In addition to the prepared address given to the graduation ceremony of the fourth and fifth outtake of students in the League of the New Khmer Generation Organization (LNKG), Samdech Hun Sen made the following selected comments.
… Though I have to cancel some schedules because of the state of my health, I must keep the schedule to see you all today. Just now Mr. Nob Norin made a report about the operation of LNKG… It is like a Non-Governmental Organization and I wish to express my sincere appreciation to the efforts that LNKG made so far to accommodate up to over two thousand students. It is indeed a burdensome task. It is indeed difficult to manage with a few people or a few hundreds in a school, but LNKG has proven to manage a large number of people who have come from different circles, especially youngsters. We also have included here students who are the Buddhist monks as well.
… I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep thanks and appreciation to HE Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng who have provided support to this organization. If we could have more NGOs working in this direction I think that they could help relieve concerns of the RGC as well as the parents who could not afford to send their kids to either the state or private universities. It is very unfortunate that some NGOs, instead of fulfilling their own missions, instigate a hostile situation. No country in the world has more NGOs, press and political party than in Cambodia. In Cambodia we have over 5 million eligible voters and we have about 50 political parties in contest.
… What impresses me so far was the report that the LNKG has gathered female and male youngsters from various provinces and cities and provided them with necessary education. Because I used to be in a difficult situation myself, I could perhaps say that you all have a better chance than I did. Perhaps you never push cart with barrels of water like what I did when I was at your age. You seem to have nice dresses while I did not have those. When I spent my time for education in the Neakavoan pagoda, life was not easy. I wish to see no Cambodian children going through such a sad chance like I did.
… Our methodology in preparing our children to have a better chance is to provide the studying facility like school building, etc. close to the villages. We have to seek to diversify our training system taking into action also the method of those who know more would teach those who know less and those who know less teach the beginner. We, however, are in a better situation now. I have mentioned in my address already that the Royal Government of Cambodia has made a great deal of effort in order to increase its budget… Some people have hinted that if they were to manage the country they would increase the salary for teachers in no delay. That option is not difficult to do since one could, despite the fact that there are no money left in the treasury, go for printing more cash. If they could not print high value notes, they could go for the smaller value notes and give them out. But what would happen is that the price of rice, which is Riel 1000 per Kg would then be jumping to Riel 10,000 per Kg. Look at what we had gone through during the Lon Nol regime. They issued notes and they were of no value. So in what sense do we do that? That is one option they could think of doing.
… Another option, I think, is they may start collect tax on land from farmers so that they could fulfill their promises of increasing pay for the officials and teachers. If this is the option, let’s think together on one prophecy. Most of you who here have parents as farmers could think how would this impact on your families? So we have to look into the real nature of those instigated demonstration on the issue. I do not wish to set an increase of only US$ 100 per month salary but US$ 1000 per person per month. But it is not applicable as our budget could give us only this limit. We have about 2,800,000 hectares of land under cultivation without tax. If we were to collect only Riel 50,000 per hectare, we would gain a fairly big sum of money. But when we satisfy a group of people with salary, we neglect the hardship of million families of farmers. Therefore our people should think about this problem.
… Would they suggest to go begging foreign country to help pay the salary? I think I know them well that they would not act in this manner. Who cheats to win would be bitterly defeated when he could not fulfill his promise. So the best way to do is to follow the Buddhist instruction “getting things done according to one’s own ability.” As far as LNKG is concerned I wish to address Mr. Nob Norin’s request with 15 PCs, 7 printers, and 01 photocopier. I also wish to contribute Riel 12 million and 12 tons of rice for one year to LNKG…