11 February 2008
I am so glad that I return to the province of Kompong Thom once again though to a different district at this time. On March 04, 2007 I came with my wife to put into official use the Senior College of Srah Banteay in the district of Baray. Nearly a year later I am here again to put into official use the Junior College of Hun Sen - Prasat in the district of Santuk also in the province of Kompong Thom. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to HE Chea Chanto, the Governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, and Madame for the efforts made in developing a nice large area in preparation for daily increase of students.
I also thank the provincial military as well as the party officials at the communal level for setting a side a part of their land for the construction of the Junior College. It is indeed a good example shown by the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) as well as the military for making contribution in the building of the school. On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia I would also like to express my deep thanks and sincere appreciation to those involved in making this achievement possible, which I do not mention here aside from the CPP working team under the leadership of HE Nguon Nhel, the First Vice President of the National Assembly in the province of Kompong Thom as a whole, and the district of Santuk.
As is stated by HE Governor of Kompong Thom, Nam Tum, many achievements have been made and have yet to be inaugurated. As you can tell it will take me at least two years to officiate all the schools that are built under my support throughout Cambodia. I will have to come again to Kompong Thom's Sandan district this year. This time I will tap the first rubber after I was there planting them.
In April 2002 I went to the College of Taing Krasaing and I recommended that we should have a junior college for each commune so as to allow students, especially female students have the possibility to continue the study until they finish the nine-year education as is stipulated in the Constitution. As of now, six years later, I have requested my advisor to conduct a review of the situation. As for Santuk in particular, there are nine communes with 72 villages. We have here 49 primary schools or about four in one commune. We have seven junior colleges which mean we need two more to achieve our goal of one college for each commune.
In Kompong Thom as a whole, we have 81 communes with 435 primary schools as before when we had only 103 schools. We have 63 junior colleges for 81 communes or about 80% of the number needed to meet the goal. In the past we had only three. I think we should set 2010 as the goal for that achievement of one college for each commune. In the whole country we have 1625 kindergarten schools or one for each commune in the country. As far as primary school is concerned we have 6,465 schools for 1,621 communes or an average of four to six per commune. As for the whole, I think we could achieve the goal of one college for each commune by 2011 or 2012.
We have to implement this goal on the basis of what I used to say "building on what has already been achieved", whereas the burden should be on adding only more teachers and buildings. I would call that a creative or responsive solution to our wide ranging need and still limited resources. I could foresee that the situation in which our students have to pack food with them to school will soon be over with. We have 66 tertiary institutions, in which 29 are state-owned. In addition to over 4,000 Buddhist pagodas, we have 1,370 Buddhist law schools - all three levels.
Some politicians - maybe because they have nothing to boast - claim that we should not compare current condition to that under the Pol Pot's regime. I think perhaps they are frightened by these achievements and I would urge them to unveil their situation rather than telling people a lie. It is important indeed to know full well who we are and where we are from. We also should know what has been the mistake and what could be done to fix it.
Achievements along this line have been the results of the correct political platform of the Royal Government of Cambodia led by the CPP. I would take a note here for you that during the Chinese New Year, the city of Phnom Penh has been so empty because people have gone out to enjoy festivity in other provinces such as Siemreap, Sihanoukville, etc. We have good security and better infrastructure that allow them to go wherever they wish to.
This is the year of the Rat and Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar will soon celebrate the new year of the Rat too. According to the zodiac, this year we have a symbol of gold rat and its interpretation is that the land price is soaring. In fact the price of land or property is dependent on the country's stability for without it these properties would be valueless. What we have achieved today is completely different with what we had under the Pol Pot regime.
Take for instance the Pol Pot's regime implementation of the national democratic revolution, in which no personal property was recognized - from currency to diamond or jewelries - they are valueless. In between 1970 and 1975 the price of land is flat. This is closely related to peace, national reconciliation and stability. Apartment buildings in Phnom Penh are so expensive and as far as I know once they start the foundation, customers pour money in and builders do not need to go to the Bank for loans. It is absurd indeed that some politicians because of their ambition and enviousness claim they will confiscate those when they could. They naively repeated what Pol Pot had done and they would not be successful for that.
