I am so glad to return to Svay Rieng once again after my visit last year. I am grateful for the presence of honorable guests coming from Phnom Penh and other provinces to Svay Rieng. I also welcome our guests coming from the provinces of Long An and Tay Ninh led by their People’s Committees on this auspicious occasion. They have been good neighbors who provide helps for the province of Svay Rieng as a whole. It is indeed a great pleasure that we all meet today to do two things – the graduation of both scholarship and fee paying students and the inauguration of meeting room and library buildings in the University of Svay Rieng.
It is content to see that we have made progress in the field of human resource development not only in Phnom Penh but also in provinces. We have been able to establish tertiary and post graduation education institutions in various provinces – the University of Svay Rieng in the province of Svay Rieng is one of them. It is worth recalling that the University of Svay Rieng is the fruit of cooperation between the former Head of National Police HE Hok Lundy and the provincial Governor Hun Neng, and the contribution from various generous people. It was July last year that I came to the university to preside over the graduation ceremony and to lay the foundation for the construction of the two buildings.
While handing out diplomas for our graduates, please allow me to express my appreciation for those of you who have made every effort to achieve your education record today. I urge that you continue to make further efforts both in works and in studies. No one could claim to have learned all and sufficiently from finishing education today. Things evolve every hour and there is a need for us to keep abreast with the situation. For instance those who engage in stock market will have to make constant examination on various stocks development in order to make decision. Otherwise, they would not be able to make decision or to make wrong decision.
We must develop ourselves into constant learners or we could find ourselves being conservatives, who then would be standing in other people’s way. It has been my experience that to resolve present day problems, it is not always possible to apply the old day practice. It was different to resolve a problem at the time when the country was in a mixing state of peace and war and at the time when we have achieved full peace. I would compare those who do not update themselves to be a piece of stone that sits on new buds.
Another example would be this need for us to keep abreast with what happens in financial and economic recovery front. The world financial and economic downturn has impacts on economic performance and landscape of Asia. Cambodia is not an exception. To keep abreast with situational evolvement and development links closely to the fact that leadership must pursue the principle of flexibility as the principle of as-it-be cannot do the job. What do I mean by there must be flexibility in the leadership? As I said earlier, in a scenario that our country was in partly war and peace, our leadership also had to be enhanced according to the situation with a clear objective of what to be achieved. Like, because of flood damages, we have had to put a break on new building projects and to divert financial availability to fix damaged ones. This is a small example for you.
While the country is in peace and economic development, including also relations with other countries, Cambodia could not afford to be unyielding. To meet the set strategic goal, it should be noted, it is not always the case that ones can go straight without altering their tactics/moves. Sometimes one has to stay idle, to move left or right or even to take a step back in order to make a few steps forward. I may give you an analogy on this. To reach a destination you may happen to head toward lakes and rivers or jungles. Tactically, you’d better find the best way to pass by the obstacles.
Sometimes, one may lose track and had to start from the beginning too. This is because we do not realize our objectives or achieve what we planned to. I may have your attention that tactics and strategy are two complementary elements that serve each other. Without tactics, the strategy would not get results. What I mention today perhaps does not help only the graduates but also various leaders too. This has reminded me of the time when I lectured about “methodology applied in leadership and work.” Take for instance Svay Rieng province was affected by flood. We could not maintain normal chain of work but had to gather human, intellectual and property resources to first save people’s lives and then to restore their living conditions.
We are living in a world of integration. It should be noted that Khmer language is rich with local terminology – royal and people at large. Take for instance, those terms used in Cambodian traditional volume measuring – Niel, Hab, Kantang, Tao, Thang, etc. seem to have passed by. We must restore and keep these terms at the time that integration is looming large. It seems the Ministry of Cult and Religious Affairs has compiled so many terms used in our history. Thing like why do we call this province Svay Rieng or Line of Mangoes is something that is worth studying and keeping record of.
