Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished national and international guests!
Today, I am pleased to be here in the Closing of the 2010 Stocktaking and 2011 Direction Setting Conference of the Ministry of Rural Development which has been held to review this year’s achievement and identify key strategies and mechanisms for implementation success in 2011. Taking this opportunity, I personally and on behalf of the Royal Government highly appreciate the management and all officials of the Ministry of Rural Development who have been working hard to fulfill their role and accomplish many achievements for the nation and the people. The workshop is held while the people across the country braces for the commemoration of 7 January 1979, the day the lives of people were rescued from the 3-year-8-month-20-day Pol Pot Regime. Along with this, the workshop is also held while the Royal Government is working with great determination to promote development in all sectors, especially in the area of rural development and poverty reduction.
In this spirit, I personally and on behalf of the Royal Government congratulate the people on the achievement made over the last 30 years. I also highly appreciate the management and officials of the Ministry of Rural Development, related institutions, development partners and the people who have been cooperating closely with each other to make a tremendous impact in 2010. I think this workshop does not only provide us with good lessons, experiences and recommendations for the implementation success of policies, strategies, action plans, and other measures in 2011 but it also benefits rural areas that will see rapid growth and poverty reduction, and reduced gap between the urban areas and rural areas.
As raised by H.E. Chea Sophara, the Minister of Rural Development, numerous rural development achievements have been made over this year, including socio-economic infrastructure, human resource development, preparation of development policy, creation of laws, preparation of documents as well as coordinating mechanisms for implementing all rural development-related action plans. The achievement has been reflected through better living standard of the rural people. In particular, rural infrastructure development such as rural water supply and sanitation, education and consultation networks, medical treatment and health care, and the establishment of village hospitals, communal health centers and referral hospitals as well as closer proximity of primary schools, high schools, higher education institutions, vocational training centers, human resource development, community and rural economic development, and development programs specifically designed for the northern and western parts of the country all made a tremendous contribution to improving people’s welfare and living standard, according to the vision and policy programs of the Rectangular Strategy. These achievements, apart from its role in reducing the gap between the rural and urban areas, help us prevent urbanization. In this spirit, I hereby instruct all ministries-institutions, competent authorities, all related organizations, especially sub-national organizations to increase effort to make rural areas a place with better opportunity to absorb benefits from the favorable context of national, regional and global development and accelerate rural development for rural people’s improved living standard, poverty reduction and narrower gap between rural and urban areas.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to recall some of the progresses of the rural development in Cambodia. Since 1979, remote areas in Cambodia have gradually improved, from nothing at all to agricultural production centers, to tourism sites, to light industry areas, to commerce areas with hydropower plants many roads crossing, schools starting from primary schools, hospitals, health centers, irrigation system, clean water supply, lakes, reservoirs, and toilets at home and public. This factor shows that we have steadily enhanced the living standard of people at the remote areas. In addition, we have transformed remote areas into places with peace, security, safety, new faces, and poles of development with new potentials for speeding up the development of our economy.
In this regard, the Royal Government has considered the rural development as an important priority among other priorities including agriculture, education and health care as such that we necessarily have to provide special attention. Parallel to this, rural development is a multiple-sectors work requiring active and robust involvement and cooperation from all relevant ministries and institutions. In this spirit, the Royal Government has a sharp and urgent focus in the following tasks (1) Rehabilitation and reparation of rural infrastructure including: rural roads, bridges, schools, health centers, rural markets (2) Clean water supply network and rural sanitation serving the needs of people from all walks of life, especially people in rural areas that lack of hygiene and clean water sources (3) Construction of irrigation system and water springing system for agricultural farms, especially rice farms to promote the production of yields (4) Promoting services for consultation, cares, and treatment for people at the rural communities, educating and promoting the change of habits and embedded thinking for living, eating and cooking and (5) Development of human resources capability and laws, standard letters, other policies and measures aimed to promote the rural development with transparency, accountability and effectiveness along other policy programs and Rectangular Strategy of the Royal Government.
Truly, Cambodia has potential for natural resources and agriculture sector, which have foundations in almost all places in the Kingdom of Cambodia and most Cambodian people are living in rural areas. In this regard, we all can see clearly that our primary capital for rural development is natural resources and agricultural expertise that make us sufficiently capable of, with our best ability, to effectively and efficiently managing and using our resources. Parallel to this, we have to find and strengthen other factors in order to complement the potential of natural resources and our existing workforce, that is financial resources, management skills, and entrepreneurship. In the past, I believe Ministry of Rural Development and ministries- institutions and authorities at all levels have already done many things and cooperated together to use the four factors, “ Natural Resources, Labor Force, Capital and Entrepreneurship” in order to develop our rural areas and achieve fruitful results at a remarkable level. However, I think among the four factors we should care and focus more on the development human capital and development of vocational skills in rural development sector such as the establishment of training center or rural development institute at the national and sub-national level as “Human resources is a way, a hope and conscience of progress”. Hence, the development of human resources is to contribute to the rural development, and as a result the rural development will contribute to the development of human resources as well, in short, “We develop people for rural development, and rural development is for people” because people provide leadership for development and thus receiving yields in return.
Taking this opportunity, in order to ensure rural development with involvement of all stakeholders and ensure effectiveness in poverty reduction and gap narrowing between city areas and rural areas I would like to provide following recommendations:
1.The Ministry of Rural Development and relevant ministries and institutions with authorities at all levels need to construct rural roads and find financial aids in order to improve rural roads by using two layers rubber (DBST) instead; because in the past we had budget packages for rural roads maintenance in annual and regular forms but quality of our rural roads was still vulnerable, as a result we require us to have a lot of budget in the reparation.
2.The Ministry of Rural Development need to promote the supply of clean water and sanitation in accordance with the plan determined by the cooperation between relevant ministries- institutions, in line with the national policies on the rural water supply saying “ Every person needs to have access to clean water service, and lives in environment with hygiene in 2025” and Millennium Development Goals of Cambodia that has determined that in 2015 “ 50% of citizens living in rural areas will have clean water to use and 30% of citizens living in rural areas will have good sanitation”.
3.The Ministry of Rural Development need to give more focus on administrative reforms and capacity promotion including strengthening leadership, managing the development capacity of lower level institutions, training government officials and people in rural areas by establishing training centers or rural development institutions at the national and sub-national level.
