I am so glad today to be able to join with our Buddhist monks and people, excellencies, ladies and compatriots to put into official use this Buddhist temple of the Keo Muni (Angkor Ban) pagoda. I am taking this opportune moment to express my sincere thanks for the Buddhist monks, head monk of the pagoda and its parishioners for giving me the honor to cut the ribbon inaugurating this temple.
Different Religions Not Obstacle to National Development
I am so happy to have noticed that for this Buddhist event, we also have the presence of our Khmer Islam people. It is a very important point relating to the harmonization of different religions, races, about which a number of countries around the world have experienced divisions. For us here, this event is not particularly for the Buddhist followers alone, but Khmer Islam people are also attending. It is not a prohibition in Buddhism for Khmer Islam people to participate and to have presence in pagoda. It is my joy as I see this aspect of our society and we must protect it – harmony of religions and races, and all religions instruct people to do no harm or bad things.
Furthermore, differences in religion or faith would not be a hindrance to national development. I hope that countries in the world will experience what Cambodia has. We are not providing any country our example but I think this very good experience shall be going on. Next month, I have already marked in my schedule, that I will attend the ceremony to end Ramadan or break the period of fasting of our Muslim people at national level on 11 June organized by the Royal Government. However, I also have a schedule to attend the ceremony in one other mosque. I will continue to take part with other ceremonies – Buddhism, Islamism, or Christianity.
Response on Salary Tax
On my way, I posted some photos to let people know that I am making a journey to the Keo Muni pagoda in the village of Angkor Ban IX in the district of Kangmean, Kompong Cham province for the ceremony to inaugurate a Buddhist temple there. I have noticed that as the country is making progress in secular as well as Buddhist world, under the roof of peace, people residing along the 120 Kilometers road to the pagoda have shown clearly how they benefit from peace. In just about one hours, I have a reaction of about 30,000 on Facebook … There was a comment asking me about his concern when he grows older and he could save money because his salary is deducted for tax. I responded that the deducted amount will be given back to you as retirement pension.
River Land Erosion, Sand Pumping
As far as pagoda here is concerned I am so grateful and appreciating the efforts made by head monk and parishioners to rebuild this pagoda from scratch. In 2004, land of former pagoda area eroded into the river and people, with appreciative cooperation, have chosen a new location to build this pagoda anew. A pagoda in my home village also had to move as river current took chunk of soil until it was impossible to rescue. This is what we could say life of people living along the river. We had to build a new pagoda too. The new one is also a few hundred meters from the riverbank and my home is about a hundred meters to the riverbank too. I had a bird eye’s view the other day and noticed that soil there seems to have stopped falling off and grown up.
In this situation, we need to make efforts to direct water current. As you may have noticed, naturally, because of the water flow or current, while silting on one side of the river, it creates soil erosion on the other side. It is in this case that we have to spend resource to direct the water current. It is rather unfortunate that some people did not understand and misled by bad people’s opinions, they criticize sand pumping to direct the current. Well, if they do it unlawfully and not for directing the water current, not only that people should criticize them, but also the Royal Government will take action.
Peace Precondition for Development, Democracy, Human Rights
I would like to take this opportunity to share one thing with all of you. People know and understand our bitter past experiences. We have come this far and will make further steps into the future. War put our country in a state of destruction – secular and religious world. They both suffered. No sacred institutions of Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity escaped destruction under war and genocide regime. Inter-relationship between peace and development is important. It demands people’s unity to keep peace because without peace, no one can do anything about development, human rights, etc. Looking at Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, etc., have these countries had freedom and human rights? Everyday people there have to take shelters from bombardments, shelling, and emigrate for safe refuges.
In Cambodia, emigration within or to foreign countries by our people is for jobs and income. We do not do it because of war. In the past, people fled the country for war and genocide. Now Cambodians are emigrating for income generating purposes, in or near their areas of residences. Tens of thousands of people are living and working in Phnom Penh for an annual increase of benefit. They send some of their earnings to their parents and families. Were there no correct policy framework for keeping peace and allowing for development, would there be a situation like that, particularly so in the religious front. Inter-relationship of Buddhist and secular worlds is strongly bonded and inseparable […]
More so, as I was one of the pagoda boys, Buddhist pagodas have become a good place for students to take shelters while pursuing their studies away from homes. That is why I mentioned that pagoda has been the most suitable place for elderly people, youth, and children too. Growing old, people have no better place than going to pagoda. Some have come to stay for the last part of their lives and some came to celebrate Buddhist ceremonies of any sorts. They all are possible because of a realistic leadership, not because of promise making […]
National and Sub-national Institutions Participate in Water Providing Campaign
I would take this opportunity to send a message from here to people in the whole country who are yet to be free from heat wave disaster and water shortage situation. I am taking this opportune moment to express my sincere thanks to national and sub-national institutions, the armed forces, Cambodian Red Cross, especially our youth, for taking active participation in this campaign to provide people with water for consumption. As the situation has evolved, not only we provide people with water that they need, now that some rains have come, we have come to a different calamity situation – strong wind that brought down houses, injuring and killing people and animals.
This is all natural calamity and people living along the river have had a better condition compared to those living further away. Up to this moment, some places have now received some rain that people can collect for their consumption or water providing by working teams, we will keep on monitoring the situation. In some areas, we have to carry out two actions at the same time – providing people with clean water for drinking, and restoring or drilling new and old wells/reservoirs.
I no longer appeal to other parties to take actions along with the Royal Government because up to the moment, none of them has stepped out. Not only they initiate no actions of their own, they would not even give encouragement to actions taken by the Royal Government or charitable persons. I have rights only to appeal to charitable person, ruling party who happens to be with people always in bad and good time. We are not waiting only for time to collect votes.
… In this instance, I am calling on officials, armed forces and CPP officials to teach themselves information technology … to make e-government possible. People make lot of comments in my page and they cover many issues and areas. Take for instance the province of Kompong Cham, perhaps it has a team that monitors people’s comments in my page, they should know what people think and say on my page and took the gut to respond when it is a matter that concerns their responsibility.
610 Riel/KWH Will Take Effect on 1 April 2017
… Taking this opportune moment, I would say one thing to BTV, reported from Tbong Khmom province. On my way to the Council of Ministers, I heard BTV from Tbong Khmom reporting that people demanded price of electricity to go down to 610 Riel/KWH. To clarify this matter for all, especially for journalists, I am declaring that 1 April 2017 will be when people who have their lines hooked up with national lines will benefit from our new electric price of 610 Riel/KWH. There are eleven more months before that time will come. People whose households consume 50 KWH and less, will pay only 610 Riel/KWH then an price for electric use for agricultural purpose would also be less./.