.. Today my wife and I have great pleasure to join with you all to celebrate the inaugural ceremony of the pagoda of Kraing Kunthor. We thank you all very much for granting us such honors. I still remember so many memories from this area, especially when my wife and I passed by the commune of Roleang Ken. My presence in those days was to tackle two main problems – the flood in 1991 and the drought in 1994. Accompanied by HE Kun Kim, in 1991, who then was Governor of Kandal, we came by Roleang Ken on our way to Kompong Tram to observe the flood disasters. Again in 1994 I have initiated a number of ideas for the development of the communes of Roleang Ken, Doeum Roeus, Angsnuol and Roka of Kandal and Kongpisey of Kompong Speu. Today we have various other achievements to inaugurate as a result of the efforts commonly made by our Buddhist monks and parishioners.
… I may recall that there was a time that our Buddhist monks and parishioners recourse their resources from building a Buddhist temple, which was then about 30% constructed, to building schools for local children. This shows an undistinguishable relation between Buddhist and Secular worlds. Take this event that our Buddhist monks sacrificed their resources collection for the secular world before the Buddhist world. I wish to take this opportunity to express my profound appreciation and thanks to the head monk of the Kraing Kunthor pagoda for having presented such a determination in addressing the difficulties faced by our people in the secular world. To take it further, if the secular world were to be underdeveloped the Buddhist world would also encounter setbacks. On the other hand as long as the secular world advances, the Buddhist world will also progress accordingly. Therefore, the best option is to find a way to use the two worlds for the development of our country.
… According to a study this pagoda was constructed owing to the conflict between the local Issarak (Khmer Issarak) leaders in the old days. Some studies of the history have revealed that originally our people in Roleang Ken commune were parishioners of Ang Metrei pagoda in Samraong Tong district, Kompong Speu province. This pagoda was not in existence yet before 1952. After a conflict between two local Issarak leaders – one side was Put Chhay of Kandal province and Second Lieutenant Thinh of Kompong Speu – our people in Roleang Ken no longer went to the pagoda of Ang Metrei for fear of revenge by the faction of Issarak in Kompong Speu. Later on there were about 70 monks from near and far came to meet somewhere here, it was then called Tuol Traing Yeay Tho, for meditation. They soon put up a long hall and after the meditation finished, they left the hall unattended. Two Buddhist monks named Chea At from Yuos Metrei pagoda in Angsnuol and Nhim Nhib from Ang Metrei pagoda together with our people developed the hall into a pagoda called Kraing Kunthor pagoda in 1952. We should also recall that this pagoda was quite honored for the late Samdech Venerable Chuon Nat who came to give a proper name of Sokunthearam.
… In the war between 1970 and 1975, the place was an area where the Khmer Rouge concentrated their forces, while the pagoda suffered similar severe destruction as in other parts of the country. What I wish to elaborate here is that achievements that we have come to witness today are taking shape because of belief of people. They would not be here if we were to have no belief. Any religion would not exist by the initiation and support of one or two people. It exists because the belief that the people place in. As we could take for example that even this pagoda was completely ruined, and from scratch our people have finally constructed this pagoda and temple again after a period of twenty-two years.
… As mentioned in HE Governor Tep Nunri’s report, there are numerous achievements that are my contribution to the people in the area. I have more to offer today. Just now Madame Ho Noun and Madame Khuon Sudary (members of parliament) told me that the road were quite bumpy. May I suggest HE Lim Keanhor, Minister of Water Resources and Meteorology, to address the problem of the road that runs across the three communes – Roka, Doeumroeus and Roleang Ken. His team has been given a duty to renovate and re-asphalt the road number 38 already and the construction started five days already.
… We now have a water dyke at Kompong Tuol Toeuk Thla, from where main canals like the Hun-Sen 21 Pump Station could provide water to the area nearby. We also have in this area a tree nursery station from where our people could request for trees to grow at will. It is not a bad idea if we were to plant more fruit trees like jack fruit and mango. We have ten of thousands of trees each year and they are made available to everyone. If we were to think of development, we have to plant trees. It is a great idea and help if each pagoda could serve as a tree nursery station and distribution…/.