4. The Ministry of Rural Development should keep improving the capacity of village development committee through training focal point at capital-province, city, khan-district. At the same time, the Ministry of Rural Development should take account on restoring cannel, repairing village road, digging pond, providing crop seed and animal’s breeding stock and fruit trees and grain crops and continue to cooperate with development partners and NGOs to provide rural credit to other provinces besides target provinces in where implementations are underway.
5. The Ministry of Rural Development and inter-ministerial committee must make further effort to successfully develop western and northern border regions of Cambodia by collaborating with ministries-agencies concerned, private sector, civil societies and the kind-hearted such as building physical infrastructure and clean water network and rural sanitary, electricity, development of agriculture, tourism, health, education and employment generation for the people.
6. The Ministry of Rural Development should formulate and successfully carry out rural development strategic plan, policy paper on rural roads, guideline on sanitary improvement for rural community, national strategy on rural clean water provision and sanitary, rule on the establishment and function of village development committee, as well as principle on water usage from Mekong and Tonle Sap for rural development goal.
7. The Ministry of Rural Development, the Ministry of Economy and Finance and relevant ministries should collaborate to promote public investment in rural development and agriculture, research and extension service by paying attention to more cropping through upgrading skills and capacity of agricultural enterprises and agriculture-based enterprises; and raise efficiency of irrigation system that is managed by farmers and expanding microfinance service.
8. The Ministry of Rural Development must prepare and build the model villages for ethnic minorities and other leading and well-designed model villages in the context of rural development according to the objectives and strategy of the Ministry of Rural Development and poverty reduction such as creating the “Model Village Competition Movement”.
Once again, I would like to appreciate and highly evaluate the efforts made by the Ministry of Rural Development and related Ministries who have successfully organized this conference. I would also like to admire and highly appreciate the Ministries/Institutions, inter-ministerial committee and municipal/provincial, district/khan and commune/sangkat authorities as well as all levels of competent authorities and all people, who have closely cooperated in the work of rural development and poverty reduction. I would like to recommend the Ministry of Rural Development and all related Ministries/Institutions to transform good recommendations, comments and experiences gained from this conference to be the practical plan of action in order to ensure success for rural development and poverty reduction of the people. At the same time, I would like to appeal to all national and international development partners, civil societies and all private sectors to continue supporting and further contributing to the Royal Government and people of Cambodia to achieve success with ownership in the process of national socio-economic development.
At the end, together with the Closing of the 2010 Stocktaking and 2011 Direction Setting Conference of the Ministry of Rural Development, I would like to wish Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen during this coming Universal New Year 2011 the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.
-Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests,
-Dear Compatriots, Teachers and Students!
Today, my wife and I are very pleased to be here in the Official Opening of the Construction Site of Preah Kossamak Hospital (STOP PET LOK SANG) Sky Bridge, which is located in the capital city of Phnom Penh. In this joyous moment, my wife and I highly value the effort of the Phnom Penh Municipality and related institutions in realizing this project, a contribution to the Royal Government’s physical infrastructure development effort, which has been regarded as “the locomotive of growth”. Along with that, I appreciate the management of Phnom Penh Municipality that work hard for better physical infrastructure, cleaner and more orderly Municipality and safer environment, and transform the Municipality into another major tourist destination in Cambodia. I believe this Sky Bridge will further enhance the image of Phnom Penh which is the heart, the political, administrative, diplomatic, economic, commercial, industrial and tourist center of Cambodia. This Sky Bridge is indeed the second ever built in Phnom Penh, and we will continue to build more in the capital and municipalities when our country is further growing. I strongly believe that the Phnom Penh Municipality will work harder to develop physical infrastructure and enhance the image of Phnom Penh by “using the municipal budget to finance its urban development” or mobilize external sources of resource.
In particular, we take great pride in our capital as it has successfully hosted some important summits at international level.
Undeniably, infrastructure development is not only the mandate of the Royal Government to provide public goods and service to maximize social benefit, but also one priority of socio-economic development policy and life and death of Cambodia. Separately, so far because of inability to satisfy all demands in short-term, the Royal Government has formulated policy to promote and mobilize capable development partners and private sector to complementarily develop physical infrastructure in order to allow them to actively and dynamically take part in shortening time of socio-economic development to prosper Cambodia in an accelerated fashion.
In this sense, it shows that the Royal Government has been making utmost effort, in particular for the last several years, through promoting rehabilitation and development of all sectors in order to raise livelihood and welfare of the people rapidly as inscribed in the Rectangular Strategy , in which the Royal Government takes physical infrastructure as priority that can be compared to locomotive of economic growth and as effective mean for poverty reduction of the people and for solving any problems. Indeed, development of physical infrastructures, in particular road-bridge, that are veins of national economic sector and have been interconnected throughout the Kingdom of Cambodia in form of comprehensive economic organic structure, aiming for internal integration and integrating Cambodian economy into world and regional economy, are also factors triggering economic growth and ensuring equitable sharing from economic prosperity for each citizen nation-wide.
Taking this opportunity, on behalf of the Royal Government, my wife and I would like to warmly welcome development partners, private sector, and all donors for making contribution to the development of our Cambodian society for progress and prosperity. In brief, all contributions have answered to demand for infrastructure of our people, which constantly increases from day to day and from year to year.
According to the report delivered by H.E Kep Chuptema, Governor of Phnom Penh Municipality, the Sky Bridge is 345-meter long and 15.20-meter wide, and has 4 lanes. In addition, another Sky Bridge that is Y-junction annexed is 160-meter long and 6.5-meter wide with one lane for car and another for motorbike. Both Sky Bridges will cost USD 8.705.808. The construction of the Sky Bridge will take 13 months and is planned to be completed at the end of January 2012.
Truly, this new Sky Bridge will provide tremendous benefits contributing to the socio-economic development and will solve the confronting problem of rising population, and rising number of vehicles that have been increasing steadily from year to year causing busy and congested traffics on many roads. Indeed, this Russian Boulevard has always been very busy and congested with traffics as people are commuting through to Phnom Penh from other provinces such as Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Kampot and other areas in the west of Phnom Penh. Hence, this Sky Bridge construction will certainly contribute to reducing traffic jams in the area, and will improve the features of Phnom Penh capital city to compete with other cities in the developing countries.
