… Today I have a great pleasure to be with all of you here in the province of Pursat once again, especially to the pagoda of Bakan that is known to be not less than 800 years old. I am very glad and grateful to the venerable head monk and Buddhist parishioners for the honour they bestow upon me on this occasion to inaugurate the Buddhist temple in the pagoda of Bakan… It is very unfortunate that in between 1970 and the period under Pol Pot, a number of carved stones had been taken for building embankment of Damnak Ampil and some bridges. After January 07 it is fortunate that we can rebuild the pagoda, though in a gradual pace.
… HE Governor Ung Sami has just mentioned about my frog-leap strategy. Each leap is short but it finally gets to its destination. I am grateful to many of our generous fellows for the contributions they made in rebuilding this pagoda and temple. I wish to devote all the merits gathered from this event for every one of us who have transparent belief in Buddhism… I wish to also to express my warm appreciation to our people and the provincial authorities of all levels in Pursat, especially the CPP working team led by HE Minister of Industry Suy Sem in the combat against floods in 2000 and 2001 and flood and drought in 2002. It was hard when the people in Pursat have too much water but it was even worse when our people in the districts of Veal Veng and Kravanh did not have sufficient water last year. I am grateful to those efforts made collectively and individually to overcome the natural calamity. Otherwise we might be falling into a graver situation.
… HE Ung Sami mentioned about win-win policy, locomotive of growth, triangular strategy and gave his appreciation to the construction of NR 56. I wish to share this with HE Ke Kim Yan, Commander in Chief and the military engineering team in an attempt to open road access from here to the Cambodian-Thailand border by NR 56. I hope that the NR 56 will be kept under regular maintenance and care. In benefit of the road, we have put about one million hectares of forest covered area under control with this road running around connecting one part of Pursat to one part of Koh Kong and one part of Kompong Speu province. Logging and hunting in the said area are prohibited. It is worth mentioning that we have noticed that some endangered species about to extinct in other forest – like mountain crocs, etc. – have been discovered to exist in the Kravanh mountain chains. It was in the idea of giving those animals protections that the Royal Government has decided to set up this forbidden area.
… HE Governor Ung Sami said “as long as we grow more trees, we would have plenty of firewoods.” We used to say “as long as the forest is well protected, plenty of firewood would be available.” What the Governor said reflected that he is a progress and reform minded person. Along with this we have to make our best so that we could maintain peace that we have achieved with great hardship. I am glad to have seen that we have some rains in Pursat but some other places have yet to have rains. Some rains in the dry season could firstly help us solve problem of water shortage for dry season rice and secondly, besides human consumption, it also helps grow grass for animals. It is also good for keeping dust down as in one month from now our people will observe the Khmer New Year 2003.
… Some people always beat drum about Cambodia but it is not different in world that this or that country encounters this or that problems. Take for instance last night in Belgrade there was this assassination of the Prime Minister. I remember whenever something happened in Cambodia they make a loud noise and would claim any life-inflicted incident to be political. But what I would like to say is that violence of any forms would not be good and it was in this regard that the Royal Government destroyed tens of thousands of firearms by tank. It would be best if we all do not insult one another and we all will be equally winners. We have realized peace already and this will allow us to reconstruct our homeland in no fear of war. Take for instance in the past the train to and from Pursat would be fired upon. Ieng Phan (formerly the Khmer Rouge commander) was the one who shot them, but he no longer stayed in the jungle now, he no longer shoot at the train but protect them.
… Taking this opportunity I wish to inform you that according to the report by the Cambodia Rails Station, the traffic is starting to give the Royal Government profit. Transport by train could load up to 700,000 tons and it is prospected to go up to one million tons. The transport cost is cheaper than by other means. This would give us a clue that we would be making more from rail transportation… Talking about school buildings some people have fooled the people that I have taken the national budget for construction of these schools with my name on them. I wish to affirm that over two thousand school buildings that I have constructed in my name using not even a penny of the national budget. There are schools that were built with the national budget that were loaned from Asian Development Bank, World Bank, etc. They are under the inspection of the Ministry of Education. As for my schools I wish to make clear that they were built thanks to the spirit of sharing resources… In the cause of building school, I would like to say that Heng Aphivadh Co. has taken millions from me and built me underrated norm of school buildings. May be we should meet to discuss this, but as far as I know the company is already bankrupted…
Samdech Hun Sen on that occasion offered to contribute US$ 9,200 and Riel 20 million for the finishing of the Bakan Buddhist temple, Riel ten million for the finishing construction of some achievements in the pagoda of Srah Mkak in the commune of O Ta Po, a school building with six classrooms to the Primary School of Poryup, Tropeang Chorng commune, and a school building with six classrooms to the secondary school of Bakan.