I am glad to join in this ceremony of graduation at the Asia-Europe University. Please allow me in this joyous occasion to give my sincere appreciation to the leadership and staff of Asia-Europe University (AEU) for the efforts they have made in this area of human resource development. AEU has started as a non-governmental organization and developed into a university in January 2005. As a result today we have witnessed the graduation of 1919 students. According to the report I learned that overall number of students has reached 11,683 whereas 7,305 are currently pursuing their studies.
As I used to say, to get something started is difficult but to sustain it is ever more difficult. If there were no good leadership here, no matter how much assistance is provided from external sources, the university would not be able to do what it has today. My assistance would be to meet some of the needs of poor students. I provide two tons of rice and two million Riels per month to them and this is very small. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the university and its leadership and wish them further positive management and thus strengthen its efforts to modernize and upgrade its education quality.
I wish to also take this chance to express my sincere thanks to the graduates for which they have made their best to study and also I would give this grateful respect and appreciation to the efforts and sacrifices made by all parents as well as efforts in teaching and guiding those graduates as rendered by professors. As you all know that there is no way that knowledge and know-how could be given to you or instilled in you without a period of education/training. Take for instance genetics study in agriculture, research and genetic experiment have been conducted from which, Sen Pidor, a kind of rice species that is widely known as of the present, is being formulated and produced in large scale by the Cambodian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI).
In fact we could not follow the genetics engineering pattern. Your knowledge and know-how would be acquired only by your own efforts. What is done here is that professors would try to transfer their knowledge to you and whether you could get it or not will be up to you.
As far as training and education institution is concerned, we now have many institutions in many provinces – Battambang is provided by HE Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, Banteay Mean Chey by Chief of General Staff HE Ke Kim Yan, Siemreap province, Svay Rieng province, by other generous officials, etc. They are able to follow a standard education only that the widespread distribution of school would help reduce expenses for student’s families where they do not have to send their students to far-off universities. A few days ago HE Kep Chuktepma, Mayor of Phnom Penh talked about getting open a new library in Boeung Trabek School, for which the money has been pooled by various generous persons, myself included.
In the present we have a big library in the University of Phnom Penh and now we have a new library here which is of more or less same standard and will be able to accommodate users in this part of the city. This has indeed been initiated by taking into account issue of geographical access. Everyone has to take their time to study including people of my age. I have been informed on time on every issue. Sometimes I learned before other ministers did. Take for instance situation in Thailand at the time of coup, I learned from CNN and Channel News Asia of the announcement that the Thai side did not expect any troop movements. I informed my ministers for National Defense, Interior, General Chief of Staff, etc. about the announcement and ordered them to place order to cease troop movement, if any, so that our neighbor would not be concerned at that specific juncture.
This is a good example that everyone has to keep up studying and you would have to do more to study when you are working. There is always cutting edge technology and new development and advancement in various fields and sometimes we may be left behind and therefore losing control.
Yesterday Mr. Khieu Samphan (one of the Khmer Rouge leaders) had to be brought by helicopter to a hospital in Phnom Penh for his health condition. This has to be a concern for the Royal Government because he would have to stand trial soon. If something wrong were to happen to him we would lose a live witness to the regime, this is not to include what kind of accusation would be directed to us. HE Sar Kheng took a responsive measure to send in a helicopter and a team of medical experts. You can see how seriously we have to be vigilant on the leaders of the Khmer Rouge. I mention this so that you all know why it is important to keep abreast with situation.
A country could develop with one important factor – human resources, which is relating to not only intelligence but also morality of every individual. We may think that those who produce drugs are un-educated or unintelligent. They have knowledge. Only that they do not use their knowledge for good cause. They would be those who have been educated in pharmaceutics, and not illiterate people. Those who produce explosives like bombs, etc. are those with high education and training – but they as individual tends to perform negative action. It is yet unrealistic to think of every intellectual as good person. We should try and keep ourselves from committing those bad acts but good ones for our society and country to develop.