It is true that the need of society is steadily increasing from day to day in all sectors, especially the increase in commuting traffics. In this circumstance, we cannot satisfy this great need in a short time. In this regard, we need to push and attract private sector to invest in physical infrastructure such as bridge, road, sewage system that can help solve the traffic congestion problems, the internal integration, effectiveness of economy and the equal shares of fruitful results of economic growth. In this sense, in order to fulfill this cause I would like ask the management of municipality to use all means and strategies to attract more investors to invest in physical infrastructure in the form of “Build-Operate- Transfer”, adding to what has been provided as we are more ambitious in the construction of this type of the Sky Bridge in order to speedily solve the traffic jam problems. In this spirit, I would like to ask the management of the Municipality to continue studying the construction projects of other Sky Bridges based on two principles:
1.To accelerate the speed of development of the Phnom Penh Capital, moving beyond the need of the people and the society.
2.To make each construction project in line with the changing need of society for physical infrastructure in the next 20 years at least
In addition, the Municipality of Phnom Penh needs to form new ideas for solving other problems as local development starting from local authority perspectives and cares. In this spirit, I would like to provide a number of view points to Municipality of Phnom Penh, provincial and municipal authorities in the development of physical infrastructure and work that ensure the safety of pedestrians. Observing and anticipating that the Municipal City of Phnom Penh will have more pedestrians and the number of vehicles is increasing, I realize that we are now at the right time to think more about constructing and expanding the existing infrastructure in order to ensure safety and solve the traffic congestion in the future, in which we have to improve the road pavement for the pedestrians, study the possibility of building Sky Bridges or Underground for the pedestrians to cross, especially in the areas of crowded people such as the areas of Teuk Thla Market, Doem Kor Market, Steung Meanchey Market, New Market (Psar Thmey), Olympic Market, Oreussey Market, etc. At the same time, I have also noted that there are lots of taxies and buses coming into the city every day, which also caused congestion and disorder on the roads. In this spirit, I would like the Phnom Penh Municipality to look for the possibility to build a common station according to each direction, which can actually receive the taxies and buses in the capital city.
As for the Sky Bridge we are celebrating the opening of the site today will become another historical construction for the capital city of Phnom Penh as well for all people in Phnom Penh City. I believe that this Sky Bridge will contribute to solving traffic congestion. In this regard, on behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I am still standing firm with the efforts and full support to promote the restoration and building of various physical infrastructure, which is the prioritized and primary policy to make sure that Cambodian physical infrastructure is modern, similar to the neighboring countries in the region in a short time.
In fact, lots of achievements we all have made so far are the noble and priceless pride for the Kingdom of Cambodia because we have started from scratch with bare hand for the development of this infrastructure sector since the liberation day on 7 January 1979. Along with that, we have also recognized that although we have achieved tremendously in this sector, we still continue solving many urgent issues, in which there are human resource development, institutional capacity development, strengthening and expanding the infrastructure for socio-economic development in order to ensure the attraction of investment, enhance agriculture, industry, agro-industry, tourism, construction, welfare of the people as well as ensuring high economic growth and fast poverty reduction.
Before ending, I would like to appeal to all people who are living in this area and would like to request all levels of authorities to provide good cooperation, which is the perfect characteristic of our Khmer people in contributing to accelerate the construction of this Sky Bridge and to make sure that this new achievement will come into reality to serve the interest of our people in the long run.
At the end, together with the crowded gathering with great pleasure in the Opening Ceremony of the Construction Site ofPreah Kossamak Hospital (STOP PET LOK SANG) Sky Bridge today, my wife and I would like to wish Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests, Teachers and Students and all Compatriots the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.
-Your Excellency PAN GUANGXUE, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Cambodia,
-Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished national and international guests, armed forces,
-Dear the compatriots!
Today, I am pleased to be here to participate in the Ceremony for the Construction of the 338-MWs Rossei Chrum Krom Hydropower Plant in Bak Klorng Commune, Mondul Seima District, Koh Kong Province.
On behalf of the Royal Government, I extend my congratulation to China Huadian Corporation that has been awarded the construction of this hydropower plant. I thank all the related institutions and local authorities for their cooperation that results in a timely implementation of the project.
Today, we are materializing the first-ever large scale Rossei Chrum Krom Hydropower Plant projectwhich is a BOT (Build-Operate-Transfer) investment project of China Huadian Corporation, estimated to cost around USD 495.76 million. Apart from flood prevention, tourism attraction, employment creation and income improvement, the hydropower plant will indeed boost the sustainable source of electricity supply, strengthen energy independency and security, and make energy price more affordable which is crucial to socio-economic development and poverty reduction.
On behalf of the Royal Government and myself, I appreciate China Huadian Cooperation for speeding up the construction process until having blocked the Reussey Chrum River for the construction of the dam and the hydropower plant. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Government of the People’s Republic of China that has been a strategic partner of the Royal Government and encouraged Chinese investors to invest in Cambodia. In particular, the construction of this hydropower plant does not only represent a large-scale energy investment, but it also reflects investors’ confidence on political stability and the Royal Government’s Rectangular Strategy for growth, employment generation, equity, and efficiency which has been implemented since the Third Legislature of the National Assembly to the Fourth mandate.
Currently, the government has transformed Cambodia from what is used to be known as the killing field, war zone infested with mines into a new country which is full of peace, land unity, political stability, safety, and development in all sectors. Obviously, for the last several years, the electricity sector has made gradual progress from one phase to another to answer the ever-increasing demand for electricity consumption. With respect to the development of this energy sector, the government has paid high priority to encouraging the private sector to make investment in electricity sector’s infrastructure development. The ceremony for the construction of the 338-MWsReussey Chrum Krom Hydropower Plant at this moment has definitely illustrated the policy of the government to develop the energy sector and engage private sector participation in the development process by sharing the government’s common view which considers the private sector as a partner and locomotive of national economic growth while the government is the strategist and manager of development who plays important roles to ensure a transparent, stable and favorable business climate and predictability for private sector. Moreover, this ceremony clearly reflects the implementation and promotion of Public-Private Partnership mechanism through private participation in infrastructure development under the existing law on concession.
At the same time, I would like to highlight that the development of energy sector and electricity network remains an important agenda for economic policy of the government during the Fourth Legislatures of the National Assembly and onwards. Over the past, the government has successfully rehabilitated the energy sector to ensure electricity supply in Phnom Penh, and other urban and rural areas in the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia even though it was being viewed as a temporary solution with high electricity price, still. Nowadays, the development of electricity sector in Cambodia has reached a new stage; the government has started the development of major line networks linking various areas in Cambodia along with the development of big power sources that are reliable and affordable. The government has also established sub-stations for providing electricity at provinces and cities in order to be able to provide generated electricity to the provinces, cities and other remote areas nationwide in the Kingdom of Cambodia. This development is the development of the key foundation of power supply system in Cambodia. The main objective of this key foundation is to ensure sufficient power sources to use in cities as well as other remote areas in Cambodia, and to enable the country to provide a more stable, affordable, and good quality electricity.
