… I have a great pleasure to return today to the district of Bati to inaugurate with all of our people here the new Buddhist temple in the pagoda of Chak Andet in Dong commune of Takeo province. I wish to take this opportunity to express my deep thanks to the venerable head monk and their parishioners for their permission to let me to preside over the inauguration of the temple. Next week I would come again to the commune of Tropeang Sab to inaugurate another temple.
… According to the report by HE Lay Sokha, Governor of Takeo, the pagoda is 430 years old, many human generations, and if there were no war and the genocide regime, it could well be one of the great pagodas of ours. Why this place is named the Chak Andet pagoda. Early this week I went to a temple’s inauguration at the Bakan pagoda in Pusat. The province was named Pursat because a Bodhi tree floated and was tugged to shore (Pur Rosat – Floated Bodhi Tree). Yesterday I went to the pagoda of Tbeng Khpuos and it was named so because of a Tbeng (tree) that was growing high in the pagoda. As for this place our ancestors dug a well and there was Chak (a kind of water plants) appearing to float in the well. We can not justify this to be wrong or right but let’s the experts in the Academy of History work to provide accurate account on each place. Like Kompong Cham was firstly called Kompong (shore) Rung Cham (waiting) but was later called Kompong Cham. SO a study has to be done so that our younger generation could have good knowledge of their country.
… This place is a good agro-tourism potential because we have here Bati river and temple and Tamao zoo. In 2002 we have many tourists from inside as well as outside the country to visit the place and this development provided good opportunity for our people in the surrounding to grow vegetables and raise chicken. Some people said that because Cambodia believes in bad and good karma that makes it poor and undeveloped. What I would argue against this remark is that we were poor because of wrong policy. Take for instance those who disbelieve religions have in fact suffered a disastrous death, for instance Pol Pot. The discussion on how to set up a trial of the Khmer Rouge leaders is continuing in Phnom Penh today.
… As I am here in Bati district, please allow me to recall a few things. I would say what happened here in the past seemed to wake me up. It was the day when our people enjoyed the 1994 – Boat Race and Moon Festival that the people from Put Sar gathered in front of my house. I offered to see them and they told me they need water for their rice. So I told them to return home and I will see them in their place. First I came into Put Sar and I saw a piece water pump of HE So Khun. At that moment I was waken up to think about master canals in the agricultural policy package. I called this a lesson. We abandoned this policy once we started market economy in 1993 and 1994. We abandoned our intervention for farmers and this was a huge mistake. We provided no maintenance and care to the canals. Once the canals need to be used, we saw that our people grew rice right in the canals already and our pumps permanently placed there were out of order as well. I have ordered HE Kun Kim to transport here from Kompong Som some 40 horse power pump.
… Based upon this lesson I always stand out against any attempts to impose land tax on our peasants as I see it tantamount to placing heavier weight on our people. I would say that land tax free will continue to about another ten years. On the contrary we have to take good care of major canals and pump water into the canals for our people to make use of the canals in their rice fields. We have to organize water use group and in Tunle Bati we could think of expanding the coverage of irrigation by making use of the water potential from the lake Choeung Luong that is located one part in Takeo and another in Kandal. I have noticed that our people grow cabbage on the dike along the canals and the dry season rice is also in good crops. Since then I have order to firstly reorganize the policy of master canals, secondly continue the state intervention for farmers, and thirdly refrain from imposing further weight on farmers.
… I wish to say that if one think of becoming good officials only by finishing school would be insufficient or they would rather be ten-leg officials only. Ten-leg official means four legs of his table, four legs of his chair and two of his. These officials have no contact with people and they would move from office to car and from car to home and from home to car and to airplane. This type of officials could not help solve people’s problem. As far as I could collect my memory people in Takeo harvested rice under water because there were later rains. It was well noted that anyhow this is better than if our people did not have rice to consume. It is my philosophy that our people and monks in the local areas are good teachers and training resources for policy makers of all levels.
… But it is necessary to distinguish between those who perform good deed and those who do not. Take for instance in the past and present times, especially between 1993 up to the present, there are people who boasted to have been doing a great deal for this country. Some of them said and never do and what they could do better is insulting those who could mobilise resources to build roads, canals, schools, pagodas, etc. Like in this area HE Sok An and So Khun have been doing a lot and if our people want those who are only good at speaking to do, and those good at doing to speak, it is also up to our people to teach them. For example if our people want the speakers to become doers, they should give not even a single vote to them in the July-2003 election. Then the politicians who make empty promises would reconsider that empty promises would not do them any good. So by 2008 they would think of doing something like schools, pagodas, hospitals, etc.
… Making doers become speakers would also be possible. Take for example if those who have been doing a lot would lose against those who did nothing but speaking, the doers would in fact stop doing and they would become speakers. In that instance our people would benefit nothing because the speakers who become doers would say why bother fulfilling promises if Hun Sen did a lot but he receive nothing…
Samdech Hun Sen offered in that occasion Riel 20 million for the construction of the temple and 22 tons of food for work for the pagoda of Chak Andet for the digging of a water pond; a school building with five classrooms for the primary school of Chak and two school buildings with ten classrooms for the Primary School of Hun-Sen-Muoy Mithuna…