Monday, June 28, 2010

Speech at the Inauguration Ceremony of Kbal Thnal Overpass

Phnom Penh, 24th June 2010

- Your Venerable Monks

- Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

- Beloved Compatriots!

Today is almost thirteen months after my participation in the Inauguration Ceremony of a new Monivong Bridge and Grounding Breaking Ceremony for the Construction of the overpass that was held on 24 June 2009. Once again, I have great honor to join the official Inauguration Ceremony of Kbal Thnal Overpass. A year is over, but the great achievement is in front of us and will be forever with us. It facilitates our travelling and fixes traffic congestion at all time. With a first overpass of our history, I would like to share happiness with your Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Compatriots all over the country and people living around this bridge. Shortly, this bridge offers countless benefit through our utilization. At the same time, I would like to compliment effort made by the Phnom Penh Municipality and relevant institutions for making this construction project completed within twelve months with attention and high responsibility.

According to the report by H.E. Kep Chutema, Governor of Phnom Penh Municipality, this bridge is built on both heads of old and new Monivong Bridge. It is made of concrete and is 308 meters in length, 14.2 meters width and 5.20 meters height. It costs 6,440,216 USD to be built. Certainly, this overpass is not accidentally appeared, it is the outcome of the efforts and firm decision of the Royal Government for the cause of internal integration, economic efficiency, equity of sharing growth and solution to traffic jam. I am of the view that this overpass will raise profile of Phnom Penh which is the heart and center of politics, administration, diplomacy, economy, commerce, industry and tourism of the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia. Moreover, it is a starting point for the construction of other overpasss in Phnom Penh, provinces and cities as the nation is ever making progress and economy is leapfrogging. I strongly contend that Phnom Penh Municipality will make further effort to expand and improve infrastructure and beauty of Phnom Penh in the form of tapping Phnom Penh resources to develop Phnom Penh, namely “using the capital’s budget for the capital’s development” or through mobilizing external resources.

Development of infrastructure such as construction of road and bridge is key priority stated in the Rectangular Strategy-Phase II of the Royal Government and is of significantly strategic nature for implementation of pacifism and physical integration policy, and is also a policy that promotes and supports growth and poverty reduction of the people. Having ensured political stability, peace, security, order and economic growth so far, Cambodia needs to develop infrastructure that is extensively covering the whole nation, modern and responding to the demand of highly civilized society such as construction of overpasss, underground bridges, bus station and railway station. Although, at the present our infrastructure has been remarkably and proudly expanded and improved, we are not going to stop our activities here, that is to say we must continue building, repairing and improving both old and new infrastructures.

At the moment, since Phnom Penh has made a huge progress in socio-economic sector, construction of high rise building, roads and bridges, all of foreign tourists, investors and friends who come to visit Cambodia always deeply admire achievement and development. This makes us feel extremely proud and be strongly committed to the national development process, especially in the capital city of Phnom Penh and other provinces in order to enhance the prestige of the nation as well as attracting investment to transform Cambodia to become a small dragon in Asia in the future.

We can actually realize this vision only if we all, in the Government, private sector, families and individuals, try our utmost as a unified set of resources for common objective, which is the socio-economic development goal in order to transform Cambodia to be a small dragon in the future due to the fact that Cambodia is now already in full peace, security and stability, which is the pre-requisite for development. Together with this long term vision, I have realized that we have to effectively fulfill our duties with good governance by trying to generate more revenue for public spending, which is to support development, economic growth and the implementation of various interconnected and complementary projects. The development of physical infrastructures, especially in the potential areas such as Phnom Penh and other provinces, are the significant priority to achieve the set vision that require us to be highly committed with high responsibility and sufficient capacity.

I clearly understand that we still have many other development projects while our society is in progress in all sectors and the requirement of travelling and transport is also very much growing. In this context, if we do not promote the construction, renovation, expansion, and the improvement of road and bridge infrastructures we will never be able to solve the problems of traffic congestion, local integration and within this we will never be able to achieve economic efficiency and equity of the growth sharing.

In this connection, related ministries and institutions and all levels of local authorities must cooperate and implement the infrastructure development projects according to their ability of resources with high quality, long durability and good beauty. At the same time, when high- rise and modern buildings are being planned or constructed in the country, especially in the capital city of Phnom Penh, we have to also consider the balance of development projects between high rise buildings and sky bridges and the impact on the residential areas and traffic congestion.

In the capital city of Phnom Penh, we certainly need more overpasss in the congested areas that require the Phnom Penh Municipality to study in details and use all means in order to solve the issues of traffic congestion and traffic accidents. Moreover, the Municipality has to study and properly install more traffic signs, traffic lights and road dividers to facilitate transportation and save the traveling time. Furthermore, the Municipality and relevant institutions have to exert more effort to campaign on traffic law, road-bridge traveling as well as driving morality. Taking this opportunity, I would like to urge all people to respect the Traffic Law, to highly keep driving morality, not to race on road, or to load higher than the height of bridge. This will contribute to traffic order and traveling in our city, like a slogan put “Respect the traffic law for all and all for respecting the traffic law”. By doing so, we are a good citizen who contributed to national development as a whole and particularly to Phnom Penh to be a Clean City, Clean Resort and Good Service.