Furthermore, in the development of key foundation of power supply system in Cambodia the government has focused on energy security for Cambodia in the future through promoting the development of electricity sources in the country, and the effective use of those sources with the development of many kinds of power source to make Cambodia not to depend only on one particular source that could make the country face with electricity related risks in the future. Indeed, the Royal Government has placed high priority in attracting the private sector to take part in the development of power infrastructure in terms of power sources and power line networks by appropriately balancing the public interests with private interests. Parallel to this, the Royal Government has also focused on and encouraged the exchange of electricity businesses in the region through bilateral and multilateral cooperation; in this regard the Royal Government is not only thinking about importing electricity from neighboring countries to temporarily solve the power shortage problem but is also thinking about the development of a number of projects that can export electricity to neighboring countries in the future as well.
In addition, while the price of petroleum in the world is fluctuating from day to day, countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region and ASEAN collectively encourage the development of other power sources in order to substitute electricity sources with petroleum-generated electricity source. Cambodia is a country with high potential hydropower source, with the capacity of about10,000 MWs, so the hydropower is a priority source among other power sources that the Royal Government has focused on developing to replace the development of factories producing electricity with the use of petroleum as an input. In development of each hydropower project, the Royal Government has always carefully weighed the environmental impacts that can occur.
With respect to this point, I would like to clarify that we cannot just develop without considering the environmental impacts that can occur; however, parallel to this we also cannot just think about environment without developments that our country needs. In this sense, indeed the Royal Government has clear and proper mechanisms for the environment and development by considering and keeping an appropriate balance between development and environmental protection. Such mechanisms existed since the beginning of master plan development until the stage of the feasibility study and study of each project in which it’s findings will be used for negotiating, deciding and carrying out investment projects. Moreover, the strategy of the Royal Government, while implementing each project, is to try the utmost of each project in order to reduce the adverse impact on the environment and society.
Taking this opportunity, I would like the management and staff of the China Huadian Corporation to pay attention with high responsibility for constructing the Hydropower Plant according to the technical standard with high quality and safety measures in order to ensure the benefit of the project for the interest of Cambodia’s Socio-Economic Development without casting any adverse impact on the environment. In this spirit, I would like the company to continue to constantly cooperate with related Ministries/Institutions and local authorities in order to make sure that this project will proceed smoothly. At the same time, I would like all relevant Ministries/Institutions to pay attention to implement their respective duties and obligations based on the spirit of the project implementation agreement.
In the meantime, I would like all Ministries/Institution, related local authorities and all people to continue good cooperation with the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy in order to promote the implementation of other projects such as other Hydropower Plant projects, Power Transmission Projects and the Coal-power Plant Projects, in order to ensure that we have sufficient electrical power for consumption with affordable price, stable supply, independence, and toward commercializing electrical power with the neighboring countries in the region. I would also like all Ministries, related to the use of water serving to support the agricultural crops, to study the possibility of receiving water from all Hydropower Plant Projects to be used with efficiency as necessary.
I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Inter-ministerial Committee, which includes the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Electricity Du Cambodge (EDC) who have tried their utmost efforts in reviewing related technical and financial documents, being part of the negotiation process and finally for celebrating the ceremony for the construction of this project today.
At the end, together with the Construction Ceremony of the 338-MWs Steung Reussey Chrum Krom Hydropower Plant in Bak Klorng Commune, Mondul Seima District, Koh Kong Province now, I would like to wish Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished National and International Guests and all Compatriots during this Universal New Year the four gems of Buddhist blessing: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.
May I wish the construction of this 338-MWs Steung Reussey Chrum Krom Hydropower Plant a great success!
Let me first of all express my sincere appreciation and respect to our elderly people and compatriots who are present here. Today I am so glad that I have a good chance to return to the Pagoda of Jan Borei Vong once again for two major events here – firstly, the 59th birthday anniversary of Samdech Preah Vannaroth (title) Nay Jroek, the third rank head monk (of Cambodia) and secondly, the inauguration of achievements in the pagoda of Jan Borei Vong, whose location has now been separated from the district of Punnhea Loeu of Kandal to be a part of Phnom Penh’s Khan Sen Sok.
I came to this pagoda once in 2001 so as to celebrate the Supreme Patriarch’s birthday and today we do the same for Samdech Preah Vannaroth Nay Jroek. Let me also take this opportune moment to express my sincere appreciation and joy to have noticed so many changes because of so many achievements in between the two visits.
The Governor of Phnom Penh has made a report which really reflects the truth of how we go about commencing construction of all pagodas after they were ruined to nil throughout the country by the regime of Pol Pot. Under the said regime there were no pagoda, no monks and no (obvious) religious followers too. However, after the liberation of January 7, 1979, and up to the present, there are now over 4,000 Buddhist pagodas with over 60,000 monks.
To say in particular, the Buddhist pagoda of Jan Borei Vong, which is 147 years old if we dated it from the year 1863, has made recently positive changes for many new achievements. It is worth recalling the many stages of history of the country that the pagoda has evolved. The most destructive and ill-fated times were between 1970 and 1975, and again between 1975 through to 1979.
Beside witnessing progresses and achievements scored in the pagoda, I would also like to share with all of our people today my sincere appreciation of activities conducted personally by Samdech Preah Vannaroth Nay Jroek in his capacity as the head monk of the pagoda of Jan Borei Vong and also as Deputy Head Monk of the district of Punnhea Loeu too. As this part of Kandal province is now a part of Phnom Penh, I would suggest for a consideration of promoting him (Nay Jroek) to be Deputy Chief Monk for Phnom Penh, second after Samdech Non Nget (currently Chief Monk of Phnom Penh).
I think that will be a win-win situation and I am sure that Samdech the Supreme Patriarch would not object to this suggestion. Well, we have made Buddhism the state religion in our Constitution, so it is the state duty to follow up closely whatever issues that are concerning its development. As there has been already what we call the Monkhood Assembly, with defined roles and functions that Samdech the Supreme Patriarch and I, in my capacity as the Prime Minister, have to give side-by-side signatures (on related administrative matters), I think it will be in our best interest that we all follow the agreed-upon rule.
