May I express our deep respect to all of you who are here today for the launch of the construction of the Bailey Bridge over the canal of Prek Cham and the construction of a road at the length of 5000 meters between the village of Svay Khleang and the commune of Boeung 2 in the district of Kroch Chhmar of Kompong Cham province. My wife and I together with my children and in-laws are very happy to join with all of you here, those people from the Muslim community included. The Kompong Cham province Governor HE Hun Neng and HE Kong Ieng, commander of the construction project here, have already reported to you about historical facts relating to the bridge. In addition to that I could as well recall all facts about my home village which is on another side of the river.
The bridge was first built in 1920 – the period under the French colony. It is then quite old as it was built even before HM the former King Norodom Sihanouk was ascending to the throne. In 1982, when HE Hun Neng was the district head, he reconditioned the bridges according to available resources as we faced resource constraint after the fall of the Pol Pot’s regime. We later replaced the bridge with new bailey, whereas the older one was transported to the canal Peam Koh Snar at the point of Prek Doeum Por. Increase in transportation demands for an upgrade of the bridges, which has been in bad condition to this date. I am fully responsible for that and would seek your understanding as the bridges in this area have to be built later than elsewhere in the country.
From the province of Kratie down here, bridges have been built over the canals of Prek Te, Prek Chhlong, where there have not been bridges before. We put the bridges into use on April 04 in 2003. On the side of the National Road Seven, through the road number 3 from the district of Dambe to Kompong Reang, we have put bridges all the way. For that matter, on the other side of the river, we have roads and bridges connecting together all land areas separated by water ways – four bridges were built in the district of Prek Prosob of Kratie, etc. all the way to the Han Chey mountain.
Maybe I should say a few words about someone who promised this bridge in the past and one of them who died yesterday – Mr. In Tam. He and Mr. Seng Sun U were the people’s deputies of Poes constituency which included altogether the area under the district of Kroch Chhmar. In every election Mr. Seng Sun U brought in the electric generators to pagodas and he sent his agents out with kerosene lamps. When he lost the election, he then ordered removal of those generators and lamps. On this side of the river, In Tam promised the constructions of bridges and roads, and the same did Mr. Kuy Peo in Stoeng Trang. They promised but none has been realized. They met people only when they were in electoral campaign and they could not be reached once they became people’s deputies.
When I came to inaugurate the new Peam Koh Snar pagoda after the old one fell into the river because of the shore erosion, I gave a sum of about ten million Riels for provisional strengthening of the bridge’s condition. We now have resolved the financial problem in rebuilding the bridge. The construction has to be finished before flood time. I wish to express my sincere thanks to our military engineering teams for their efforts and the mobile medical teams who have been everywhere with the engineering teams. This area is prone to deep flood every year. Because of the geographical condition, we could not afford to build road along this deep-flooded area. Therefore, we put this bridge into use for convenient transportation and traveling in dry season. As parts of the roads would be disconnected in flood season, there would be some jobs for the ferry boat service providers.
I am indeed happy that the whole province of Kompong Cham has received up to 47 bridges with the total length of 2,300 meters, of which 39 Bailey Bridges of 2,097 meters. According to the study I have ordered, along the river called Tonle Touch, more bridges need to be placed – that is why I said that we may need about 40,000 meters more of Bailey bridges. But we used the frog-pace strategy and I would not apply the promise-making strategy of the previous politicians. I think it is time we listen to the voice of reality and not that of promise-making. I wish that our people do not let themselves be fooled for the third time, after they were cheated for the first and second times. I would send HE Chea Sophara down here to the district of Kroch Chhmar to help with our people’s need.
I wish to take this opportunity to express my grateful and sincere thanks to the wishes from our people, Samdech, prince/ss, Neak Oknha, ladies and gentlemen by all means for my birth anniversary. On April 4 in 2002 I went to Koh Kong to put into use the bridge over the coast. On April 4 in 2003 I came to Kratie to ianugurate the Prek Te Bridge and Prek Chhlong. On April 4 of 2004, I put into use the college of Bun Ranny- Hun Sen Wat Phnom. On April 04, 2005 I went to Stoeng Trang’s Peam Koh Snar to put into use the Buddhist temple and on 04 April this year I am here to observe the construction of the bridge over Prek Cham and a road in the district of Kroch Chhmar. I am glad that we all have achieved success together over the past year and I would not accept it as a success of my own. It is a common success of all the people of Cambodia.
In 2006, for instance, the economic growth has made a new progress. In 2005, World Bank projected Cambodia would achieve a growth of about 1.9% and in 2006 about 2.4%. I told the Ministry of Economy and Finance that what is important for us is action. Finally we have come to an achievement of 9.8% economic growth. We should continue to make efforts for more growth in the economy as the opportunity is very scarce. On 07 April we will host HE Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister of China and I will conduct a meeting with him in my office. I would tell him that because I have been working in an old office like this that I have been Prime Minister for the past twenty years.
On that occasion Samdech Hun Sen offered a set of microphone and amplifier to the pagoida of Kroch Chhmar, a race boat for the pagoda of Doem Chrey in Kroch Chhmar, some money for finishing the construction of the temple’s roof of the pagoda of Poes, a school building of six classrooms to the Primary School of Kompong Krabey, a school building of six classrooms for the primary school of Ksach Anhcheng, a school building of six classrooms for the school in commune of Tuol Snuol, a school building of six classrooms for the Primary School of Phum II, etc.