… I have a great pleasure to join with all of our people in the inauguration of a dining hall that our people and monks in the pagoda of Peam Mungkul have made efforts to build it as a contribution to the progress made in this pagoda in particular and Buddhism as a whole. I am glad to see development is made at a level that is quite acceptable and appreciable as our starting point (in Buddhism or politics) is not similar to that of various countries in the world.
… We have travelled on a long distance. In many countries, once leaders are changed, regimes have kept everything for their successors. Take for instance the Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq has collapsed and the Iraqi people are in the process of reconstruction of their homeland with oilfield from which oil was pumped and exported in exchange for hard currency, and in the capital city of Baghdad people organized football match. Take the cases of Laos and Vietnam, though their regimes have changed, their human and infrastructural resources were still in tact so they have ability to go forwards without fail. In Cambodia also, when Lon Nol launched a coup and took the country over from Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, he had a chance of enjoying all achievements of the Sangkum Reastr Niyum. Once Pol Pot took over the country from Lon Nol they also have the previous achievements to start with. But when we took the country over from Pol Pot, there were nothing left for us.
… What were left from Pol Pot were orphans, widows, elderly people with no one to depend on while their physical conditions were unimaginably poor and unhealthy. But today in this pagoda we have spent so much money for the above construction. In the province of Kandal alone we have up to 374 pagodas and 6107 Buddhist monks. When we look back to our history then we could see that having come to the current level of development is an admirable progress. Some people said that Cambodia is increasingly poor and I have wondered what they compare Cambodia to. If they compare Cambodia today with Cambodia in 1979, they could not make such a conclusion.
… Just now HE Tep Nunri reported that there are in all 408 school buildings that I have built in the province and the number is increasing everyday because our children are growing up, while smaller ones are born. We also have to produce five thousand teachers a year in reciprocation to this development. We still have to address the imbalance between supply and demand in education sector. HE Kung Ieng reported about the road renovation and we have done about 50% in improving the condition of a road of 29.50 kilometres that is running across here. I am trying to fit in my vision on which roads need to be paved and I think this road here will be the first to be paved all along the river up to the district of Kangmeas of Kompong Cham. One other road to be paved would stretch from the town of Kompong Cham to the district of Kompong Siem and also a road from Prek Tamak to the river that I called the national road 8.
… Having said all these does not mean that I declare to become Prime Minister in the next term because I will have to go through a competition with 25 other candidates and our people will have to make a decision in choosing one. We have built to the western side of the national road 6A a length of two kilometres with three concrete bridges of 45 metres from Bakheng to Prek Anhchanh, a length of ten kilometres from Prek Anhchanh to the commune of Russei Chroy, and to the eastern side of the national road 6A a length of 7500 metres from the Prek Anhchanh market to Russei Chroy. They will be red soil covered roads. They would not stay long but we will see how could we go about paving them with our limited budget? I wish to reiterate that whatever I have built here or elsewhere in the country is not for competing with anyone at all but for racing against demand of our people. Reducing poverty could also mean reducing people’s hardship.
… In my political career I always see the responsibility for the whole country. It is difficult to manage a family but it would be even more difficult to manage a country a whole of over ten million people. Sometimes there is a report here and there of the case of corruption, dictatorship and I have to take the responsibility before anyone else. I have to take the blame and will take the matter to those officials involved. Take for instance issues of land, forest and fisheries reforms. I learnt of authority charging prices on fishing tackles of our people very late and I am wrong about that with our people living in area of Russei Chroy as they had previously had to pay a sum of money before going to fish. Having learnt that, I had cut out 56% of the fishing lots and permitted no tax on family fishing tackles. Anyone charge the household fishing equipment, they commit illegal action and I would offer similar guarantee on land that no tax would be imposed.
Samdech Hun Sen on that occasion offered 20 million Riel for the construction of a Buddhist Primary School, a water reservoir and eight million Riel to the Pagoda of Peam Mungkul, five million Riel each to the pagoda of Muni Choat, Svay Loeu Koh Dach, Pur Anhchanh, and five tons of cement each to Prasat Raingsey and Choatnaram, a school building of five classrooms to the Primary School of Rokakaong I, a school building of five classrooms to the Primary School of Chambak Mean, a school building of five classrooms to the Primary School of Prek Anhchanh, ten million Riel to the College Chea Sim-Prek Anhchanh and 43 tons of rice for labour to the people in Smbauor Meas commune.