Having said about this, I would also suggest a speedy administrative procedure for promoting monks to various positions. Normally, Samdech the Supreme Patriarch and I will have to countersign on the proposed letter of appointment. After the letter has been signed and stamped from my side, what I am asking for is that, may Samdech the Supreme Patriarch also give his signature in due course. Maybe we can set a timeframe in which if a letter has been proposed and signed by one side, but has been left without reply by the countersign party, the letter should be accepted to be legitimate. By this way the state affairs would not get stuck for lengthy period of time.
In some countries, they have applied this method. It has been determined that as long as the Prime Minister makes a proposition to either HM the King or the President, take for instance in the case of Great Britain, and if the proposition is not being approved in signature by the said party within legally defined timeframe, it is then regarded legitimately serviceable. I think it is best that all proposition and other administrative matters will be carried out in accordance with the stated rules. It is because Buddhism is the state religion and on behalf of the state, the Prime Minister countersigns to share responsibility with the Supreme Patriarch.
Let me say a few words about my past (in the pagoda). In fact Samdech Preah Vannaroth Nay Jroek is like a senior brother to me. We lived together in the pagoda Toek La Ak (in Phnom Penh). The difference between us two is that he was in his monkhood and I was just a student who was not bound by any religious rules. Three of us who had lived and studied in the Pagoda of Toek La Ak are here present – firstly, (it is) me (Hun Sen) who has chosen political career and who now have a title of Samdech; secondly, (it is) Samdech Preah Vannaroth Nay Jroek, who also has the Samdech as his title in the Buddhist hierarchy, and thirdly, (it is) Mong Rithy (Chairman of the Mong Rithy Group Co.), who has gone on with business in life. Another person also came from Toek La Ak pagoda with us is Uy Sun, who is now member of the District Council of Kandal Stoeung of Kandal province, but the district has now become a part of Phnom Penh.
I was so moved by actions of our Buddhist monks throughout the country in the time of flood in the year 2000. Samdech Preah Vannaroth Nay Jroek was one of them in proving through action to show secular and Buddhist worlds are going hand and hand. People went to offer food and drink to the pagoda and monks while those food and drink were then returned to the most needy and victims of flood. Samdech Vannaroth Nay Jroek, in his boat full of offerings, went to see and give them to the flood victims.
You may note what I am saying that whenever the secular world is making progress and sustaining development, the people’s living condition is generally better. There will be not only good food at the pagoda but also more contributions for the construction of various Buddhist shrines. On the other hand, if the secular world experiences any setbacks whether war or natural calamity, which destabilizes people’s daily life and income, there will be less food and contribution to the Buddhist monks too. This is what everyone should see as correlation between the two worlds - secularism and Buddhism.
Take for instance, before 1970, under the leadership of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, the Sangkum Reastniyum (Popular Socialist Community), within the then set technological development, Cambodia experienced marvelous development. After winning independence in 1953, thanks to the crusade of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, Cambodia entered its historical phase of national construction and development between 1953 and 1970. Every Cambodian enjoyed the benefit from the development, myself was one of them. Though the number of schools in those days has not yet matched those of these days, I had the opportunity to get education, while it should be noted that many monks were trained at that time.
All those achievements had been possible thanks to the correct policy of the Sangkum Reastniyum that was formulated by and implemented under the leadership of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, who was then HM the King and later Head of State. However, because of incorrect leadership carried out by Lon Nol, Sarik Matak, Jeng Heng, In Tam, etc. in their coup against Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, a sad development in the secular world, (have you all noticed) what happened to the country? Not only were people suffering ill fate and destruction of livelihood (as consequences because of those individuals’ incorrect policy and leadership) Buddhism was also experiencing a severe setback. To say in short, the eventual political development brought about destructions on all three core institutions – nation, religion and king.
What happened then when Pol Pot came to power? Everything was finished. All of Buddhist monks were forced to disrobe, whereas pagodas and related facilities were destroyed and left in complete ruin. People’s right for belief was not only completely and absolutely denied, but anyone found to continue to follow faith in anyway would be seriously punished and sentenced to death. The whole country, both secular and Buddhist worlds, was brought to a mess – dreadful destruction and devastation.
After (the liberation in 1979) Buddhism, together with the people’s revival, has made a comeback. Despite the fact that monks were disrobed, no religious belief was allowed and no pagoda or shrine was open for expressing their respect and exercising religious practice to or with, our people in those days have nurtured inside them those values. Thanks to the correct policy of the National United Front for Salvation of Kampuchea (NUFSK) and the then Government that was called the People’s Revolutionary Council of Kampuchea (PRCK), and because there have been strong belief among the people, Buddhism has come back in no time in a strong manner.
It should be noted that there were two main sectors of society that had made great progresses in a speedy manner – religion and education. They sprung up without being organized or guided by anyone at all. As far as education is concerned, despite of the fact that schools and educational facilities were in a state of ruin, classes started under the trees, under tilted houses or even the monk’s residences. Those who have survived the disaster and had education took up the duty of teaching no matter if they would be paid or not for what they were doing.
It is because of such strong belief among the Cambodian people over the past 32 years Cambodia has made so much progress. In the year 2000, when we organized a ceremony to welcome the new millennium, some people came out and said that it is because our people believe and practice Buddhism the country is not making any progress. However, the reality has proven it otherwise. After 1979, and the trend has continued to the present, with constant supports of the former Government of the State of Cambodia, the current Royal Government of Cambodia that follows, HM the King, and people’s participation in their Buddhist practice, (religious and secular) developments have been proven a reality/fact.
In 1980, we had to provide an answer to a question, which could be one that was asked from those in opposition (to the people’s rebirth from the genocide), on how long the Government would allow people to go on with religious practices. Particularly, a question like, how much longer will Buddhsim exist in Cambodia? Samdech Chea Sim, Samdech Heng Samrin and I have come to a unanimous and succinct response that ‘Buddhism exists as long as people believe in.’ It is a fact that if people no longer believe in Buddhism, there would be no this religion. Despite the Gautama Buddha suggests that Buddhism will sustain for only 5,000 years, but if people continue to believe, Buddhism will go on beyond that, and if people stop believing, the timeframe would not be reached.