In Phnom Penh, many roads and bridges have been built by the Royal Government, but we are facing traffic congestion due to the lack of respect of traffic law and growing number of vehicles. Currently, I noted that the disrespected traffic law created anarchic and out of order flow on the road and caused traffic congestion and accidents. It becomes a disease of our society. I am aware that traffic congestion and accidents could not be solved by only building more roads and bridges, installing traffic signs and road dividers as well as the presence of traffic police, but by having participation from all travellers. Obviously, traffic police could not control severity of anarchy and law disrespect, while travelers do not deter or follow the traffic command made by the police. However, traffic police have to continue doing their jobs based on the Law and uphold its professionalism, while avoiding using its roles and duties for personal or group’s gain. At the same time, I would resistibly urge our people to promote national dignity by respecting the traffic law and traffic police have to maintain their professionalism for the public interest.

The new achievement that we are officially inaugurating today is ours and it is born with a clear and right consideration of the Royal Government of Cambodia with effort form relevant ministries/institutions, the Municipality and the private sector. Once again, I would like to praise and highly appreciate the Phnom Penh Municipality and Private Sector for jointly investing in building this overpass. At the same time, I would like to appeal to our people, particularly to those living around this bridge and local authority to participate and cooperate to maintain for long-lasting and common interest as well as historical heritage of our nation.

To close with the inauguration of the overpass, I would like to wish your Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen the four Buddhist blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Speech at the Closing Ceremony of Extra-ordinary Congress of Representatives of Cambodian Veteran Association Nationwide

Speech at the Closing Ceremony of Extra-ordinary Congress of Representatives of Cambodian Veteran Association Nationwide and 3rd Anniversary of Cambodian Veteran Day

21 June 2010

Excellencies, ladies and, Royal Ambassador, ambassador, national and international guests

Dear Ladies and gentlemen, members of congress!

First of all, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia and in my capacity as chairman of Cambodian Veteran Association, I am very honored and pleased to attend this Closing Ceremony of Extra-ordinary Congress of Representatives of Cambodian Veteran Association nation-wide and 3rd Anniversary of Cambodian Veteran Day at this moment.

I would like to welcome Excellencies, ladies, royal ambassadors, ambassadors, military attachés to Royal Kingdom of Cambodia, ladies and gentlemen, national and international guests, members of the congress from city and provinces, representatives of Cambodian Veteran Association nation-wide who attend this ceremony. Especially, I would like to congratulate warmly veterans with most achievement in 3 Good Movements whom the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation and Cambodian Veteran Association have selected.

Indeed, this congress has provided an opportunity for talk and providing recommendation on key tasks related to veteran in order to jointly implement successfully and efficiently as well as to ensure sustainability of raising livelihood and promoting welfare of the veterans and their families. Taking this opportunity, I would like to highlight that celebrating 3rdAnniversary of Cambodian Veteran Day and Extra-ordinary Congress of Representatives of Cambodian Veteran Association nation-wide at this moment is a key new historical event for veterans in Cambodia, which is an answer to one of policy priorities of the government that has been laid out thus far. Undeniably, Cambodian Veteran Association is key partner to the government who has worked closely with ministry of social affair, veteran and youth rehabilitation and other relevant ministries-institutions to increase efficiency of implementation of national policy for veterans. In this sense, I would like to highly value cooperation so far made by leadership, civil officers, armed forces, all levels of local authorities with veteran-related institutions and associations who have made effort to carry out measures and initiatives adopted by the government in all forms and by all means and have made numerous achievements for this sector and made this sector make ever gradual progress.

In this spirit, I would like to congratulate the fruitful result Extra-ordinary Congress of Representatives of Cambodian Veteran Association nation-wide and 3rd Anniversary of Cambodian Veteran Day, whose celebration had been held at local level in city and all provinces and now at national level. At the same time, I would like to thank Cambodian Veteran Associations and all veterans for honoring me to be chairman of the Cambodian Veteran Association as officially inscribed in the statute of Cambodian Veteran Association. I am very pleased to assume this role, because I am also a veteran who used to actively fight along with other veterans at battlefield and become disabled by the war.

Along that, I would like to admire the leadership of the ministry of social affairs, veteran and youth rehabilitation, Excellencies governors of city and provinces, military officers, non-commissioned officers, soldiers of all kinds of armed forces and all veterans who took part in organizing congress of Cambodian Veteran Association and celebrating anniversary of Cambodian Veteran Day everywhere, and this activities has brought about a comprehensive people movement that is linked to Cambodian veteran. I would like to take this opportunity to send my visit and compliment for military officers, non-commissioned officers of all kinds of armed forces and their families who are being stationed and are protecting land integrity along Thai-Cambodian border as well as other veterans who are taken care of at hospitals. The patriotism of our armed forces is national dignity and proud of the people. In this superb meaning, the government is committed to take measures to provide the most appropriate rewards for this patriotism.

However, we must acknowledge that what we have made so far has not wholly answered our need. In this regard, all of us must exerting utmost effort and ability to continue this task and satisfy the true demand of the veteran sector.

Veterans are the most grateful group to the nation, symbol of scarifying spirit for the nation and the true patriot by own concrete activities. Cambodian veterans are also evidence of patriotism of Cambodian people. This auspicious deed should receive a proper respond and great honor. In this occasion, on behalf of the Royal Government and myself as the head of Cambodian Veteran Association, I would like to pay respect to the soul of dead soldiers who scarified their lives for the cause of the nation. In the sense, People and the nation would like to express profound gratitude to all Khmer heroes.

