Today it is my great pleasure to be here with all of you to present the scholarship of “Samdech Techo Hun Sen Vision 100” which is the generous offer from Dr. Rithy Thakral, the President of Thakral Group and family from Singapore. It is indeed a pleasure to give my appreciation to the University of Cambodia which always makes great efforts in seeking scholarships for providing to students from poor families so as they could continue their studies. With the Vision 100 Scholarship, I think we have added a new kind of scholarship to our list. Because we have 100 students covered in this scholarship, it is hopeful that we will double figure every year until perhaps 1,000. Efforts made in seeking sponsorship in form of scholarship has been remarkable and it is good to note that among the 100 students selected for giving scholarship most of them are coming from different provinces in the country. Dr Kao Kim Huon already mentioned about how to go about setting a selection criteria and the contest for scholarship. The 100 students have been selected through contest from 3,548 candidates. I am sure you all have made personal best effort to pass the test.
I would urge you to understand that it is not an end in itself just to have passed the test to get the scholarship. It is indeed just the beginning. It should not be assumed that achieving scholarship is automatic to have finished the tertiary education. You have to make further efforts in your study until you get to finish the bachelor or master degrees. Even when you have finished your doctorate degree, you should go on in the study like a slogan that goes “study and study.” I would stress here that all leaders no matter at whatever level you may be – top to middle levels Minister or Secretary of State – must continue to study.
I would urge those of you who have been granted the scholarship to work hard and follow your professors’ instruction and you have to make efforts in doing your homework and research. I would give you my experience here that whatever is the product from your own research and findings is there to stay with you, Plagiarizing is not your own and you will not remember it. A few months ago, maybe before the elections, I saw a girl who competed in the US, when she was interviewed by the Bayon TV. She is between 16 and 17 years old and is the one who conducted research in bio- fuel. She won the silver prize among participants from some 70 countries. I think we should try and find her to help her in her study so that she could become one of our scientists or inventors.
I am so proud of research work and I would suggest that more efforts and resources should be made available for this kind of training. Only by doing so we will have technicians and researchers like in other countries. Research will provide us insights to any disciplines and invention from them will be sold to technical companies who will have to pay for intellectual property. That is why I urge you to produce your own and not to plagiarize as it will not be staying with you. Leaders are the same, when they do not have their assistants with them they do not know how to write letters, because their assistants help them write.
Since you have shown your ability and knowledge in the exams and because you will have good curriculum offered by the University of Cambodia, you all will become new generation of intellectuals with professional consciences and young generation of leaders in future. Maybe 20% of you all will become heads of institutions, offices, departments, 30% will become community workers and the remaining 50% will become production force of our society. Maybe 2% of you will become politicians – in so and so parties and you may become parliamentarians.
I would therefore urge you to make more efforts and with your endeavors in your study you will reach your targets and become the capable force of our society, the pride of our nation. As I can remember, 29 years ago in April 1979, when we started the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there was one Minister, one assistant and one guard – three persons to run the Ministry. In those days I remembered there were many who cheated with their education background, again in 1992 and 1993.
Many people fake their pasts in their biographies. Some came from foreign countries and claimed to have Ph D but they never have thesis and countries of origin could not prove them to be ones.
I thank Mr. Rithy Thakral and family for their understandings in providing this kind of assistance to our people and they know that it is what Hun Sen wants – building schools, giving scholarships to students, etc. I just sent a few months ago some ten million Riels (about 2,500 US dollars) in assistance to a young boy who had both of his hands amputated but made great efforts in his life to write and read and eat on his own. Since you all have a better chance than him I would urge you to make the most out of this opportunity for own sake and for the society.
With regards to the situation along the Thai-Cambodian border, some people think that the Royal Government of Cambodia will conscript our youth into the army so as to fight in the upcoming war. We have more soldiers to fight than we need, why should we need to impose military obligation? Some politicians like to talk about military secrets. Will you get information from the US military? Will they tell you how many soldiers they have? Please do not feel that freedom is to know everything, as it could jeopardize national security.
We will have to conscript some to replace old soldiers but not general conscription. It is not the time yet to implement military conscription while it would also take us a lot of money to do so. The conscription will be for 18 months, but we will spend 6 months already in training, whereas the 12 months left would not be enough.
Besides we have to spend at leas on uniforms, etc. The situation has evolved from confrontation and armed clashes to negotiations … The war broke out when I was 18 years old so I was not the one who is responsible in waging wars but I am sure that we are the ones that put an end to wars. We will not seek to make war with anyone but to keep our country in peace and self defense if need be… ■