Today we do not have the presence of Samdech Preah Adhiserei Sokuntheathibbadei Bou Kri. My wife and I have discussed and come to an agreement that after the birthday anniverary of Samdech Preah Vannaroth Nay Jroek we should celebrate similar ceremony for Samdech Preah Adhiserei Sokuntheathibdei as he is getting old and there has not been such a ceremony held for the Supreme Patriarch of the Dharmakaya yet. May HE Min Khin, Minister of Cult and Religious Affairs, seek for Samdech Preah Adhiserei Sokuntheathibdei’s permission for us to celebrate such a ceremony for him.
Having said so, I may inform you all that my children and children-in-law have unanimously concurred that in the Year of Dragon of 2012, which falls on the full moon day in August they will organize a birthday anniversary for me, in form of ‘Gratitude for Parents through Four Necessities.’ The anniversary will be celebrated on my original birthday, not the official one.
Please allow me to take this opportune moment to inform you all that tomorrow, December 13, I will leave the country with the Cambodian delegation for an official visit to (the People’s Republic of) China. My wife will not join me for this trip as she has to stay home for one of our daughters is expecting a baby, who would be our 11th grandchild, in the meantime. The visit will encompass, in addition to more than ten agreements that were signed during the visit of chairman of the Standing Committee of Chinese National People's Congress (HE Wu Bang Guo), the signing of 14 or even 15 agreements, and one of the agreements would be about exporting cassava and rice, and we are asking for inclusion of corn as well, from Cambodia to the big market of China.
In addition to some 300 km of roads, the signing agreements (in this visit) will also include the agreement for the constructions of one more bridge at Jroy Jangvar (a connection from Phnom Penh to national road 6A crossing the Tonle Sap River), one bridge at Takhmao town of Kandal crossing the Bassac River, a road that links national road 4 to Jumkiri of Kompot province, a water canal, and also a coal-powered electricity generation station in Sihanoukville province. My visit this time to the People’s Republic of China will be further strengthening friendly.
I am so glad today to return to the province of Battambang once again after three previous visits – to inaugurate the SOS School Buildings, to preside over the groundbreaking ceremony to build the irrigation system at Konghot and to visit the brigade 51 which is stationing close to the border. This fourth visit is indeed prideful as I will have to officially inaugurate buildings for the University of Battambang and some more achievements.
It is our pleasure and pride that the University of Battambang has sprung up elegantly as I saw it from a bird’s eye view. It is a great wisdom of HE Sar Kheng and Lok Chumteav (Madame) to put effort in getting this university off ground by combining separated tertiary and professional education facilities into one. Thanks to their great initiatives, new buildings have sprung up with old ones that were constructed, and now refurbished, back in 1965.
It has been noted in a report to me here that the achievements that we inaugurated today have cost some 6,815,702 USD and 495,600,000 Riel. It should be noted that the total amount of contribution from both inside and outside the country is 6,877,802 USD. This is a fairly big amount of money ever contributed. I greatly thank HE Sar Kheng and Lok Chumteav as well as contributors for their shares in making the university composed of well designed and built facilities in the province of Battambang.
There is one more building, provided by HE Dul Phok, to be completed. It will be a two story building that is going to serve as library. I also learn that there is this effort for buildings to be serviced as boarding houses for students and teachers. As male students, in the meantime, could benefit from staying in the Buddhist pagoda, by residing with monks, I assure that priority must placed on female students’ facilities while building the boarding house.
As far as teaching and studying tools are concerned, I have the knowledge that you already have 430 computers in five computing classrooms. The Deputy Prime Minister HE Sar Kheng and Lok Chumteav have accepted to respond positively to the Rector’s demand for an addition of 200 PCs, 70 laptops and 2,000 chairs. In fact we have now reached an information epoch that everyone has to have a computer. I also have one that would allow me to go online and browse for information, especially when I go abroad. It is the best means for me to get information from inside Cambodia through websites.
As far as this proposal for the location for the Royal University of Agriculture of Battambang is concerned, and also a building to serve as boarding house, and I am sure that HE Chan Sarun, Minister for Agriculture and whose training background is in food and agriculture, would know what is best to do with this. I accept to take care of this proposal with a down payment of 100,000 USD. Again priority must be placed on providing facility and condition for female students. We have built, for your information, in Phnom Penh a number of student hostels because Cambodia is also providing scholarships to foreign students.
Yesterday I also approved the formation of a commission under the leadership of HE Sar Kheng to see through the design and building of the Chea Sim-Komjaimie University, formerly Moha Russeivedic University in Prey Veng province. The University would be a conjoined position for students to come from the provinces of Prey Veng, Svay rieng and Kompong Cham. I would also like to declare my contribution of 100,000 USD for the construction work and another 100,000 USD for the students and/or teachers hostels.
As is reported by HE Prach Chan, the Governor of Battambang, as well as clearly stated in the report of HE Touch Visalsok, the Rector, together with new buildings, another remarkable thing is that the Battambang University is to offer a new subject course on nuclear engineering. The subject is indeed not included in curriculum of any universities in the whole country so far.
Let me clarify this point a bit as far as nuclear engineering in the curriculum of the University is concerned. This is in fact a response to the (Royal Government’s) Rectangular Strategy – Phase II. I have in fact removed from the policy a phrase about electricity production to be generated by nuclear power. Finally I have to put it back in because it is now a general trend in the world that everyone is looking for electricity to be generated by nuclear power.
We have had the proposal in the last months for investments in nuclear-powered electric power generation but we have not yet approved it. I hope that HE Keat Chhon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economy and Finance, who has his degree in nuclear engineering in France, could look into this matter and perhaps makes contribution in developing curriculum for this subject matter.
In the last years, I have been so proud that we have put into use five new universities in between 2006 and 2010 in four provinces. In 2006, we put in to use the University of Svay Rieng (in the province of Svay Rieng), which was built under the initiative and leadership of the late HE Hok Lundy. In 2008, at Banteay Meanjei province, we put into operation the University of Banteay Meanjei, which was built under the leadership of HE General Ke Kimyan. Two years later, 2010, today we put into use the University of Battambang. We also have another University at the province of Siemreap.
A critical issue here for us is to build more schools in rural areas. (You may have noted that a few days ago) I have mentioned about and drawn attention of my vision of achieving a goal of one junior college for each commune. It is noted with pride that this vision has almost become a reality now whereas in some communes there have been more than one junior high school. In the district of Tramkok of Takeo province for instance there are up to seven junior high schools. This is not a surprise because as we all are witnessing here now our country has got a university at the provincial level, take for instance in the p;rovinces of Battambang, Banteay Meanjei, Sieamreap, Svay Rieng, etc., in addition to those that are seconded to universities in Phnom Penh.
