A Memory of 42 Years Ago
My best regards to Buddhist monks, Imams of Islam who have bestowed us their presences today. I am conveying my humble respects to elders and compatriots for taking their times to join in the ceremony to put into official use the 543 km rural roads. I have come to a place, Kompong Treas, where I have had so many memories from 42 years ago. It was in 1972, when I was 20 years old. I then came to live here but I seemed to have problem pointing to the direction of where it is at present. More so, this area has recorded our first love – between my wife and me. She was a nurse in a hospital in Kroch Chhmar but later moved to work here. In those days, it was not the district of Kroch Chhmar because they created a new commune and a new district made of Kompong Treas commune of Kroch Chhmar as the district of Peam Jilang […]
Behind this place there should be a small river called Peam Jilang River. People would come here for fish to conserve for one-year consumption. Well, in those days, communication was not the same. People now are in contacts with one another online from anywhere and/or to anywhere in the world. In those days, when the news reached me in Jiro, Kompong Russei, that she was in Peam Jilang, my rush to see her was useless because she already left. However, it was a very good memory. People here at their fifties and above would recognize me as I used to work here.
Inaugurating 543-Km Rural Roads, Building 1,200-Km More
I am so pleased today to be able to join with our Buddhist monks, Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen, especially our compatriots, and donors – Republic of Korea, Asian Development Bank, France, Nordic Fund, Australia, Strategic Climate Fund, the Royal Government – for providing us assistances for this project. Today I am here to bestow two events – firstly, the official inauguration of the 543-Km 23 lines of rural roads, DBST, and concrete, built in eight provinces. You may recall that I declared their groundbreaking in Pursat province. They are now ready and in use. Secondly, we are launching the groundbreaking ceremony to build another 1,200-Km 75 lines of rural roads in thirteen provinces.
We have coined here the term improving rural roads condition but in fact it was nothing else than building them new. According to memories that I used to stay here, from the ferry of Tonle Bet through to areas further north, they were dirt roads and there were only animal-pulled carts and bicycles. It was rare to see motorbikes traveling along. There would not be any cars. That is the truth. Now, many rural roads were built under the RGC’s projects, some of them are already serving our needs for commuting and transporting.
Based on rural roads construction experiences that we have, now we are working on a total length of 1,200-Km rural roads in thirteen provinces, with DBST or concrete. As for our road here, from Tonle Bet through to Treas commune, we have opted for concrete because parts of the road will be flooded so it would stand the water shed better than DBST. Among all 75-road lines, only this line that we decided to make it concrete.
Vietnamese Immigrants in Cambodia Since the French Were Here
The present time is not time for ox-carts or elephant paths anymore. We need to build roads and try to improve every roads condition. Aside from the national road, we are busy working on building bridges, and soon to come, people from the river of Aji, national road 7, could travel through here to Treas commune because we were going to build a bridge. The bridge would connect the village of Treas on the Tbong Khmom side and Boeng Kanjot, Prey Kok commune of Kompong Cham side. In fact, Kanjot could not be a Khmer word. In those days, the French brought in Vietnamese immigrants here and they continued to live in the country. Why do some scold me in ignorance of history? I am from younger generation. The French brought the Vietnamese immigrants in to help with their rubber works. About 70% of the workers in rubber plantation were Vietnamese. Why did they ignore history and focus the blame on me? Did they not think of being sinful?
Infrastructural Development – Correct Policy for Country’s Development
Maybe I should underline here that infrastructural policy that I as well as the Cambodian People’s Party, have initiated continues to be correct and viable for national development. For Cambodia to advance in development, we could not continue to survive with ferries. There are real needs for bridges. We have now come to a stage where Bailey bridges replaced by concrete ones. I think we have built already the bridge from Peam Jilang to Baat Dey. We have built bridges over the rivers of Mekong, Se Kong, Tonle Sap, and Bassac – for which how many people could have thought about their happenings? I would not imagine it myself […]
It is true that we have just broken Tbong Khmom away from Kompong Cham for reason that the province of Kompong Cham was too big – about two million populations. The river of Mekong stays as their frontier. Tbong Khmom is a newly created province and it was before a part of Kompong Cham. After the separation, there are still over one million populations on the part of Kompong Cham and about 800,000 on the part of Tbong Khmom. As you can see that from the two provinces, we have more than two million populations […]
I trust that our internally infrastructural development policy is still important. I used to travel through this area. In the past, I am sure people were in difficulty as I was. However, going through a certain times and stages, we have built infrastructures – roads and bridges, conducive for transportation and traveling. Further, who would have imagined that now in Cambodia we have about three million motorcycles and about one million cars? In the commune of Kompong Treas, when I was here in the older days, there were just a few motorbikes and Pol Pot later confiscated all of them.
