His Excellency Mam Bun Heng, His Excellency Lok Chumteav,
Governor of Capital and Provinces,
So far, because the situation was not serious, we have not come to the preparation of the last necessary measure, that is, the case of Covid-19 related deaths. The question arises as to whether we should cremate or give them burial. Moment ago, I have discussed with His Excellency Mam Bunheng and we are determined that those who died of Covid-19 disease must be cremated. This point is understandable. Although some ethnic traditions would not go for cremation, but in this special case for Covid-19, we have to make sacrifices because we do not have the land to place one corpse here and another there.
Many countries have buried the deaths two to three layers without (the presences of their) families. For us, we use burning measures, which is easy to manage. Please note that in Singapore, although the Chinese tradition is to bury the deaths, because of small land, Singapore does not allow burials. Even the Singapore’s late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, founding father of Singapore, was cremated.
We do not lack burial ground, but to ensure a measure for land management, such as not to be overwhelmed with the placement of corpses here and there, we need to use cremation method. A few days ago, we cremated a Chinese died in an event. The Phnom Penh Capital Hall authorized the cremation. City Hall is now building a crematorium for this purpose. I suggest that the provinces are also taking actions to prepare for such cases of Covid-19 related deaths. (They should) either to use the existing crematoriums, if any, or at the same time prepare an appropriate crematorium. Such crematorium may be prepared for cremation demand for the common people at a later date. To solve this problem, I would like to ask all provincial capitals to work diligently and choose a location that is far away from the people.
Please enforce this measure everywhere. In the past, we have not thought about this issue because we see that the situation is not serious enough to take steps to address it. Now we believe that there is (such a service and place) better than there is not. On another front, (I am asking) HE Mam Bunheng (Minister of Health) and his associates, HE Koeut Rith (Minister of Justice) and his associates, who are in charge of drafting sub-decrees regarding legal measures, to prepare a sub-decree on the cremation of Covid-19 related deaths, with specifying number of participants.
In other countries, as we see on TV, when someone died, their family members do not have chances to see his/her faces. They buried them without their presences. We also need to determine how long after death that cremation will proceed. This is a health measure to avoid other epidemics that I am seeking your serious efforts on this issue. When it is over, they can be (public) crematoriums. So choose land not too close to the population. We have a lot of land left, but we cannot bury. We will cremate them and we will get the remains sending to their families if they are abroad. This is the point that I would like to inform and seek your cooperation and action. Thank you./.