There was an old song that goes “ten Tamloeng, five Sloeng and two Baat,” in which Tamloeng, Sloeng and Baat denote local currencies in those days, in a Cambodian traditional wedding party. Another song also depicts the origination of local sword making that goes “the unique best sword is the sword made from iron in Kompong Svay.” Some studies suggest that these poems prove a connection with the time of Sdech Kan (Sdech Kan was a commoner who turned to be King in between 1912 and 1924). The Sloeng currency/coin is known to be molded in 1514. Sdech Kan started to score victory in Stoeng Sen (The Sen River of Kompong Thom) where Kompong Svay is not that far away.
Let’s make effort to preserve old terminologies for the sake of our national identity in the time of forcefully regional and world integration.
This year, despite flooding, the province of Svay Rieng manages to have rice surplus of 300,000 metric tons. I am sure our people understand that no one but us ourselves to depend on. We have to exercise self-help theory. Svay Rieng province was liberated on January 4, while on January 5 and 6, the provinces of Prey Veng and Kompong Cham was liberated consecutively. On January 7, the liberation army liberated Phnom Penh. I may recall that there are three provincial governors now – Saom Chen, Jieng Am and Neov Sam, who were former soldiers.
There is a long story about this. Just now I shook hands with many and asked them from which battalions they are. There are tombs of unknown fallen combatants, who accompanied me, in Vietnam where I will conduct a visit shortly. I will give a speech. We have not been able to identify their families just yet. Since we still have their names carved on their tomb stones, we still hope that one day we will be able to identify their relatives. Maybe the Bayon TV “This Is Not a Dream” program could be of some help here. Among all 49 combatants laid to rest there, most of them were from Svay Rieng, Prey Veng and Kompong Cham provinces.
HE Chea Sophara wrote me a letter yesterday asking me to approve the construction of two rural roads with the total length of 59.8 Km. The first line of 34.3 Km is running from Psar Jek of Rumduol commune through five communes – Kompong Jak, Kokisaom, Jrak Mteh, Popek and Svay Rumpe – to the city of Bavet at Ji Phu. There are 29,593 people living along the project area. The road will be of great economic efficiency as it will facilitate people’s trading and transportation between Cambodia’s Svay Rieng province and Vietnam’s Tay Ninh province. The Ministry of Rural Development requests the road to be included in the 2012 plan and to be asphalted by using the Double Bituminous Surface Treatment (DBST) technique.
The other line of road will be 25.5 Km connecting from the asphalted road at Russei Prei at the village of Kompong Jamlong to the asphalted road at the village of Kraol Ko, the commune of Kraol Ko via the village of Jambak, Tchoeu Teal and Kraol Ko in Svay Rieng’s district of Svay Jrum, along which live 36,360 people in the project area. I also approved the Ministry of Rural Development’s request to classify the road under cyclical repairing in 2012. We do have financial difficulty because we have had to face with many contingency recovery plans to fix damages caused by flood. However, the Royal Government has just launched its endeavoring project to bitumen 505.4 rural roads in five provinces.
Well my speech here in Svay Rieng is the last speech this year. Starting from tomorrow, we will enter into the campaign period of the Senate elections. Let’s all wait and watch live broadcast of the Sea Festival from the province of Sihanouk. I also have to prepare a speech for my visit to Vietnam, where many Deputy Prime Ministers – Sar Kheng, Bin Chhin and Men Sam On – will also join me. For the Vietnamese side, there will be HE Prime Minister, former Secretary General of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Head of State, and various other incumbent senior officials. There was this photo that shows me, Hun Sen, Hem Samin and Nuch Than in the front row, and five others in the back row. Behind us was a board written “The Proclamation of the Salvation Army of Kampuchea – Unit 125” or Day 12 of May.
We also have a major event to celebrate in Phnom Penh – the 7 January victory day, one day before which we also inaugurate the 7 January overpass. I could probably declare the commencement of the construction of the third overpass at Stoeng Meanjei junction too.
Please allow me to thank everyone who has taken part in this joyous event. My thanks especially go to HE Men Sam On, Deputy Prime Minister, HE Bin Chhin, Deputy Prime Minsiter, and HE Im Chhun Lim, Senior Minister and Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction for taking their time to join us today. They are here in reserved capacities for positions in the Senate – at least Deputy Speakers. We have to get our men ready if any unexpected thing happens. I hope it is understandable to all that it is best that the Party takes precautionary measures.