Historically, Cambodia has experienced certain evolutions from prosperity to darkness and now regaining prosperity. The Angkor era was undoubtedly the prosperous time and our ancestors left many temples including Angkor Wat as heritage for the next generation. The achievement was achieved under the braveness of our ancestors. On the other hand, under the crusade of heroic king NORODOM SIHANOUK, Cambodia claimed Independence from France in November 9, 1953. In March 18, 1970 coup delta by Lon Nol pushed the country into devastating war. From, 1975 to 1979, the genocide regime claimed more than 3 million of lives and uprooted the national structure and left with many difficult problems. The historical victory of January 7, 1979, Cambodia People Party saved the nation and people and rebuilt our country. Indeed, during the past 30 years after the collapse of genocide regime, we have achieved many achievements, including the rehabilitation and development of physical infrastructures as the basic for supporting growth in all sectors. Furthermore, Cambodia enjoys full peace in the whole country – political and economy stability- as precondition for sustaining national development.

The achievements were originated from the strong solidarity of our people and soldiers who left their families to join the fighting and some of them were killed, injured and disabled. Their braveness and sacrifices for the nation and happiness of the people is priceless.

Therefore, the implementation of veteran policy is the obligation of the government and the whole nation to appropriately respond to their gratefulness in sacrificing their live for the country and saving us. Providing proper spiritual and material support to veterans will encourage patriotism and spirit of sacrifice for the cause of the nation. It is our long-lasting and valuable tradition.

In this spirit, the Royal Government always pays high attention to veteran by setting up policies to create a sustainable social safety net in order to ensure the livelihood of the people and help them to live in civilized lives and harmonization with their families and society. Those tasks include vocational training, providing social land concession to those soldiers who are demobilized, retired, disabled and the families of dead soldiers to help improve their livelihoods. These lands will be used for residential construction and farming purposes to raise their livelihood and contribute to national productivity.

In this spirit, the Royal Government has also reconsidered the allowance policy for veteran based on the economic situation, which is now equivalent to 175% of basic salary as of 2010. Increases subsidy for children of dead soldiers, monthly allowance to families of dead soldiers who have parents, guardians, wives or husbands; readjusts monthly allowance to wives or husbands of the disabled, retired soldiers and children, wives or husbands of dead soldiers. At the same time, the government also provides monthly allowance of 20,000 Riel to the disabled, retired soldiers from July, 2008 till December, 2010.

In the spirit of helping the veteran and to effectively provide social intervention and support, the Royal Government continues to pay attention on improving legal framework and regulations such as labor law, insurance law, law on the protection and promotion of the rights of disable, social safety law, sub-degree on national account for social safety, for civil servants to effectively provide veterans and disables with rehabilitation, vocational training, job creation, joining in sport activity and integrating disables into society.

At the same time, I would like to take the opportunity to praise H.E. Ith Samheng, Minister of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation whose also the Deputy and Secretary General of the Cambodian Veteran Association, who always pool his effort in veteran sector and incorporate it into the work priority program of the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation and other related institutions to improve the veteran sector and gradually reduce any idleness.

Besides, I would also like to praise the three years old Cambodian Veteran Association for taking practical actions with fruitful results to strengthen and expand the role of veterans, improve their living standards and strengthen their unity for the development of the country according to the Royal Government’s political agenda. For instance, the three profound veteran’s movements which include the construction of accommodation for veterans, the development of credit account and rescue account for veterans etc. have indeed helped to upgrade the living standards of members of the Association in addition to what have already been provided through the government’s policy.

I would like to fully support and highly value the 2008-2010 stocktaking and direction setting report of the Cambodian Veteran Association and the decision made by the congress. At the same time, I would like to congratulate the 66 central committee members, 10 permanent members, 2 deputy directors, and 3 deputy secretary generals who have just been additionally appointed during the congressional meeting of the Cambodian Veteran Association nationwide.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to lay out some additional tasks that need to be done to accelerate the work relating to the improvement of living standard and the rehabilitation of veterans and their families as follows:

1. The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran, and Youth Rehabilitation must continue to constantly check the payroll and prevent the trade of allowance policy. If it occurs, we must take appropriate measures to return all allowances to the rightful owners and continue to strengthen the allowance provision policy so that all allowances are being provided timely and right on target. At the same time, we must continue to provide good support and cooperation to all levels of veteran association by providing them the place to work and supporting their members in order to facilitate the operation of the Cambodian Veteran Association. I reckon that, the help and support being provided by the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran, and Youth Rehabilitation on Cambodian Veteran sector also reflects the encouragement for the direct participation of veterans as well as the establishment of partnership with veterans in accordance with the strategic partnership which is an important factor for good governance. At the same time, we must continue the implementation of social land concession policy for former soldiers and their families as adopted for 2010-2013, and cooperate with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, municipal authorities, and related provinces to push the housing projects along with the integration of physical infrastructures and public service at villages where veterans live, such as Kampong Cham, Pursat, and Battambang, as officially been laid out in the three-year Public Investment Plan 2010-2012 and the National Strategic Development Plan 2010-2013 by using the state budget and economic land concession. Moreover, we must continue to collect data on the real living condition of poor veterans in order to provide them with appropriate professional training, economic land concession, scholarship for children, small scale loan, and emergency aid to upgrade their living standards.

