Summary of Adlib Address
… Samdech Hun Sen took that opportunity to warn of destructions that might occur because of war, which would give benefit to no one but cause loss of lives and destruction of all achievements. To this fact, Samdech advised that Cambodians must not be urged to wage war anymore but to safeguard peace and achievements, while implementing a true democracy and pluralism through a free, fair, just, transparent, non violent, and threat-free and intimidation-free election. Samdech Hun Sen reiterated that Cambodia should respond to donors, which also include Japan, by organizing a positive election without loss of human lives.
… Samdech advised our people to refrain from all forms of violence in the campaign period and any acts of threats, intimidations and coercions are considered to be groundless and would bring no gain to whether to the nation, party or any person at all. Samdech therefore appealed to authorities of all levels and the Cambodian armed forces to provide equal opportunity for all political parties and their candidates in their campaign in search of votes, while Samdech would remain silent and travel only to rice field in pursuit of the Government jobs only.
… Another important point that Samdech clearly advised related authorities to pay attention to a number of crimes and offends as they are busy providing support and protection to the election, bad elements would take the opportunity, as experience from previous elections had proven, to conduct their self-driven interest actions. Take for instance in 2000, when the authority was busy with the flood situation, some bad people had taken that opportunity to chop off trees in Mundulkiri, Mehmut and Snuol. Samdech urged the custom officers to also take precautious measures as smuggling might increase, which leads to fall of national income. Samdech wishes to see that the election will not turn to have negative side effects on the national economy and environment.
The Prepared Text
Ladies and Gentlemen
Today I am pleased and honored to participate in this happy ceremony to officially launch the construction of a 51.615 km section of the National Road 2 linking Takeo Town to Phnom Den (the Cambodia-Vietnam Border). This section will be constructed with the counterpart fund from the Government of Japan.
The rehabilitation and reconstruction of that entire stretch of the National Road 2 represents another donation by the government and people of Japan for improving and rehabilitating road infrastructure linking Phnom Penh to Vietnam. On 20th this month, I just officially opened a section of National Road 7 linking the Kizuna Bridge to Thnal Toteung of 11.940 km including the rehabilitation and repairing a big bridge at Math Khmong.
The continuing assistance by our Japanese friends has undoubtedly proven the good will of Japanese government and its people to help Cambodia in our efforts to rehabilitate and develop the country. Once again, may I take this opportunity, on behalf of the government and people of Cambodia, to convey the profound gratitude of the government and people of Cambodia to the government and people of Japan. Indeed, Japan has been sharing its efforts, contributing to the building and maintenance of peace and political stability, rehabilitation and development of our economy and society, and ultimately to the considerable reduction of poverty among the Cambodian people. The Cambodian RGC and its people highly appreciate and will always remember this invaluable contribution and assistance.
The rehabilitation of this road section will raise the importance of the traffic on the National Road 2 that will contribute grow and move faster, and thus increase its role as a principal economic artery of the country, strategic in facilitating inland transportation throughout the entire region, especially the Vietnamese border. In particular, this road will enable us especially to promote the development in the Southeast part of Cambodia that is the Phnom Den area of Takeo province, so that the people’s standards of living will improve and poverty reduced.
Many years ago, the NR 2 has been seriously damaged, especially during the monsoon season, and this section has been flooded and damaged that caused traffic suspension and transportation disruption, seriously affecting our people. Given this difficulty and as it is part of my “road” policy, I raised the proposal for this project to HE Former Prime Minister Obuchi during his visit to Cambodia, thus today we receive the assistance for the Japanese government for the rehabilitation of this road. This project (of the NR2) is to follow the repairing of NR 2 from Phnom Penh to Takeo, which has been financed by an ADB Credit that the entire national road 2 will be rehabilitated. This road will be rehabilitated in accordance to the Japanese aid standards (width 11 m, concrete asphalt).
The improvement of the road section will contribute mainly to the improvement of the economic development of the entire Cambodia, especially the well-being of Takeo people. Moreover, when this road constructed, there will be an exchange of goods between Cambodia and Vietnam that the flow of those goods will lower the price. This will contribute to the improvement of economic relationship between Cambodia and Vietnam. Thus, it is another important contribution to strengthening cooperation within ASEAN and GMS.
This road section is being rehabilitated and repaired as Cambodia has been praised by the international community, recognizing as a democratic country with strong political stability and full peace. This is because we have successfully elected the commune councils and looking towards the third national election next month. Another impressive achievement was that we successfully hosted so many summit meetings in late 2002 and early 2003. Recently, we just concluded the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, ASEAN+3 Foreign Minister Meeting, ASEAN Regional Forum for the first time in Cambodian history. Furthermore, though the election is coming soon the Royal Government does not hesitate to launch new construction and improvement of roads, that we exert our utmost efforts to succeed in implementing our priority policy in the second term of the Government. This is to rehabilitate and build a good road network in the country as well as in the region, thus it will promote the development of the country in all sectors, improving the living and well-being of people, and eventually reducing poverty among our people across the country.
As you are already aware, many years of war since 1970 badly destroyed road and bridge infrastructure. In this situation, the Royal Government has exerted its effort in all means to mobilize resources from both inside and outside the country to rehabilitate and construct this transportation system. Due to the sound policy of development and reform, Cambodia has received assistances from the Japanese Government, ADB, and other international organizations for the rehabilitation and development of the country, including assistance for infrastructure which is the top priority.
I have raised a few days ago, as of early in 2003 about 2,000 kilometers of asphalt and macadam roads at the national level, 1,700 kilometers of laterite roads at the provincial level, and some 10,000 kilometers of rural roads at the village level. All the achievements have indeed contributed to the promotion of economic growth and poverty reduction in Cambodia. May I take this opportunity to recall that from 1999 to 2002 although Cambodia had been faced floods from year to year, and international economic environment were unfavorable, we still achieved the economic growth of approximately more than 6% per year; and the inflation were kept at a very low rate. This sound macro-economic management were highly appreciated and widely encouraged by the IMF, WB, ADB and international community.
The success that we have brought is due to a strong cooperation rendered by government officials, local authorities at all levels and all people, and the support of all donor and development partners.
Once again, on behalf of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia and my own behalf, I am deeply grateful to the Government and people of Japan, ADB, WB, IMF, and other international institutions for their active participation in the rehabilitation and development of Cambodia in general, and specifically for their renovation and construction of infrastructure in Cambodia.
I would like to take opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to senior officials and officials of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport, Ministry of Economy and Finance, local authorities and all other institutions concerned of the Royal Government, which have made their utmost efforts to ensure a success of the strategic plan of rehabilitation and reconstruction of this transport infrastructure. I would like also to wish a success to the CIENCOI (Vietnamese Contracting Company) and the Thai AEC for their collaboration with the Japanese company ORIENTAL, and the domestic company GEB, which is responsible for monitoring the construction techniques, and a company which will take a responsibility to rehabilitate and reconstruct this road.
Taking this opportunity also, I would like to appeal to the Ministry of Public Work and Transport, local authorities, and all people, especially heavy transport companies to collaborate in maintenance of road and bridge infrastructure, which have just rehabilitated and reconstructed for the interest of effective and sustainable use. Finally, I wish you, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, the five germs of Buddhist Blessings. Now, I officially declare the opening of this Construction Site.