… It is an honour and pleasure for me to return once again to the district of Chhlong, Kratie province to officially inaugurate a new achievement – the Silavedi-Keat Chhon Secondary School and the Hun Sen avenue. I would say from my own knowledge that this may be the only beautiful and modern secondary school we have in the whole country. I am grateful to HE Keat Chhon and family, and generous fellows, for the contributions they made together to build this school, which would be beneficial to our youngsters.
… About two weeks ago I came here to visit the engineering team who are constructing bridges over the canal of Chhlong and I wanted to call this place a triangle of peace. In the past there used to be a saying comparing Chhlong to the most acute Malaria affected area. Taking infrastructure into consideration, Chhlong is a district that is unconnected geographically. Chhlong is a district of Kratie, however, in the period between 1970 and 1979, or in other words nine years of the national liberation and the last part of Pol Pot regime, the district of Chhlong was not placed under the special zone at all. Chhlong was made a part of Kompong Cham in the S 21 region. The fact that I named it a triangle of peace/safety because the place upon which we stand is one of the three angles because it is a road that links between Chhlong and the National Road 7 at Preah Thiet. On the river front we have two other roads that link on one side to Kratie, Stoeung Treng, Ratanakiri and Mundulkiri and another down the Mekong River to Kompong Cham.
… I am glad here to see an achievement that is born out of the value of pagoda-raised child or the kid that was brought up by the rice bowl of the monk. HE Chhan Sophan already mentioned about life of HE Keat Chhon in between 1944 and 1947. HE Keat Chhon used to settle in one of the pagodas here. He was later offered a chance to study in France at the initiation of the then district governor Pou Tong Hao. The people in the district of Chhlong and Prek Prasap had contributed their resources for the study of HE Keat Chhon. As of present HE Keat Chhon and HE Van Molivan are the most senior Government officials. Others have either been killed by Pol Pot or died of old age or illness.
… Since 1979 I have tried to search for HE Keat Chhon. I first try to reach him in Havana, Cuba. But his wife and one of his sons were in danger. Later I had his offer to help me from distance and in 1984 he disconnected himself (from the Khmer Rouge). HE Keat Chhon was assigned UN advisor to Zaire, currently the Democratic Republic of Congo, on industrial reconstruction. Finally I invited him to be advisor of the former State of Cambodia. He had then been promoted to ranks of Deputy Prime Minister of the provisional Government (1993) and at the latest Senior Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance. The Royal Government has proven able to maintain macroeconomic stability, generate economic growth and prevent inflation. So this is what the Cabinet has offered the merit to me and I have returned it to be shared among all of us. Having achieved these, the financial management is very important. HE Keat Chhon has stood to provide service in the reform of economy and make the economy grow by 7% in the last years.
… One of my remarks on HE Keat Chhon is that I could rely on him on many things especially on issues of reforms. He had organized successful consultative meetings between donors and Cambodia. I went just to give an opening speech and HE Keat Chhon was co-chairman of the meeting with the World Bank and other donors to gather aid for Cambodia. Take for instance this year we have fulfilled six evaluation criteria by the International Monetary Fund. This is a good progress made by the Royal Government of Cambodia and the whole of our people, and HE Keat Chhon and his colleagues made substantial contribution for such a development. I would like to take this occasion to thank the people of Chhlong for the contribution of a valuable human resource for the country – HE Keat Chhon.
Samdech Hun Sen has offered in that occasion a school building with six classrooms to the Secondary School of Prey Pongro and one school building with six classrooms to the Primary School of Boeung Kieb.