2. The Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Interior must cooperate with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran, and Youth Rehabilitation and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, to check the updated list of veteran and family of the deceased veteran of each ministry and transfer it to the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran, and Youth Rehabilitation for further management. At the same time, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Interior, the Royal Armed Force of Cambodia, the National Police Commissariat, the National Military Police, regional military headquarters, military units, commanding units of municipality, province, city, district, khan, and any other unit base in any other location across the country must cooperate with the social affairs authority in that location to engage with the veteran and help supporting them as much as possible regardless of their background. We must all bear in mind that helping veteran is to help ourselves and to preserve the spirit and will of our armed forces. Since their merit for the nation is tremendous we must ensure that they live in good condition, with dignity and hope.

3. The Council of Ministers must push for the preparation of Royal Decree on social safety net for veteran and sub-decree on the creation of national account for veteran as soon as possible to address the difficulty face by our veterans.

4. The Ministry of Rural Development must continue to promote the implementation of social land concession project and the construction of accommodation for veterans’ families along the northern border area and expand such project to other areas. Along with that, the Ministry of Land Management, Urbanization, and Construction, and the National Social Land Concession Committee together with the sub-national mechanisms must continue to prepare projects for distributing social land concession to armed forces, veteran, and their families as soon as possible.

5. Other related ministries/institutions, authority at all levels, and commune/district councils must give priority to include the work for improving local veteran’s living condition into their respective development programs. The competence authority should select those veterans with good characteristics to become community leaders, such as fishing community, water usage community, and village chiefs if possible. 6. The Cambodian Veteran Association must strengthen their management at all levels. The Cambodian Veteran Association Committee at all levels must respect and abide by the association’s rules, term of reference according to the collective democracy principle, collaborative leadership, responsible individual, and hold regular congressional meetings. At the same time, the Cambodian Veteran Association must cooperate with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation in continuing to build more houses for outstanding veterans according to the “3 Good” Movements, so that we could improve their living standards including the good use of allowance policy and encourage the physical and mental participation as well as using the available resources to develop the local community and participate in the implementation of Cambodian Veteran Association’s work for the sake of themselves, the association as well as participating in the national development. Moreover, the Cambodian Veteran Association must continue to strengthen the account establishment activities including the creation of account for member contribution, credit account for the association, and rescue account by carefully implementing the statute of each account, strengthening transparency, accountability in managing the account by having constant financial auditing and inspection in fighting against any inactive activities, ensuring financial sustainability of the association, which is the key factor of the association activity. Besides, the Cambodian Veteran Association must continue to strengthen and expand its friendship and cooperation with the other Veteran Associations from around the world. On behalf of the Cambodian Veteran Association, I would like to thank the ASEAN League for veteran, for having admitted the Cambodian Veteran Association to be a full member on 26 April 2010. In this regard, the Cambodian Veteran Association must continue to have relation with the World Veteran Federation in order to become a member of this organization. I hope that the cooperation between veterans of other countries will be progressive, contributing to the strengthening of friendship and cooperation between countries in the region and the world. In this spirit, I would like to appeal to the development partners, national and international organizations to provide good cooperation and support for this Cambodian Veteran Association in which the Cambodian Veteran Sector should be included in the development assistance projects for Cambodia. At the same time, the Cambodian veterans must continue building houses for the outstanding veterans as well those who have already had lands in the community. This project will be effective and efficient because veterans will have their own piece of land which is the partial share and the Cambodian Veteran Association, the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veteran and Youth Rehabilitation, the municipal and provincial donors will provide the budget and materials, and the local authorities and the people in other areas have also contributed, which is the art of sharing and support to veterans. My wife and I have, so far, provided 66 houses with the cost of USD 3000 to USD 5000 for each house through the Cambodian Veteran Association and Donors. Among those houses, there were 29 houses given to veterans that have been elite in the “3 Good” Movement and in the year 2010 I will provide 37 houses more to those veterans who have received the golden medal and will provide the budget of USD 1000 for each of 24 veterans who have received silver medal in order to go on an oversea trip as organized by the Cambodian Veteran Association. As a result, those veterans who have already received the houses, are improving their living which is the image of integrating veterans into the locality. Furthermore, I will continue to strengthen the Disabled Rehabilitation Village in Taken Koh Sla area on Kampot to be sustainable and progressive in improving the livelihood of those people. Along with that, I would like to request H.E Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of National Defence and the Vice-President of the Cambodian Veteran Association to continue to develop the Veteran Rehabilitation Region in Kulen District of Siem Reap Province because we do have high ability and I have already provided some budget.

Every issue raised is the illustration of the objective, principle, measure and mechanism for implementing the integration, veteran rehabilitation and family policy in order to achieve the significant objective of the armed forces reform, the creation of social safety net, reducing the vulnerability as well as poverty reduction of the people. In this connection, the Royal Government strongly believes that the ministries/institutions, all kinds of armed forces, all levels of local authorities, development partners, national and international organizations, the association will actively participate in the veteran sector to make it highly effective.

Once again, I would like to appeal to Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen to actively implement the set content and plan as well as putting effort in sharing information, knowledge, and experiences gained from the extra-ordinary conference representing all Cambodian Veteran Association all over the country and the 3rd Anniversary of the Cambodia Veteran Day for the officials, staff, colleagues for improving the implementation and obligation with the objective to achieve further new achievements according to the set strategy and objectives.

