… May I humbly respect and express my affection to grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews and our national compatriots for coming to participate in this occasion of inaugurating ten school buildings of 45 classrooms. It is an honor that today we have the presence of HE Ambassador of France, SIPAR representatives, Oknha and Lok Chumteav in this event to receive a new achievement among others realized in the recent time. The cost of building the 45 classrooms is US$ 171,082.
… It has been ten years already that SIPAR operates in various provinces in Cambodia like Kompong Speu, Kompong Chhnang, Kandal, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Kompong Cham and Phnom Penh. SIPAR has in all built schools and libraries in 54 localities. Currently SIPAR is moving a step further into Kratie province where it will build 15 libraries. In the name of the Royal Government and people of Cambodia who have received these donations directly from SIPAR, I wish to express my sincere thanks to the co-directors of SIPAR for their contribution into realizing this achievement. Through HE Ambassador of France I would like to convey my sincere gratitude to the people and Government of France (for their generous donation.)
… France is the second biggest donor to Cambodia after Japan, though their achievements (from its donation) have not been frequently visible on TV. They include the Paris Peace Agreement, which is a precondition leading to the win-win policy in solving the Cambodian problem. Now peace prevails throughout Cambodia. May HE Ambassador of France inform the French Government, especially HE President and Prime Minister to continue to provide assistance under whatever form, through whatever channels, to the people of Cambodia.
… I wish to see SIPAR continue its activity in rural areas. I have a feeling that if all the organizations working in Cambodia do as SIPAR has done, we would have enough schools. But most of them concentrates in Phnom Penh, provincial towns where they organize seminar after seminar till they run out of money. If after coming into being they started to address right on the root cause of poverty, like lack of schools, water for cultivation and communications, etc. we all would have solved the requirements in poverty reduction. This kind of assistance (as SIPAR and the French Government have offered) may not be visible and one may feel that one gets no assistance at all unless one gets actual individual donation in cash. If we were to divide the cost of the school construction on the basis that each individual receives a sum of Riel 3,700 (Riel exchange rate to a dollar), we would be able to give them to about 171,000 people. But after that our children will have no good school buildings.
… The donation in form of rural roads, school buildings, water canals, wells, etc. is the best option. HE the French Ambassador said that these schools are built not for just a few months but for at least fifty years. That this or that person offers you medicines, sarongs or rice, is only provisional assistance. Donation in school building is long lasting development assistance. Some (politicians scoff at me) well you build schools and we will offer people medicines, and finally we will get (the people’s) support. I have no concern on this respect because what is most important for me is that the Cambodian children go to well-built and protected school buildings.
… It could be said that I am the only Prime Minister in the world to have driven motorcycle in the longest distance. I used to do so because I do not want the authority to know where I would go so as to prepare for my arrival. It was the best method as it helped to see with my own eyes damaged roads and water lacking rice fields. In 1987 I went from Srok (district) Baphnom to Srok Mesang. I started at 07:00 in the morning and I got to Siengkhvang late evening. There were so many people who stopped me on the way to request for schools to be built in their areas. From 1994 and 1995 up to now I have built in Prey Veng 143 school buildings with 710 classrooms. Because the fact that there were no schools was the reason why I had to be separated from my family at the age of 13 to (stay in a pagoda to) continue my study. I would not want any Cambodian children to trod my, and some other people’s difficult path.
… As for this building (right here) it should be pulled down and replaced with a building of five classrooms. Oknha Men Sarun and Ung Bunhov will sponsor the building construction. Through my cabinet I would offer another school building with five classrooms in the village of Prich, Speu “A” commune. The provincial authority requests for the construction of a road of 25 kilometers from Reakchey commune of Srok Baphnom to Srok Mesang. I am well aware that this road is in its worst condition so I approve the request and may the Ministry of Rural Development implement the project. For the people in Speu “B” commune, I approved their request for assistance in digging a water pond of which the removed soil would be 1,750 cubic meters. I also approved the request of the Director of Prey Trang School in Speu “B” for assistance in digging a water pond, of which the removed soil would be 1,748 cubic meters. I approved the request of the people in the village of Pothi Andet, Choeng Prey commune, Srok Baphnom for assistance in restoring a water canal of four kilometers together with a pumping machine.
… I wish to thank the provincial, district authorities and others for their contribution to making a safe and positive environment for Prey Veng at the time of commune election. There have 80% of the total eligible voters registered. There have some concerns that because of living condition (that they have to make business) they skip going to vote. I wish therefore to make an appeal to our people to go to vote, exercising their obligation and rights as individual citizen in a democratic country. May all of us forgive, pursue non-violence motive and refrain from illegal actions under whatever form at all. Those committed mistakes should be brought to law without exception. The implementation of democracy should be transparent. People have their individual rights to choose the leaders and/or political parties they like. I would stay neutral before all political parties and appeal to all to refrain resolutely from acts of violence. Please follow our Buddhist teachings — if we were to win, we should win with faith and justice. Act in a good way and you would be voted for.