According to our history, in 1512, the internal war between Sdech Kan and Sdech (King) Srey Skunbath brought the latter's to death in Stoeung Sen. We should therefore safeguard HM's tomb or stupa. It has to be well preserved and maintained. Because of this incident I would conclude that the national democratic revolution indeed took place in Cambodia before the works of Karl Max and Frederick Engel. It was a revolution in those days to liberate people who for their whole lives had been named outcasts and under the supervision of the Buddhist sect.
Many politicians took my handicap for their political gains. They called me "A Kvak" or the "blind" when they see for themselves that I am blind. I have been blind of one eye that I joined with other leaders to fight against Pol Pot. I have brought peace for the country through the win-win policy, and many more, etc. What they do not know that it is inhumane to insult someone for his handicap. To say it in another way, if they insult me as the Prime Minister, how cruel could they be with simple citizen at large? We have just approved in the law for handicap person protection that all institutions set aside some of the jobs and placements for handicap recruits.
There are ten imbalances to be fixed in Cambodia. The first is between supply and demand, where food provision has been successful, while recording a surplus of two million tons last year. We also have made progress in solving issue of housing, and also means of transportation which we also have seen much improvement. Also, in priority 5, we have made endless efforts building schools for children and human resources development. As the ruling party, we do not promise what we can not realize.
Before ending my briefing with our people here, I would like to make some clarifications. Last week the Cambodian People's Party welcomed lawmakers from Funcinpec Party - HE Sin Pisen, HE So Rector and one from Sam Rainsy Party HE Ahmat Yahya, HE Ngo Sovan and Sok Pheng. HE Sok Pheng - because he is the lawmaker for Kompong Thom, he is now given the post of deputy head of the CPP work team for Kompong Thom province, whereas HE Ngo Sovan will be deputy head of CPP work team for Kandal province or my deputy because I am the Chairman of the team.
Scanning news this morning I was stunt by the fact that the Sam Rainsy Party's Eng Chhai Ieng accused CPP of buying their lawmakers while on their sides they have been doing so without any ill remark from the CPP. I do not have much to say because HE Chiem Yeap, the CPP lawmaker already responded that CPP did not possess the record of buying politicians. I just suggest that I have the obligation to protect persons and their dignities. HE Sok Pheng and Ngo So Van for instance in front of you today are not pieces of goods to be bought. Language the used like "selling their heads" to CPP is so inhumane and immoral like those used under the Pol Pot's regime.
CPP has not got resources for that kind of business and has no necessity in doing so. It is not a joke that these lawmakers abandoned their immunities and salaries. Days before they said these are intelligent people and placed them in the list for elections. Today they are just a bag of people selling heads - which I think what they said is so insulting. Freedom of a man could not be bought out, not even with a gun pointing in threat. They should not make such negative remarks to hide their weakness.
CPP welcomes anyone and everyone from all circles and will treat them as equal and will not exercise the policy of "revenge" as Cambodia's past leaders had been doing. Pol Pot took revenge on those faithful aides of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk and (the Khmer Republic President) Lon Nol. I think we should not follow this track. Another matter of concern that I wish to dispel our people's suspicion today also is the fact that some politicians have gone to tell people quietly that they (their parties) will be included in the new Royal Government after the elections. They argued that Funcinpec is too weak and would therefore get no seat in the National Assembly.
It is my political clarification that the position of CPP for the fourth term Government, and in case it receives a majority vote as the winning Party, it will go on taking Funcinpec as its partner in the coalition because we have been working together for many years. It would be incredible that Funcinpec wins no support at all. But if Funcinpec wins no seat at all and the CPP wins the rights to set up a Government of its own, CPP will do it alone and no political party would be invited to take part.
We will not have anymore problems like before when the political scene of Cambodia was decided by the two-third majority system. CPP could consider placing some lower rank positions for Funcinpec in case it does not get any support. Other matters will be discussed later. If they score higher and could set up a Government on their own, CPP will walk out and be an opposition party. I would urge our people to pay attention to this message and be on alert to their scheme of cheating. It is noted that in one of his interview with the journalist under the "Tamarind Tree" (referring to a group of journalists who usually spend times waiting for briefings under the Tamarind Tree before former the National Assembly building) that politicians no longer compete for the post of Prime Minister but partnership./