In this pleasurable environment, I would like to express my gratitude with highest respect to the Venerable King of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Preah Bat Norodom Seihamoni, the King Father, Norodom Sihanouk and the Queen Mother, Monineath Sihanouk, who have always paid their greatest attention to the people, especially supporting the veterans and Families of the Handicapped, and I wish the King, King Father and Queen Mother good health and long lives of more than 100 years old in order to stay as warmest shelter for Cambodian people, who are your children and grandchildren.

Before ending, I would like to highly evaluate the management and officials of the Cambodian Veteran Association, who have tried to actively participate with high responsibility in achieving and building various achievements in the Veteran Sector and making the process of this Extra-ordinary Congress of Representatives of the Cambodian Veteran Association and the 3rd Anniversary of the Cambodia Veteran Day, smoothly and fruitfully possible.

At the end, together with the closing of the Extra-ordinary Congress of Representatives of the Cambodian Veteran Association and the 3rd Anniversary of the Cambodia Veteran Day, I would like to wish Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen the four gems of Buddhism blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.


Selected Comments at the Norton University’s Graduation and Diploma Presentation

09 June 2010

It is indeed a great pleasure that after meeting all of you on June 30 last year, today, June 09, I have a chance to meet once again the rector, leaders and professors of the Norton University. Last week some of the guests who were present at the graduation of the Royal School of Administration might be recalled that I had presented an important topic about sickness of being main actor. I would like to thank rector of the Norton University for giving me the honor of being present in the presentation of diploma to 1,179 graduates.

I could recall that in 1997 I was present in the inauguration of the University of Norton and after 13 years today according to the rector’s report a lot of progress has been achieved. I am so happy to have noticed realistic development concerning the University, which, started from being a faculty and hired building for its operation, has now had its own building of five stories on some four-hectare land. I am sure this will be a major material base for long-term and sustainable training of human resources.

I would like to take this opportune moment to express my sincere appreciation to the Norton University as well as its management and professors for making their efforts in human resource training, which as of now some 8,413 students are taking up their studies. In the process of making progress and development, our country is noted to have a high percentage of people of young age. High figure of students taking up studies in universities prove this. It is in that sense that I give my appreciation to the participation by the private sector in human resource training, together with efforts provided by the state.

Human resources who have got later works at national or international institutions could be of Cambodian pride. I have prioritized our policy on human resource training that is based on challenging capacity, which to me competition not only exists in the field of trade but also in human resource capability too. I just gave my speech at the World Economic Forum (held in Ho Chi Minh City, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam) on Cambodia’s effort in strengthening its competing capability, and institutional capacity is vital in responding to this challenge.

It is our pride that more of its nationals have taken up positions and jobs in various regional and international institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank, and various others, where more Cambodians are working. This is a realistic sign of human resource training objective. I would like to covey also my appreciation for the effort for making an investment on new premises possible on the other side of the river of Tonle Sap. It is true that traffic would be an issue but the Royal Government is working it out to build a new bridge at Jroy Jangva along with the existing Cambodian-Japanese Friendship Bridge, with the fund provided by China so as to cater to the need for traffic volume that is growing everyday.

As of now some countries could not give a proper evaluation of the Cambodian situation and offered to help us build roads with a 6 or 7 meter wide standard. It clearly proves that they had no idea how far Cambodia has gone. As of now, according to current development level, Cambodia would benefit from at least nine-meter wide and eleven-meter wide roads, while in addition to that we now also have had to build overpasses.

In relation to human resource training, the University has offered some 150 scholarships so that I could give them to students from poor families. The University also offers 50% scholarships to students with promising capability ranking between number one and three in all generations. This should be seen as a contribution to help with relieving hardships of poor students. Let me take this opportunity to give my congratulations to the University that it has been marked to provide the best education on information technology in the Kingdom of Cambodia.

I would like to take this time to express my sincere thanks to students who excelled in their studies in this University. Human resource development is different from human life saving as blood transfusion could be performed from one person to another, while knowledge and know-how have had to be provided by professors and achieved only by students’ own efforts. It is in this knowledge that I wish to give my appreciation to all graduates who have finally achieved their objectives in becoming intellectuals for the sake of families, communities and country.

I also take this solemn occasion to thank parents and/or sponsors who have made efforts together with their sons and daughters until they successfully finished their studies. However, as this stage of study comes to an end, one should not completely abandon studying. Study has no ending. No one in this world happens to know all and everything. The world is facing numerous challenges whereby both leaders and people at large have to understand their evolutions and respond to.

Knowledge and know-how have had no ending. Things evolve by the hour and changes in regional and world politics are also included. It is required that we have to keep abreast of tension in the Korean peninsula, internal issues of countries in the region, the Gaza incident between Israel and the Palestinians, the oil leakage in the United States of America, missile shield in Poland, etc. In addition to that we also have world challenges such as climate change that requires a proper study and adaptation to the environment.

Last week the Cabinet in its meeting discussed a sub-decree in relation to bio-safety that I have instructed concerned authorities not to go to either extreme left or right. When they take a precautionary stand, the measure would go all the way to preventing inflow of seeds, but when they let it loose, influx of seed would be allowed freely. We also have not made experiment as far as food safety is concerned for our people. For instance, some seeds have been tested and verified by other countries’ standard to be giving a high output but whether consumption of those products would cause any consequence has had to be studied. Climate change has indeed caused so many disastrous effects. Some seeds have had to be developed to be resilient to climate condition that is higher in temperature and also lacking of water. Climate change is indeed a challenge. This proves that we have to keep on studying and it should not be an end on the day we graduated.

