… I am grateful today to the people and monks of the pagoda of Purserei Andet for the invitation extended to me to preside over the inauguration of the Buddhist temple, which is indeed my 45th inauguration of the Buddhist achievements of the year. I am taken by excitement to see that the pagoda of Prey Cham, which is 101 years old by record, has finished its construction. Father of HE Cheam Yeap, member of the National Assembly from this constituency, Mr. Cheam Soeun was once the head monk of the pagoda and HE Cheam Yeap is now credited with responsibility to reconstruct the pagoda after it was completely destroyed under the Pol Pot regime. HE Cheam Yeap was Governor of Prey Veng in 1984 and when I was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, I once came by engine boat to observe the flood situation in the area with then Samdech Chea Sim, the then Head of the National Assembly and the late HE Chan Si, Prime Minister of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea. We had a good harvest in 1993 but we had a bad flood in 1994 resulting in the damage of rice that was put in inundated storehouses. It was for that reason that Samdech Chea Sim, the late Prime Minister Chan Si and I conducted a tour to Prey Veng.
… I also had a chance to travel to the district of Peam Chor with the late HE Sin Song and Madame and I spent two nights there at the inauguration of the Sin Song College. In another instance I came to the Neak Loeung area for the protection of the old market of Neak Loeung which faced two threats – the flood situation and to be closed as the construction of a new market has already been completed. I was contacted by HE Cheam Yeap and I told him right away that the old market could go on as long as it needed and if no body would see about the construction of a damn to protect the market from flood, I would take that task. I have completed those tasks already. HE Governor Chuong Sivuth mentioned just now that 20 school buildings of 96 classrooms out of the 21 school buildings of 101 classrooms that I have built have yet to be inaugurated and he requested that they should be inaugurated today. Today we inaugurate all of them and also we are celebrating some more groundbreakings for the construction of more school buildings, though they were built high above the ground, the flood last year had been twenty centimetres higher than the building floor. So I instruct that new school buildings have to be higher than the highest flood level and this should be a standard for all school buildings that are going to be built in areas of up and down Mekong and Tonle Sap.
… I mentioned a few days ago in the district of Krochmar of Kompong Cham that the pagoda is a place where we keep our properties when we are alive and our remains when we die. We are now keeping our properties in the pagoda because we are making contribution for Buddhist development and when we die we also come to the pagoda to stay in a stupa. Besides the pagoda is a place from where one gets education, which later becomes the most valuable property one might have. Mental and spiritual education by the Buddhist monks would create what is called human morality and virtue, while background education gained from there could direct us to absorb further knowledge in our life.
… Days ago I accompanied the Japanese guests to visit the national road 7, the Moat Khmung Bridge and I came by helicopter through the national road 11, the districts of Sithor Kandal and Kanh Chreach. All I noticed is well grown crops but I was pondering about if we are lacking of water for the early season rice, how we cope with the matter. The Royal Government’s policy has been not to let anyone of our people die of hunger without knowledge and intervention. But one other point that I wish to reiterate here is that we are to let no one die of hunger when there are water reservoirs around to irrigate their rice fields. If we were to have no water reservoirs in the place, it is an understandable matter but if we could not intervene to rescue them when there are reservoirs around, it is an unacceptable mistake. One could call for intervention from my body guard intervention forces and we also have plenty of water pumps, which could be helpful in the rescue operation of our people’s rice when it is necessary.
.. Tomorrow I will be receiving foreign ministers of all ASEAN countries and I will preside over the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. All of the ASEAN foreign ministers and their partners have all come to our country. Cambodia is currently the head of the ASEAN Permanent Commission and we will be doing so till October 10, after which we will transfer the job to Indonesia for the ASEAN meeting in Bali. After the ASEAM Summit, we have to conduct ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with Partners, which include also the foreign ministers from the United States as well. I apologize from here to our people in the district of Kompong Trabek, where, from my recent visit, I had not completely resolved our people’s demands for more schools and I have seen their requests printed in a newspaper. I wish to announce offering four school buildings of 20 classrooms for them at their requests.
Samdech Hun Sen on that occasion offered 20 million Riel to the pagoda of Purserei Andet, a school building of six classrooms to the Primary School of Prey Cham, a school building of six classrooms to the Primary School of Hun Sen-Neak Loeung, a school building of six classrooms to the Bossloun School, a set of computers and printer, a photocopy machine, a 7KVA generator, fifty sewing machines and a building to the Peamro College, and 14 million Riel for the renovation of the dike that protect flood from entering the market area to the market management committee.