not in power they accused so and so with immoral expression like "politicians selling their heads." It is so annoying that one is pointing fingers at others whenever one makes all the silly mistakes. Some members of parliament like Mr. Ngo Sovan and Sok Pheng do not bother to think about immunity or salary. They join the Government so I have to work on their appointments.

CPP is the party that working on helping people throughout the year except one month that is for the election campaign. Our working teams go to see people, listen to them and help them eleven months a year. It is absurd that when they could not do a single good thing for people they blamed us for being able to do so. No matter what they say we will continue our efforts in building schools, hospitals, roads and bridges, etc. I just talked to HE Kung Vibol about asking HE Keat Chhon Minister for Economy and Finance to jag up the stipends for spouses and children of Government officials.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen on that occasion offers some money for finishing of the pagoda fence, school buildings for the Junior College of Prek Kong Reaj, the Arei Khsatr School, the Primary School of Prek Russei, the Primary School of Khnor Ka, the junior college of Lovea Sar, the Primary School of Phum Thom, the Primary School of Banteay Mlu, College of Toek Khleang, the Prek Ptul School, and roads for the people in the commune of Koh Keo, the people in the commune of Prek Tasar./.

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