The 996.2 Meter Bridge, the 8-Kilometer Road
I am so happy to be presiding over the construction ceremony of the bridge over the Tonle Saap river with the total length of 996.2 meters and the road of over 8 kilometers to connect the bridge to the NR 6A. In addition to the bridge over Prek Kadam, today we have one more bridge that will cross over the Tonle Saap River. I appreciate the effort made by the Phnom Penh Municipality, and concerned Ministries ranging from Transports and Public Works to Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, to Water Resources, to Agriculture and the Cambodian Development Council who in the recent past have pooled efforts in brining about this historic investment and historic construction project.
I would like to take this opportune moment to thank the LYP Group for its leading role in making contribution into the country’s infrastructural development. Okhna Ly Yong Phat has already made one historic contribution in the province of Koh Kong – with the 1,900 meter long bridge, the first bridge we ever had over the sea corridor. This bridge is going to be the second one. It is a significant contribution to the Kingdom of Cambodia as a whole and to the city of Phnom Penh in particular.
Private Investments in Infrastructures
Lately the Royal Government of Cambodia has made special attention in pooling resources with the private sector for development of infrastructure. It is a sector that is the most difficult to get a commitment for investment. The bridge over the Tonle Saap Lake costs up to 42 million US dollars. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local investment company with its partnering companies for making such an investment by the private sector into the infrastructural project jumping high after the 300 million Euro – project of Koh Puos bridge development that I presided over the launching last week.
The Cabinet also decided new hydro-electric projects of Ta Tai and Russei Jum Kraom which record the investment of over one billion US dollars. Some countries have the courage to make use of private funding for building project of nuclear power stations, whereas the state will use its coffer to fund other projects.
Phnom Penh and 7-January Jubilee Anniversaries
In relation to Phnom Penh the capital we will celebrate its 575th anniversary next year and it would fall on the 30th jubilee anniversary of the 7-January victory as well. This means that we will celebrate two jubilee anniversaries next year. We will make sure that they are big events. We already have the statue of Grandmother Penh inaugurated by HM the King. After 30 years of liberation, the city of Phnom Penh also has evolved from the ghost city through to be a beautiful one.
Phnom Penh went through devastating state from generations of war which no country or city in this world could compare. Cambodia’s Phnom Penh city had become a country of no economy, money, schools, hospitals, whereas, worse of all, people became slaves. We have started from scratch. When the country was liberated from Pol Pot, we could say that the only capital we had was being alive, and our two hands to defend and rebuild the country at the same time.
I was then 27 years old. When I met my wife and kid again, my child did not recognize me and called me “uncle”. I know how bitter it is when it comes to separation. Cambodians do revive because of the Cambodian People’s Party and we all should be frank with that. Some gave their supports to the Khmer Rouge at the expense of the Cambodian people, blaming the Phnom Penh Government, etc.
National Infrastructural Development
Phnom Penh in 1979 was a 70 – resident city has now become a city with hundreds of thousands of cars and motorcycles. The infrastructure of the city that was built for 700,000 populations – according to the French master plan – has now mushroomed into a state beyond control. Its sewage and drainage system have to be reworked. Let alone the NR 6A that was built with the Japanese assistance will have to be enlarged. All our newly built national roads are 11 meters by width but they are still congested with vehicles of all sorts.
Facing with these developments, we could not afford to depend only on the Japanese built bridge at Jroy Jangva. We have to building another bridge for heavy trucks at Prek Kadam with the Chinese assistance, which will partly divert traffic of these vehicles from Kompong Cham or Kompong Thom on their directions to Kompong Chhnang and Pursath without having to pass by the Jroy Jangva Bridge in Phnom Penh. They can also go straight from there to the seaport in Sihanoukville, Kompot, etc. for similar benefit.
With this bridge over the Tonle Saap Lake, we could, relocate factories to the eastern side of the Tonle Saap River and even some factories in the district of Khsach Kandal in Kandal province as well, after the bridge of Prek Tamak is complete. The bridge itself has brought us tremendous economic interactions whereas people will benefit from transports, traffic congestion could be lessened, and more jobs will be created.
Continue to Do What Has Been Done
We have many projects in the making and some are in their completion stage, but Cambodia now have come to face with many candidates for Prime Ministers or in local jargon “if-to-be-PM.” I am an incumbent and also one of the if-to-be Prime Ministers too. I make my commitment that I will continue to do what I have been doing so far – peace, stability, development and people from all walks of life could co-exist with the CPP.
SRP Defection and Intelligence Proofs
There has been an effort in using an unrecognized group for many terrorized attempts as presented by Mr. Nhek Bun Nhien. I have just appointed Mr. Nhek Bun Nhien as advisor to the Ministry of National Defense. He has brought so many files of proofs to be studied because according to what he had said it has a complicate nature and deep involvement with intelligence and security in Siem Reap and other assassinations.
The proof should be verified in relation to assassination attempts like on my life in Siem Reap, which we already know but we want to have more light on some other matters. After the CFF (Cambodian Freedom Fighters) in Phnom Penh was frustrated, there was this movement of the Moha Nokor (or Great Country) in Pursath. We would like to know who is behind the movement. A thorough investigation must be conducted. We should not ignore what could jeopardize the country’s national security. I know their concern when Mr. Nhien left the Party. This force is top Secret as HE Ngo Sovan does not even know about it. An investigation must be conducted and some foreigners have also been involved in the case.
I have suggested a journalist to be on bail and this act should not be misjudged that I did it because I was under someone’s pressure. All depends on the court. If he is going to be convicted he will be brought to serve the court’s sentence. No matter where he goes. Take Heng Peo (a Cambodian police commissioner extradited from Malaysia) as an example.
Cambodia’s UN Mission
Learning well the consequence left by the United Nations Transitional Authority for Cambodia (UNTAC), the Royal Government of Cambodia took every measure to educate its de-miners who in turn operate in the UN mission in Sudan. UNTAC left Cambodia with HIV/Aids at the highest rate … Cambodia is making all preparation for the reserved forces to respond to the UN’s need for their operation. We will send our forces to anywhere not only Sudan but on the condition that they are not engaged in combat mission./.