You may have learned about this meeting of Cooperation Forum for the Development of Cambodia in which I gave a keynote address. Cambodia’s development partners have agreed to a financing of some 1,097 million dollars for 2010 and close to three billion US dollars for three-year project, though some countries could not declare their contributions for 2011 and 2012 at this stage at all. As far as this point is concerned, in the Cabinet’s meeting, I have shared it through the VDO link with provincial leaders as well as the armed forces, and urged them to speed up reform process.

Our friends have placed their trust in and supported us and it is our duty to fulfill the task not for the sake of satisfying someone’s criteria but for our people in line with that of our partners’. This is what I call we have to reciprocate in kind to friends who come to help us. I wish to note here that when I mention about some 1,100 million US dollars, all we could see is the figure. Those who doubt may have to approach relevant embassies in Phnom Penh as their questions to the Government would not be responded.

Take for instance they may ask the Japanese embassy as Japan gave the most among donors to Cambodia. We do not get hold of the money as the money has been given according to pre-selected projects. In certain cases, projects have undergone bidding process in donor countries too. It is in this pattern that questions relating to corruption, if any, should be asked to foreigners and not to Cambodians. What we did was witnessing the groundbreaking and inauguration of achievements.

One should not ask the Government as to where the money has gone for this might prove one is unintelligent. I would be shamed that being leaders either of political parties or non-governmental organizations, yet they have no knowledge of how the money is being used. I would feel ashamed for the opposition party because we all are Cambodians. They are so naïve as to say that why the Royal Government does not get the money given to distribute among the people, like elderly people, as per diem for purchasing their side meals. Well, they could not fool the people as people have failed them by their votes.

We have noted faithful acceptance among out partners and this is not because this time we have had a bigger amount of money than previously at all. In 2009 we have some nine hundred million US dollars. What I wanted to say is that though there is financial crisis and economic downturn the Cambodian development partners have indeed increased their commitment from some nine hundred million to over one billion dollars. What should be highlighted here is work result. It should be noted that the development partners and the Cambodian side have had similar appreciation and understanding of challenges for Cambodia. We have come to a point that there is a need for harmonization between Cambodia and its development partners and among partners themselves.

As mentioned earlier, while we get help from friends, it is indeed important for us to help ourselves and we should do the best we can that result would not put our friends in a difficult situation for the decision they made on behalf of their tax-payers. We need to work out on this and move forward. I have brought with me a topic here on ten disequilibria that need to be addressed in the Cambodian context to share with you all. In my book “Ten Years of Cambodia’s March,” written in 1988 and published in 1989, I mentioned about four disequilibria only – Demand versus supply, Income versus expenses, Import versus export and Money versus goods. The number of imbalances has gradually increased to six, to eight and to ten lately. Among them, as of early part of the third term legislature of the Royal Government, a new one is imbalance between need for socio-economic development and limited human resources.

In the last five years, this sort of imbalance has shrunk gradually thanks to increasingly effective efforts in strengthening institutional capacity and training of human resources. As far as import versus export is concerned, it should be noted that there are certain countries with which we have increased our exports to a volume bigger than importing from them and some are on reversal trend. It is in this sense that we have to keep on pushing for a foreign trade balance. This is not an issue for one political party or Government but there requires efforts from all sectors of society, especially the role of private sector.

In my address to the World Economic Forum I mentioned above it is true that the state withdraws from a certain areas but that does not mean the state abandons all. In certain areas the state has to keep its necessary intervention especially in post-crisis period or at the time of a fragile upturn. With the state budget alone we could not respond to demand for growth. Therefore the private sector has been encouraged to help in driving for growth. Let’s all learn the Greek’s experience in which the country is nearly broke.

Putting the Greek’s experience in picture, I would warn people about making promises. Take HE Hatoyama, former Prime Minister of Japan, he finally accepted that his promise could not be fulfilled and he had to resign in relation to the issue of the US base in Okinawa. Some people in Cambodia recently make reckless promise that if s/he is going to be elected, s/he will get back the Kampuchea Kraom (the lower part of Cambodia, which is currently a part of Vietnam). They have gone this far. What if they could not fulfill it? In the map that he deposits at the United Nations, Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, the King Father, does not include the part of territory into Cambodian sovereignty. Also not included are provinces of Surin, Borei Riem, Sisaket, Ubun, etc. which are currently parts of Thailand.

Therefore I would warn people making promises to be careful. As far as topic of salary increment is concerned and also campaigned by the oppositions, I must say no one would want to do so more than I because this would alleviate hardships among our civil servants. The question here is where we get the money from. Increasing salary of 20% per annum has been a difficult target to achieve. We have overused the budget earmarked for personnel and decided to trim the priority package and bonus so as to strengthen the salary system.

What we need to do here is to take up responsibility in guaranteeing management of macro-economics and political stability while driving economic growth and speeding up reforms. I used to say and I am still saying it out loud that with reforms, it is 99% that we will survive, and without reforms, only 1% would be the rate for survival.

As of today the Football World Cup is approaching and I beg our people not to go into betting. As we have now closed down CamboSix a betting company I would urge local authorities to observe this regulation. I have chosen the period between June 18, the celebration of Samdech Preah Reaj Akka Mohesei Norodom Monineath Sihanouk’s birthday anniversary and the Cambodian People’s Party anniversary on June 28 for the inauguration of the first overpass. I also have instructed the Governor of Phnom Penh to pool the remaining sum to build another one at the Pet Lok Sangh intersection.

