… It is indeed an honour and pleasure for me to have been invited to preside over the inauguration of the temple in the pagoda in the district of Kompong Tralach, Kompong Chhnang province. Our people might have uncertain feelings about my presence here as I used to overpass and return straight to Phnom Penh while making no stop here on theway. But here I am today. It is my 46th time of inaugurating temples in the pagodas and it is also my last one as the electoral campaign has approached. Once the campaign is over I will go on with that. Yesterday I was in Kompong Cham, today in Kompong Chhnang and tomorrow will be in Banteay Meanchei province. I also travel in the following days to Stoeung Treng, Takeo and Kompong Speu will be the last in the schedule. Venerable head monk just now mentioned that it is because of me that he also has his day today, and I replied immediately that where there is his venerable head monk, there will be Hun Sen as well.
… I wish to express my sincere thanks to our people for the efforts they made in 2000, 2001 and 2002 for the overcoming of hardships caused by floods and droughts. Through real improvements of our people living conditions, the Buddhist pagodas and Islamic mosques have also made noticeable progress. These achievements would not be realized if the real situation proves it otherwise. Our people would not come today to the inauguration ceremony if their living conditions are unbearable. As for the people representatives from the Cambodian People’s Party to this area are well educated Cambodians such as HE Ph. D. Ouk Rabun, Secretary of State for Economy and Finance, HE Tram Iv Toeuk, Construction Engineer from France, HE Deputy Prime Minister Kong Sam Ol, Minister in Charge of the Royal Palace Affairs was educated as agricultural engineer.
… According to statistics, in between 1979 and the present, we have brought down the figure of those living under the poverty line from 100% to 36% and the poverty line is defined by earning less than a US$ a day for one person. We have to define the term “hunger” and “lack of food.” Under the Pol Pot regime we had this situation where everyone did not have anything to eat at all and people died of having nothing in their stomach. As for lack of food that we have in the present situation is that though some of our people are still poor but they still have rice for consumption. However, poverty would not just disappear but each one of us has to make effort so that our country could jump start.
… Season of putting blames on one another is approaching and taking this opportunity I would like to place an appeal to our people to take patience in face of all those blames that are likely to appear. I wish in this instance to share some experiences with our people and especially with my supporters that any rebukes towards those blames have to be polite, dignified and simply full of facts. I would share a real experience with you. In one of the Supreme National Council (SNC)’s meetings, a politician of about 77 years old came to me sharing a buffer table and said “If we could not reach an agreement, we should go on fighting.” Taking into consideration his age old, I replied “yes if we were to do so for another 20 years, I would turn to be just 58 years old.” The reply silenced him. My supporters should not return rhetorical blames as doing so would lead to conflict.
… The opposition blames us of being dictator who is enemy of democracy. Based upon real situation we should give them a realistic answer that because they could scold us and blame us of being a dictator and undemocratic, while they are free to move around and to do so, is would prove in fact that we are really democratic. Take for instance what happens in Myanmar and in the last few days we had this ASEAN Regional Forum meeting, which represents at least two thirds of the world’s nations, in Phnom Penh and situation in Myanmar was one of the agendas. Our people may ask those politicians from where are they coming and if they say they are from Phnom Penh, you should ask through which road are they travelling, have they seen better road condition, good school buildings, etc. If they blame me you may have many good reasons to argue instead of creating conflicts. Hun Sen never lives abroad and therefore he never takes the Khmer money to pay tax in other country at all. Unlike some politicians who are paid by the Cambodian and paying foreign tax system.
Samdech Hun Sen offered on that occasion fifteen million Riel, a set of electrical light and amplifying system, and 20 million Riel to the pagoda of Champei, five million Riel to the pagoda of Muniram, ten tons of cement each to the pagodas of Sereimungkul, Serei Kungkea, Kru, Sangkum Meanchei, Tropeang Chum, fifteen tons of cement each to the pagodas of Sovan Kungkea, Samraong Russei, and Leach, etc. and many school buildings for the students and teachers in the district of Kompong Trolach.