… Today I have a great pleasure for having the chance to return to Kompong Leav. We have two things to inaugurate today. Firstly the school buildings that I have just cut the ribbon and secondly the dyke that protects the provincial town from flood and is also used as road. I remember that we have rebuilt regional and provincial pedagogical schools, but left this secondary school in bad condition. At the time I organized ‘flower festival’ to collect money to help the Regional Teachers’ Training Centers and a certain amount of the collected fund had been channeled to Prey Veng. As of today, besides the two school buildings in Ba Phnom, there are in all 143 school buildings with 702 classrooms that are provided.
… I have been quite recently informed as I went through a report about this school in Kompong Leav. In this secondary school there are six buildings and one of them that is supposed to be used for sewing class has yet to be equipped with sewing machines. Today I have already ordered to bring here fifty machines. Please forgive me for having left the building unequipped for a while. Though it is late, still it is better than never. Now we have fifty sewing machines and 750 meters of fence around the school. Oknha Kit Meng has just informed me that the top three students who study in the Hun Sen school at which Hun Sen has come to would be offered cellular phones for free for five years. So the three top students — one in mathematics, one in physics and one in Khmer literature – from this school would enjoy this offer.
… I have had a chance to meet with HE Issei Inoue, former Minister of Posts and Telecommunications and Member of House of Representatives of Japan. Our discussion focussed on the establishment and collection of funding for the top three best students throughout Cambodia. The top three students — one in mathematics, one in physics, and one in Khmer literature – would automatically be sent for further education in Japan. A foundation has been established using the start-up capital contributed by HE Innoue is called ‘Sunshine Fund.’ Yesterday he already gave to the foundation a sum of two million Yens and we Cambodian also contributed a part to set up an account called “Whole Country Top Students for Going to Study in Japan.”
… Talking about the province of Prey Veng, I think I missed only two districts – Peam Ro and Mesang – that I have not had spent the nights. Otherwise, since when HE Chiem Yeap was the Governor of the province, we have traveled and spent the nights almost in all other places. That is why I had gone ahead already, when some people were planning their activities, as they all were mapped out in my head. In other words the Cambodian people know Hun Sen quite well. Hun Sen has been scolded, praised and/or asked for help according to the will of the people. And Hun Sen also know too well what the people want and need.
… I would like to express my sincere appreciation for the efforts made by our officials at all levels and people in the province, especially HE Sar Kheng, Nhem Vanda, and PRASAC for their collaborations in building the dyke that helps protect the provincial town from flood. It is also being used as road access as well. In the 1960s, before the war in 1970 and 1975, this dyke had been used as trenches. It has been left in bad condition and never has it been renovated. HE Sar Kheng contributed a sum of Riel 70 million and a number of sacks, while HE Nhem Vanda has contributed Riel 41 million. The provincial authority made available Riel 315 million and PRASAC offered its soil breaking machines for 54 days.
… With regard to waterways, may HE Minister Lim Keanhor (of Water Resources and Meteorology) makes an inspection to see where they should be made like I have ordered to Your Excellency and HE Chea Sophara the other day about Sak Sampeo commune of Phnom Penh Municipality. It has to be well studied in which places drainage should be mounted and in which places Bailey Bridge should be used.
… As long as we have peace, we could do almost anything if we stand to be united. We may not be able to leap a giant step but surely can leap a frog step. As long as the frog does not stop, it will reach its goal in no time. If the giant does not move, one would get to nowhere anyway. Like the Khmer saying that goes ‘drop by drop the bucket is full.’ But in Prey Veng, the year 2000 and 2001 had been under flood and this year, up to now, there has been no drops of dry-season rain. I am quite worried. So we should pay our attention to the care of the dry-season rice. I have notice the flood recession rice being grown here. So wherever there are water resources, the dry-season rice must be taken care of till they are harvested. The Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology and the local authority have to look seriously into this matter.
… The water level in the area in front of the provincial headquarters has not yet gone down. This situation would cause us to be unable to cultivate on 1795 hecta. May HE Lim Kean Hor look into this issue and conduct a study to find out why the level of water in this area in 2000, in 2001 and probably in 2002 too has not gone down to the level that our farmers could cultivate rice as usual. If it were to stay like this, what would the impact be on those farmers upstream? May HE Son Kunthor who heads the Rural Development Bank commence a study about possible business alternatives — like swapping from rice cultivation alone to a combination of rice growing and animal husbandry. These could in the end bring about the poverty reduction.
Before closing my address I wish to express my appreciation and thanks to the authority for best serving the National Election Committee at all levels by taking care of security allowing both election (reelection on February 17) to take place safely and smoothly. As is said in HE Governor Duong Sivuth’s report, the Cambodian People’s Party took a lead in all 116 communes, or in other word the CPP’s candidates are going to take the posts of commune heads in all the communes. If these figures are correct, without any changes made from NEC, I wish to take this opportunity to appeal to all those elected from the three parties to collaboratively serve our people.
… As of now, power at the central level has been reduced as the commune leadership is to be decided by our people. After being elected, they have to figure out what need to be done first. Water canals, rural roads, schools, healthcare centers and clinics, roadblocks, porno video, etc. No matter from what political parties they all have to work together in the commune councils. They have to refrain from conflicts and face with the tasks to relieve daily difficulties for our people living conditions. From now to July when we will have rain again our officials have to reschedule their timeframe to visit and help resolve water demand problem.
… As for the requests made to me, I am pleased to inform that I accept to offer assistance to 62 children who stayed in the pagoda and give money to finish the construction of an entrance into the pagoda. I agree to offer assistance for the construction of 7 rural roads with a total length of 18 kilometers in Kompong Leav. The construction of a road of 12 kilometers in Khum Prek Phnoeu, Peareang district is also approved and let the Ministry of Rural Development take the project for granted… I also like to respond positively to the request by the pedagogical students for a trip to visit Angkor Wat in Siemreap province./.