Assistance provided by the Buddhist community, mainly from pagoda for those who have to go on in their education, is not a particular case for me but a general one. Let’s take the case of Deputy Prime Minister HE Keat Chhon. The fact that he was able to continue his study in Phnom Penh and on to France is because there had been helps from the Buddhist monks and various other sources.
It should be understood and well appreciated that it is because of peace that prevails throughout the country that we are having an increasing chance for doing many things. In time of war, parents and teachers, as well as students themselves, would be concerned for safety while in search of education and in fulfilling mission of education. In absence of war, it is worth saying that it is now time for our compatriots to enjoy peace and equal chance for education.
It is also obviously true that addressing issue of equal chance for education would in fact help narrow the intellectual gap between rural and urban, poor and rich in terms of human resource development. It is true that we have seen more of intellectual concentration before only in Phnom Penh and around. As we have narrowed down the gap in education, it is anticipated that such action would result in eventual lessening of gap in property and other sectors. These are the significance of our effort to decentralize schools of all levels – primary to university – throughout the country.
I am sure that the university is for use not only by students who are daughters and sons of our people in Battambang, Pailin or Pursath provinces, but also those from other provinces and cities, Phnom Penh also included, who happen to have relatives in the province (of Battambang). I wish to affirm that everyone is equal from birth (as far as physical and mental health and ability are concerned). We should be of agreement that it is not always the case that children of the rich would do better in school, while children of the poor would suffer a reversal trend. You must agree with therefore that what really concerns us here is to provide them equal chance for education.
I would like to take this opportune moment to officially inaugurate two segments of national road with a total length of 40 kilometers. The first segment is 16 kilometers that runs from the national road 77 through to the site of Komping Puoy reservoir. We also should thank Okhna Sok Kong for his generous contribution on my behalf and that of HE Sar Kheng’s in providing a transformation of the Komping Puoy reservoir into a tourist destination. The second segment is running 24 kilometers from the city of Battambang to the district of Banan, financed by the Asian Development Bank and the (Royal Government’s) counterpart fund.
It should be noted also that (because of joint efforts to develop and improve tourist destination) in the last nine months there have been 195,000 tourists visiting Battambang province, a figure that is 3.2% increase to that of 2009. I am sure the figure is also picking up further for October, November and December. It should be noted also that there has been development and vast improvement of hotels and services in Battambang province.
For people living in this part of the country, I may say that aside from the above two national roads, there will be two more roads that I will take my time to come and preside over their groundbreaking ceremonies in February next year. The first will be connecting Banteay Meanjei to Pailin via Koun Damrei, Koun Damrei, Mealay, Sampeo Loun, Komrieng and Phnom Preok. Another road will be the one that runs from Thmor Kol district to Bovel district and from Bovel there will be a juncture of two lines – one of which will go to Sampeo Loun district, while another one will go to Phnom Proek and Komrieng districts. Also fund is sought for building another road to point 400 at the border with Thailand.
Taking this opportune moment I would like to thank the CPP working groups for their joint efforts with the local authorities of Battambang province under the leadership of HE Sar Kheng. It should be noted that the initiative also has the supports of Samdech Chea Sim, President of the Senate and President of the Cambodian People’s Party, and Samdech Heng Samrin, Honorary President of the Cambodian People’s Party and President of the National Assembly, as well as various others.
Maybe it is good to recall some stories (in relation to our efforts in this part of the country) back in 1985 when we were so poor that a piece of woven mat was used as window cloth. I could remember that HE Ke Kim Yan was the governor of Battambang province. It was that year that my wife and I were here and we went to visit the Japanese-assisted rice cultivation and experiment farm project at Tuol Samraong. Maybe HE Ke Kim Yan still remembers I asked him to place in my map Brigade 415, which, according to not-well informed sources, was established not long ago, but (Ee) Chhean (Governor of Pailin province and former Khmer Rouge commander) has confirmed to me just now that it was formed since June 1979. We learned about its existence only in 1985 as Brigade 415 stationed near Pailin, which was then a part of Battambang province.
The situation has comparatively and drastically changed. Until 1990 Ee Chhien was still making war (with the Royal Government of Cambodia) from Pailin, now he is sitting here with us. How could we blame all responsibilities on him (Ee Chhean) as in fact the war was a creation by those of former generations? Thanks to the win-win solution, from which peace has been achieved and prevailed, we have now moved Brigade 196 to station at Komping Puoy, Brigade 95 has now been moved to station at the Adhibadei High. I also remember to come to Battambang province again in 1990 to review the military situation in general and around the city.
I may recall that Ee Chhean troops forced General Pol Saroeun’s troops to withdraw twice, once in 1989 and again in 1994, from battles in this part of the country. Psychologically, the two Cambodian forces then fought for a position. When one side won, another side retreated. They did not worry because it would be a loss (of position or territory) to Khmer. I am sure if it were foreign forces, like in Preah Vihear province, such a retreat would not be an option. Well, as far as this matter is concerned, use of the word invasion has come to a stop as we have achieved a complete normalization (of the situation). I have marked that (the place) was invaded on July 15, 2008, and the withdrawal took place at 10:30 am on December 1, 2010.
We purchased a number of military tools and means for war in the past and some have been kept in good service for when they are needed. We just launched a real ammo test fire from 15 trucks to verify whether they are ready or in good condition. We have just got hundreds of new tanks and armored vehicles. They all have been placed in warehouses and only old ones are ready for service. The new ones will be kept ready for eventual need.
As of the present, situation has improved greatly day after day. There has been some irrational observation that Cambodia is getting poorer. I wonder how could anyone is stated to be poorer than when one was in 1979 (when the country was liberated from the genocide). Let’s ask those who are now in their 70s because by then they must be in their 40 years of age. Could they recall as to what they did have at the time. Some people had plates but no spoons, while some got oxen but no carts. What happened in Cambodia was not that simple. The ICAPP (International Conference of Asian Political Parties) delegation found it hard to understand and believe as to such a thing could have happened in Cambodia, let alone the fact that Phnom Penh was starting from no-resident city.
It is normal for them to have such feeling because they have seen things these days in a normal state with skyscrapers. What has been said to the contrary of the present reality is beyond imagination. Let’s ask these monks here if they could stand a chance to benter monkhood under the regime of Pol Pot? Tomorrow we will celebrate the Human Rights Day and you may agree with me that these rights are defined to be those to life, to food, to education, healthcare, etc.
