Today my wife and I are happy to be here for the inauguration of the Bayon TV and radio station as is reported by the director of the station that it consists of a headquarter, a new technology setup but not a different Bayon Station. The broadcast of Bayon Radio started ten years today or between 1997 and 2007, and the Bayon TV started roughly a year later in 1998. The station played a very important role in time of incident in July 1997. At that time broadcast from other channels disappeared the two stations strived to get on air despite difficulties. Later in the framework of win-win policy, broadcast was directed to various regions for internal integration, together with other stations aimed at providing people with information of the fact that our country is united and the civil war came to an end.
Cambodia in the 16th century was divided into three control areas – 1) Dhama Raja who controlled Chadomuk, 2) Preah Srey Raja controlled are from Rolea Pa Ae in Kompong Chhnag up to Pursath, etc. and 3) Preah Soriyotey controlled this part of the country. So when one thinks of the three kingdoms in the Chinese history one has to remember the three kingdoms of Cambodia too. Later on an ordinary Khmer became King – Sdech Kan or Preah Srey Jeddha who set up Sanlob Dauntey as his city and ordered the use of Sloeng currency for the first time in the Cambodian history. But the country at that time was divided into two – the east and the west parts and fought endlessly.
The country’s long history of division had continued and by 1998 the country has once again united. I must say the Bayon TV and Radio has done a great deal in disseminating the Royal Government’s policy on the pacification and unification while allowing for regeneration of human resources for the reconstruction of our homeland. As far as Radio is related it covers larger areas than other stations – and perhaps this is a reason why Bayon is operating at a loss. From Phnom Penh, Bayon Radio is broadcasting at 30 KW, plus 10 KW in Siemreap, plus 10 KW in Kompong Cham and more for Stoeng Treng, Sihanioukville, etc.
According to a report by Minister for Information HE Khieu Kanharith, in the whole country we have 105 TV stations and 53 Radio stations. We also have 293 newspapers, 30 bulletins, 90 reviews. We have 39 foreign language press registered and 9 imported ones. We have 11 permanent news agents in Cambodia and 15 journalist or press associations. When politicians say there is no democracy, I doubt about it. We have provided important points in press freedom where publication can be done without censorship, no imprisonment for expression of opinion unless it is a defamation or/and discredit. This was clearly written in the UN law – UNTAC law – for Cambodia and the Royal Government amended this point by withdrawing it from the criminal law.
Why do we have cable TV with so many channels? We have our reason. Firstly, it will help our viewers to see what is happening in other countries while instilling them with knowledge and clear-cut understanding. Secondly, investors to Cambodia could enjoy their country’s programs since they are from neighboring or far-away countries. They could keep abreast with situation in their home countries from Cambodia. This indeed would make them stay in our country longer.
I also like to thank Bayon TV and Radio for its diversifying programs ranging from health, healthcare, bird flu, environment, etc. I was impressed indeed on spots in which cow tells his owner to clean his hands before taking his lunch, etc. There is also a good spot from the National Election Committee (NEC) urging our people about going to cast their votes in the communal council elections. It is also worth noting that TV and Radio are also making sacrifices when there is a national event like water festival, boat race, national independence, royal plowing ceremony, etc. during which all TV and Radio stations always made a good collaboration.
It is said that Cambodia has no freedom but Cambodia’s passport can be used for one’s whole life. Take for instance Prum Manh (a traditional singer) could come to and fro Cambodia anytime he likes as long as he has money to travel. I just propose to him not to cause any trouble outside Cambodia or he will be caught and extradited to the country. We will have to sign an accord with the United States of America to take to the country those guilty persons. I wish to seek our people’s understanding that they should cause no trouble to those countries they are living in and must abide by the law and order. Under Pol Pot, no travel to and fro was allowed not only between countries but between villages.
In the course of developing Bayon TV and Radio station, I would urge the Director to pay heed to training staff and try to work out diversified disciplines of knowledge because technology develops very fast. Some people said bad things about my daughter being appointed Director. My response is 1) appointment of Director lied in the fact that who is holding the largest share of the company. This it is a private company; 2) my daughter is over 18 which means she no longer is under my supervision. Some politicians who both husband and wife are members of the Senate, members of the Parliament, and some have even used own names as the Party’s and they pointed fingers at others to be diktat.
I would like to take this moment to inform Samdech Buddhist Patriarch that the road that Samdech requested as a corridor to the sea has been completed already but inauguration could not be held on March 16 because of the election campaign. We move it to April 4 which is also my birthday. The construction has taken a little longer than expected because we could not use Bailey Bridges but build them all in concrete. What is perhaps the most important is that the road is completed and we will put it into use officially soon. In fact the people have used the road already./.