I need to take this moment to thank HE Kep Chuktema of Phnom Penh Municipality and HE Uk Rabun of the Ministry of Economy and Finance on issue of collecting daily permission fees for keeping order. In the Reasmey Kampuchea newspaper I found the article “Investment for Order Keeping is a Fireball.” I did not know it has brought about so complicated issue. I apologize to our people, especially though vendors in the markets or elsewhere for the concerns they have with regard to this fee collection system. I faithfully make an apology in my capacity as the top responsible in the Royal Government. The issue has been resolved now and this will not happen again.

However, as far as order is concerned, I would urge you all for an understanding and to refrain from placing your items on sale in the pavements or feeder roads causing traffic congestion of travelers and also to pay attention to hygienic issue too. Both sellers and customers have to take collaborative measures in keeping our city clean as it would be a good thing for all. The company in charge of fee collection for public order is Rath “Sen” Sopheap and I was surprised to see the word “Sen” in there as this would lead to a misunderstanding that the company has something to do with me.

As far as I know Rat Sopheap is the name of the company owner but the company is named with an inclusion of “Sen” there. From now on the Ministry of Economy and Finance and related sectors must be proactive and take appropriate measures. They should not wait for Hun Sen to have a say on all issues. I want the whole mechanism to function all at once without having to wait for order all the time. It has been annoying that everyone seems to have attached “recommendation of Samdech Prime Minister” to their actions. I am quite concerned with this. We have rule and law and it is your competent authority recognized by law to enact them. All I want is institutions abide by and implement law and sub-decree in relation to institutional organic establishment.

There was a reportage on Bayon TV about a sub-national level authority who said “in accordance with the recommendation of Samdech Techo (Hun Sen) to remove people’s homes …” in a case involving illegal infiltration and settlement in a protected forest. It was the sub-national level responsibility to look after the forest. However, you left the protected forest infiltrated and encroached upon. In that circumstance you resorted to “Techo’s recommendation.” This proves the mechanism does not function. That I have taken matter into my own hand in some instances is because it has been necessary.

It has taken us a long time to get this far and so many attempts on my life have been made known. The last attempt was at Siemreap province on my way to see HM the King Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk. It is not a simple matter as we have gone through so many hardships. This has brought us a pride that we have reunited the country not for a short period of time but for a long time to come. I was asked in a meeting with the French Prime Minister about the Khmer Rouge and its ideology, whether it has all died. I told him that the Khmer Rouge’s fallout this time is on both organization and ideology.

I have two concerns in fact as we implemented the win-win policy. My first concern was whether or not there would be revenge. It does not happen and it so proves that the win-win policy has in fact united us thanks also to the fact that our country embraces Buddhism that revenge is not in our belief to resolve the problem. This development has proven impossible in Sudan where Darfur is under so many tribal groups. In Cambodia it has proven to be effective because we all are one nation, live under one Constitution, HM the King and the Royal Government.

My second concern was if the remnant forces disagreed. I could recall this fact that after gaining independence in 1953, in villages where I lived (Kompong Cham) there were armed groups and robberies. They did not join any particular group but became armed robbers. People lived in fears till 1964-65 before the Government forces arrested the group leader. But it is a successful story that the former Khmer Rouge forces decided to return to the fold of our nation altogether. Therefore, the Royal Government, the civilians and armed forces as well as the private sector must work to strengthen peace for the country.

There was an armed clash incident at Tropeang Prasat district between the Cambodian and Thai forces. HE Chea Tara called and reported to me before going live from Trpeang Prasat. It was noted to be an incident and still impossible to verify, which forces are the Thai soldiers from? On our side it was the military forces of Tropeang Prasat district. It was not a conflict that spilled into general border conflict. It could have been a misunderstanding and both sides are in contact to figure it out. We do not want conflict and are working to sort it out./.


Keynote Address at the Commemoration of the 54th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Royal School of Administration

Keynote Address at the Commemoration of the 54th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Royal School of Administration, Conferment of Certificates to the 2009 Executive and Mid-level Civil Servant Trainees of “Preah Vihear” Promotion, Conferment of Certificates to the Senate’s Officials, Opening of the 6thPromotion of Executive Civil Servant Program and 4th Promotion of Low-Level Civil Servant Program And the Opening of the Academic Year 2010-06-02

Phnom Penh, June 3rd, 2010

Your Venerable Monks,

Excellency Jean – François Desmazières, Ambassador of France to Cambodia,

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen distinguished national and international guests,

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen board of directors, lecturers, officials and civil servant trainees of the Royal School of Administration!

It is my pleasure to be here to in the commemoration of the 54th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal School of Administration and the conferment of certificates to 343 executive and mid-level civil servant trainees and officials from the Senate, the opening of the 6th promotion of the executive civil servant program and 4th promotion of the low-level civil servant program, and the opening of the academic year 2010. This event allows former and current students and trainees coming from all parts of the country and abroad to gather and refresh all the memories, especially with regard to our joint effort in the development of civil servants’ capacity which still remain a priority of the Royal Government in its response to socio-economic development requirements in the era of globalization, intensified by competition and advancement of IT.

Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government and myself, I would like to praise the Royal School of Administration for its magnificent contribution to Cambodia’s bid to strengthen its ownership and human development needs as set forth in the Rectangular Strategy-Phase II for growth, employment, equity and efficiency. This fruitful achievement has become well-grown seeds across the country. In particular, the school’s graduates have been dispatched to work in various ministries – institutions, municipalities, provinces and districts across the country, an indication of success of the Royal School of Administration.