Some in the opposition have even taken their vows to sue me to the international court in the case of K5 national defense plan/project (which includes clearing forest and building a levee and a canal along the border with Thailand). If it were not because of their threats, I would not choose to fulfill that option. If ever the case is in court, I am sure the first to stand trial would be the United Nations for its recognition of the Khmer Rouge and for allowing the Khmer Rouge to occupy the Cambodian seat. Then Tripartite Coalition Government joined their forces to fight the Phnom Penh Government, where possible return, in the case they won the war, would be the regime of Pol Pot.
Can they clarify that if they did or did not do it? Had there been or not in 1979 the Tripartite Coalition Government, in which there was also Khmer Rouge as one of its member? If there were no such threats, but then Government, that was established and led by the late Prime Minister HE Chan Si, and which I was inherited from him, had taken the initiative and action without a justified cause, I would take full responsibility and would report myself to the court in The Hague. However, first of all, they have to answer if there were or not real threat against the Phnom Penh Government and against rebirth of the Cambodian people. Have you accepted that there was the regime of Pol Pot in between 1975-79?
As of these days the United Nations have also collaborate with the Royal Government of Cambodia to carry out the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders. The case of 001 has been closed and the case of 002 has processed. The situation has now changed that not only that we no longer had resistance forces in the jungle, no one has been forced to go to war, but also we have to reduce the forces and also to accept no more new recruits. (I do not know) if this is someone’s trick so as to have a chance to return (from abroad) to the country. (If s/he behaved in an irresponsible manner), s/he would have to wait.
They also claimed that democracy in Cambodia is in a setback position. Has it been advancing before? So you recognized that there has been a democracy then? They have always denied it. Why do they change their remarks so instantly? It is so surprisingly naïve that they have said using foreign radio broadcast that so and so number of population is in constant fear and because of fear they dare not cultivate and are worried that their lands would be confiscated. Battambang province is the rice bowl of the country and this year has produced 75,000 tons of rice, which is 5,000 tons more than last year. Is it because of such fear as they said?
So and so has claimed to be the best choice for the country and people but why has s/he got only a small number of seats? Why could you not replace the Royal Government? Why s/he recently cheated people, despite my written instruction that I have no comment, that I am offering support for so and so to set up political party. They even said that the Funcinpec officials who may want to swing side may do so as they will negotiate with the Prime Minister to keep their current positions. It was in response to this insanely distortion that I prepared a message for the people, the coalition government, CPP and Funcinpec, about my position that I would not tolerate a de facto tripartite coalition.
They have created a big mess and Deputy Prime Minister (from Funcinpec) HE Nhek Bun Chhay may have not understood me. Fundraising seems to have started now and they have fooled businessmen that the Prime Minister allows so and so to form political party. Some have disguised their activities as non-governmental organization, while some propose themselves to be fathers of democracy or Buddha, etc. Let me assure in my statement today that no matter how many seats the (current Funcinpec coalition partner) will get, I will consider them the coalition partner because we have been working together and we have a good knowledge of each other.
It does not matter whether s/he does, stays in opposition or goes along with, but there is one thing that needs to be resolved. I am the one who has proposed ranks and privileges for so and so in the royal family since members of the Royal family are not involved in politics. Some have got equivalent ranks of Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister, etc. That is my idea that I have proposed to HM the King.
Today, on TV, because so person has ceased to abide by the rule and gets involved in politics, I will propose to HM the King to end his position as advisor of HM the King. HM the King is neutral. When an advisor of HM the King is involved in politics, why can’t it be inferred about HM’s involvement? When the person lost in the political elections, would not it be a loss seen for HM the King? I need to send out a clear message (as far as this return to politics decision is concerned). It is quite a mess because of one person has been making unreliable decision about political involvement,
I do not mean to harm anyone. My only intention is to keep the Cambodian Royal family respectable. However, they should not underestimate my (political) resolve. You are welcome (to politics again). I respect human rights but I would not bow to anyone who would want to have double rights (of being politician as well as advisor of the King). S/he may have to choose one among the two: if you want to participate in politics, you have to stop being the King’s advisor, and if you want to retain your advisor position, you have to abandon politics.
As far as the petition for the return to politics is concerned I also have the information. I know who is in charge of collecting signatures in Batambang, Siemreap and Kompong Cham provinces. It was a case too that the petition in Siemreap province had been advised to get more thumb prints. There has been attempt to woo some in the current coalition government and I know who that would be. Some said they would stay on for a while. I would suggest to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Interior HE Sar Kheng to look into this matter. I would not allow for that. If they are so expressed to leave I will get them off the Government list. I would not tolerate a snake with two heads at all.
Everyone rights have to be attached with rule of law as their conditions. Some foreign radios have been busy making interviews with so and so, but they would not go for the masses who would speak in favor of the Cambodian People’s Party. If ever they interview officials or supporters of the Cambodian People’s Party, it is highly possible that those interviews would not be broadcast or not in full. That is why I do not grant any interview unless it is live. However I now have so many radios and TVs that it may not be necessary to speak on foreign radios at all.
I think I have made it clear now that I do not give green light to anyone to do anything, nor I ever grant my support to so and so to go into politics. S/he may do whatever s/he wants but s/he must not link it in any way to my name or cause harm to anyone.
2010 may be the year that we have harvested the most rice in almost 32 years after the fall of Pol Pot. We have harvested and collected almost 8 million tons of paddy rice. With this amount we are expecting a surplus of about 3.7 million tons of paddy. According to some preliminary calculation, some 2.4 million tons of milled rice for export will be available.
However, maybe (Deputy Prime Minister) HE Keat Chhon could verify it with the World Food Program on an interview. Have you seen the interview (provided by the World Food Program) that said Cambodia is vulnerable to being food insecure? At the same time we have a request from them for a supply of 2,000 tons plus a certain sum of money every year. I wish that this information is checked and if it is true, we should get our rice and money back? A correction need to be made.
Maybe HE Keat Chhon could summon WFP representative in Phnom Penh for clarification. In fact their task is to collect rice in the world to give to Cambodia, but they have asked from Cambodia in the past three or four years. They also do the same for this year. We could not afford to give (rice and money) to the organization that is going to give the rice back to us and discrediting us at the same time. The amount of some 2,000 tons is good for giving out to orphanages.