The Water Festival is approaching. We just have the Katina from which each Buddhist pagoda has a contribution of an average five thousand dollars from the ceremony. We have experienced depreciation of the Riel currency after the Prochum Ben Day but in the last two years it has been an opposite because the market experienced shortage of the Riel currency leading to increase value. This is indeed a combination with other subjective matters like depreciation of the US dollars in the currency market in comparison to Euro or other foreign currency.
This year’s water festival we will have more boats than the previous years coupled with the fact that we have a newly refurbished gardens in the city. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for the effort made by the Mayor, the leadership and staff of the Phnom Penh Municipality and hope that by implementing the 50 + 50 formula in renovating roads in Phnom Penh – the policy initiated by the former State of Cambodia in which the state and people jointly implement – by 2008, we would have all the roads in Phnom Penh paved.
For other religious and seasonal ceremony the people in the cities would go out to the countryside, the Water Festival is indeed designed to draw back people from the countryside into the city to enjoy the festivities. This festival will have a combination of both the people from the countryside and city people together. Therefore we expect that there will be many people coming into Phnom Penh.
I would instruct concerned authorities of all levels to look into this matter as there would be heavy traffic and crowd of people. I would urge them to perform duty to their best so that people could freely enjoy the festivities. As I would be away before the festival to join the ASEAN Summit and various concerned meetings, I would urge you – those who come and those do not come to look after animal feeds and irrigation, to harvest rainy season rice while continuing to cultivate dry season rice. According to our estimation this year, despite drop in yield in some places, we have anticipated a good harvest with the Ministry of Agriculture’s prediction that we would have two million tons of surplus rice.
Secondly I would urge our people to be careful when traveling both in urban as well as in rural areas. We have many accidents in the past on the NR 4, 3 and 2 and also NR 5 between Phnom Penh and Kompong Chhnang, Pursat and Battambang. I have been suggested by an old man sometimes that at night vehicles of all kind seemed to be using long-distance light which blurred the sight of travelers in opposite direction. I hope you all take this suggestion to heart and respect the traffic law.
We all have been saved from the regime of Pol Pot, therefore we should not be dead because of own silly and careless action. We have started to build this country from scratch up to the present. But some people said we have made this country or people afraid, hungry, and ignorant. I do not agree. What to be afraid is what happens in Pakistan right now. In Cambodia, when they say Cambodia is hungry, our TV advertised about how to lose weight, when they say we are ignorant we have about two or three colleges in average for one district … Well it is because they are so irrelevant that they are always in the opposition.
I wish to take this opportunity to clarify the issue concerning Myanmar when somebody said that the planned visit of the Prime Minister of Myanmar to Cambodia has been cancelled because Samdech Hun Sen criticized Myanmar in relation of the crackdown. I would respond that Cambodia has just received the Prime Minister of North Korea despite remarks by some political leader that we should not do so and/or there is no interest whatsoever to receive him. It was the same person who at the time we hosted the ASEAN Summit said he was on strike to eat no rice but had bread and infusion.
As far as the visit of HE Thein Sein, Prime Minister of Myanmar is concerned, I would inform you that the former Prime Minister, So Win, died of a prolonged illness and HE Thein Sein is appointed as his successor. As a head of Government, it is the ASEAN custom that s/he has to travel around the country members. The Prime Minister of Myanmar proposed a visit to Cambodia on November 10 combining with his visits to Laos and Vietnam. We responded to the proposal that Cambodia would be in its celebration of the Independence Day and our officials would be engaging in a very busy schedule, not only the Prime Minister but also HM the King.
There have been some interpretations that Hun Manet, my eldest son, because of his frequent visit to Siemreap province to donate helps to the poor, would be nominated as a parliamentary candidate for the province. I would declare that my son would not be involved in politics at this moment. If he likes he would do it in a later stage. He could perform social and cultural duties but not a people’s deputy yet. This piece of information has been placed in internet not by anyone other than the same person whose party has been headed by husband and by wife. They all become members of parliament. Some have named a political party after one’s own. They at the same time claim that they are not dictators and are democrats.
We’ve got to clear political concerns since in months from now (we will have the general elections to hold). CPP welcomes everyone who wishes to join with it and serve the country henceforth. We have more to do and we need to join together to achieve that end.