Along with this, I would like to congratulate and appreciate the lecturers, officials and trainees of the Royal School of Administration for the hard work in providing training, education, and developing code of ethics for civil servants until achieving these proud and fruitful results. Indeed, these fruitful results timely respond to the royal government’s regional and global integration policy which requires adequate and capable human resources to achieve competitive advantage in labour market and improve economic efficiency in socio-economic development that result in rapid poverty reduction and better living standard.

Along with this, on behalf of the royal government and myself, I would like to thank the government and people of France, through H.E. Jean – François Desmazières, for their valuable support for the Royal School of Administration since the beginning, especially “the Priority Solidarity Fund for the Support of Public Service Modernization Project” which also includes the modernization of the Royal School of Administration by the end of August 2010. I strongly believe that this assistance will continue for the sake of both stronger relationship and modernization of the school. Moreover, I would also like to thank GTZ, UNDP and training institutions for the cooperation and exchange of experiences that enable us to improve quality, expand the scope of programs, and provide training programs on public administration, trade and diplomacy.

As the Director of the Royal School of Administration, H.E Ly Kimsok mentioned a moment ago that the Royal School of Administration was established under the Royal Wisdom of Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, the former King of Cambodia, during which Cambodia was facing with public administration challenge after the country gained its independent from France. This clearly reflected that in solving major challenges we need to have a leader with special characteristics, a comprehensive and long-term vision. In this sense, Preah Bat Norodom Sihanouk has left the most valuable heritage for the nation, including the base for human resource development in public administration sector, especially, he has worked as a government official, which inspire us as the new generation to follow his initiative.

In this connection, I would like to share some experiences and concepts about the value and special characteristics that government officials and the entire public administration should adhere to. In that, discipline is one among many other major factors for achieving work success. Individuals must have self-discipline first before they can adhere to those disciplines imposed by institutions and society. Government officials must act as role models by coming to work on time so that government institutions can operate without wasting any time. This is a key principle to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of providing public services to people. In this regard, discipline in public administration is the key to assist government officials in performing their duties in order to achieve success in managing the country with governance. Hence, the recruitment of public administration officials must be done through strict and appropriate examination process to ensure that those capable, talented, and merited officials can serve the nation. At the same time, training requires quality which could be conducted with capacity, talent, confidence, and with broad communication network. In addition to that, job distribution, promotion, and remuneration should be done base on skills, work talent and discipline of each official. With regard to this issue, I reckon the Royal School of Administration has contributed immensely to that. At the mean time, I am pleased to encourage the Royal School of Administration to further continue its efforts to produce public sector leaders with nobility and capacity in order to enable us to strengthen our ownership and reduce dependency on international experts and consultants.

Indeed, the Royal School of Administration, so far, has developed a lot of human resources, many of whom are currently serving in the ministries, institutions, departments and at the sub-national administration. After the completion of studies, former students and trainees, and the management of the Royal School of Administration and the current students and trainees still maintain their close connection and relationship in both private and working lives. I realize that this is truly a profound act which preserves our Khmer tradition of long lasting friendship. In this connection, I would like to support the school’s initiative of creating the alumni of ex-students and the alumni of ex-trainees as well as the Royal Administration School Fund, which aimed to further improve the school for the interest of developing capable, skilful, creative and active human resource that are the necessary factors for achieving economic growth and poverty reduction of the people. These factors have indeed responded to the objective of the Royal Government which always regards human resource development as an effective mean for the development of human personality, sustainable development as well as ensuring equitable distribution of economic growth.

I strongly believe that both alumni being inaugurated today will receive unanimous support from all ex-students and ex-trainees, which will allow the Royal School of Administration to be more recognized in its mission for human resource development.

Once again, on behalf of the Royal Government, I would like to appreciate and congratulate the 343 graduates who have successfully completed their studies and about to receive their certificates shortly together with the governing board, civil servants, lecturers and staffs of the Royal School of Administration, who have put greatest efforts in fulfilling the obligation of building intellectual capital for our society. We have to bear in mind that the quality and work efficiency along with the right efforts made by the governing board, civil servants and by all lecturers of the Royal School of Administration will in turn bring about the quality and work efficiency in providing public services in Cambodia.

All graduates who are about to receive their degrees, certificates and academic attestations shortly and about to get involved in the public sector must maintain their personal efforts by trying to display their skills and masterpieces with patience, especially strictly limiting and abiding by their self-discipline in order to achieve success in fulfilling their works and duties as allocated by the management. Moreover, the knowledge you have earned today should be appropriately and effectively used to serve the interest of the society. You must also try to update your researches, strengthen and expand your knowledge in order to constantly support and enhance your capacity according to the development of scientific knowledge and technology in the age of globalization in this 21st century.

At the end, along with the Commemoration of the 54th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Royal School of Administration, Conferment of Certificates to the 2009 Executive and Mid-level Civil Servant Trainees of “Preah Vihear” Promotion, Conferment of Certificates to the Senate’s Officials, Opening of the 6th Promotion of Executive Civil Servant Program and 4th Promotion of Low-Level Civil Servant Program And the Opening of the Academic Year 2010 today, I would like to wish the venerable monks, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen as well as the governing board, lecturers, staffs and all interns the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.