Human, Water, Road, Electricity
It is in this opinion that I continue to invest on the four areas of priority – water, road, electricity, and human. With the gradual development and changes, we are now making human the first priority, which means we will have to build more schools. Human, water, road, and electricity – are correct policy and I will keep them priorities. As for connectivity, I have said to the Royal Government officials as well as our people that political integration would not be sufficient. I continue to say that separation through the win-win policy in Pailin and other former Khmer Rouge controlled areas would not be fruitful should we only integrate them politically and administratively. We need to build them roads and bridges.
It was fortunate that I had travelled along the Thai-Cambodian border on National Road 9 and a number of other roads like 59 from Banteay Meanjei to Pailin … other newly built roads like 76, 78 on the parts of Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Stoeng Treng … where in some places, to reach there would take weeks […]. That we have built roads and bridges, people would find them useable and helpful. Take for instance, over a length of 30-Km road, people used to travel one hour and spend Riel 5,000, now that the road condition is better, they may do so only half an hour and spend only Riel 3000. People should see that the Royal Government is putting the rest of the money and time in your pocket. Their agricultural produces would also travel to market in better condition and lesser cost.
That is why I am reiterating that I am satisfied with continued implementation of national infrastructural development, in which, as we all see today, from DBST road technology, we even move to make them concrete. It is beyond our imagination and now such opportune moment has come our way. Let us hold it […]
The 192-million USD 1,200-Khm Rural Roads
… Over the span of 1,200 Kilometers, we had to spend up to 192 million USD and the projects have already started. Officially, we commenced in 2015 and the projects will span into 2020. The Royal Government has contributed from its part a sum of over 17 millions USD. The Asian Development Bank contributed 54 million USD, Republic of Korea – 41 million USD, France – 40 million USD, Nordic Fund grant – 5.4 million USD, and grant from Australia – 18 million USD. There are also nine million USD of grant and 7 million USD of credit from the Strategic Climate Fund.
Respect Traffic Rules, No Overloads
… While the roads are getting better, we need to address this issue of over-speeding. Let us not have lethal traffic accidents in the rural roads. Along with this, I am sure there are many of us who would firmly hope that both national and rural roads will build and improve gradually but there will not be issue of overloaded vehicles that are putting our roads – DBST, concrete or laterite soil, under destructive pressure. The longer the roads we have, the more difficult to look after and money to repair. It is in this sense that while appealing to people to respect traffic rules, I am also calling on people to refrain from overloading their trucks because they would destroy roads and bridges that we have built.
I am grateful to people in this area for proving me continued supports from the time of national liberation from the US aggression to the fight against Pol Pot’s regime. According to my wife, my son, Hun Manet, who was two months then, moved by Pol Pot and lived in the commune of Treas. There is a Facebook fan happened to be a distant relative of my wife … I would one day ask Manet to come by see you – uncle Jan (the facebook fan’s father). I hope you still remember him. I am so grateful for what you did to help my wife […]
With Roads and Bridges, We Have Hope
Before ending this address, please allow me to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Ministry of Rural Development, whose works started from HE Chea Sophara, who now moves to be minister of Land Management, Urbanization, and Construction, to the current Minister Ouk Rabun, for their efforts to seek financial assistance from various development partners. I thank the Ministry of Economy and Finance for providing our counterpart fund for the project. I am grateful to development partners for their assistances. I also have a strong impression on efforts of the previous eight and ten later provinces for making whatever necessary for the project to score achievement for people. With roads and bridges, people have hopes. I will not abandon infrastructural development policy and will continue to seek more financial assistance to build more. Soon, we will have another bridge spanning across the Mekong River at the village of Treas, on the part of Tbong Khmom, to Prek Kak of Kompong Cham […]
CPP Policy Allows Muslim Wear Their Dress Codes
I may take this time to share with our foreign guests that that is what happened in Cambodia. Some countries would not allow it. They would not dare. The policy of the Cambodian People’s Party (on the Muslim minority) or of Hun Sen allows our Muslim people to wear their dress codes in schools. This has proved effective harmonization of ethnicity and religions in Cambodia under the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party and the Royal Government of Cambodia led by Hun Sen. You may wear your dress codes sp that you will not sinful (according to the Koran) […]
More School Buildings Provided
… There are over 700 students here in Kompong Treas – in primary level and junior college. When we make it a senior secondary school, the number of students would then reach 1,000 […] Let us now build a three-floor school building with 31 classrooms. We would knock that one down and build a new one to bring the number of classrooms to 42. We also build another building with three rooms for the school’s director. This has brought forward a total number of 45 classrooms. We will make it a senior secondary school (of Kompong Treas) […]