Root Source of Paris Peace Agreement
… If there were no war in 1970, Cambodia would have developed much more. What sort of responsibility should those responsible for war take? Tomorrow will be the (24th) anniversary of the realization of the Paris Peace Agreement. Those who involved in waging war (in those days) should at least take moral responsibility if they did not take the responsibility for damages and loss of lives of millions of Cambodians in the time of war and under the genocidal regime of Pol Pot. The fact that the Pol Pot (regime) had occurred was because of the overthrow of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk by the illegal coup in 1970. Tomorrow, at least people should learn why there needed to have a Paris Peace Agreement. Should there be no coup in 1970, there would not be this regime of Pol Pot and were there no regime of Pol Pot, there would not be our force to fight Pol Pot to liberate (the country) and there would not be a civil war, which required the Paris Peace Agreement.
As human beings, we had better inquire about the problem’s root without attempt to hide the fact why Hun Sen had to negotiate with Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk to open way for the realization of the Paris Peace Agreement. That should be the right question to ask. Some have picked up just this or that point (of the Agreement) to elaborate but not historical account as a whole. Should they be courageous, would they be able to speak the truth about what had brought about the Paris Peace Agreement? Were Preah Norodom Sihanouk, the King Father then, continued to rule the country, there would not need for the Paris Peace Agreement at all and Japan also did not have to reconnect the Jroy Jangva bridge (which was broken off by war) too. As you already learnt, the Jroy Jangva I bridge blown off in 1972 was reconnected in 1995. When we talk history, everything has its cause. To define a tree one has to count in trunk, roots, branches and leaves. One cannot just talk leaves or trunk for a tree.
Two More Bridges over the Mekong
… The China Road and Bridge Corporation … is conducting a feasibility study of two more bridges. The first bridge will connect on one side the village of Svay Jrum, Sangkat Svay Jrum, Khan Russeikeo to Sangkat Jroy Jangva, Khan Jroy Jangva of Phnom Penh. The project was proposed since April 2014. The second bridge project will connect the district of Lovea Em, Kandal province to the village of Kdey Takoy, Sangkat Prek Eng, Phnom Penh. Connectivity is important for development. The one who has the ability to help us connect would be China. The CRBC that built the Jroy Jangva II Bridge has been conducting the study of the two bridges. We will have to prioritize which one to build first as we will not have the ability to build both bridges at the same time. I would urge our people residing on both sides of the rivers to keep up their hopes. The two bridges are in our vision for development.
What Achievements Does Win-Win Policy Bring?
… I wish to affirm that in the 1980s, especially in 1988, if I could recall, the province of Kandal’s border was right at the foot of Jroy Jangva bridge. The place where we stand belonged in fact to Kandal province. HE Thaong Khon was then Mayor of Phnom Penh. I visited this area of Prek Tasek, where we sent youth and officials from various ministries to clear the inundated forest on this side as we were worried that the Khmer Rouge’s H12 mortar would reach Phnom Penh from there. However, our win-win policy brought Ee Chhien (former Khmer Rouge commander) to the fold of nation. We should review, after implementing the win-win policy, what achievements have we realized, especially the implementation of the three core policies of guaranteeing personal safety, profession and employment and ownerships. They may look back if the Royal Government has in fact maintained its promises.
They may compare areas like Pailin, Mealai, Samlot … to before integration to see what differences they make. We now have asphalted roads and the GDP of the regions have grown higher than internal parts of the countries. As we are going to build a memorial monument (about the integration,) we should recall these facts for a comparison. What the Royal Government did not take the matter lightly or make empty promises. It should be noted that students from Pailin scored mention A in her final exam of the senior secondary school recently while in bigger province like Prey Veng, no one got A mention.
The 2016 Budget Law Abolishes Light-Duty Means of Transport’s Road Tax and Patent Tax
… I wish to emphasize here that yesterday (the Cabinet meeting) has adopted the budget law (2016) …, which acknowledges and understands our people’s difficulties. From next year, the law does not oblige people to pay road tax for light-duty means of transport such as motorcycles, motor-tricycles, tractors and other agricultural machines alike, engine boats. In Phnom Penh, we have over one million motorcycles and there are more in the whole country. In three more months from now, the law will come into force. However, I am calling on our people with light-duty means of transport to pay road tax this year because we have to abide by the law in place. People should pay their taxes for the last time and keep the receipts to prove their law-abiding citizenship. People will now benefit from the law. They no longer have to pay road tax for their light-duty means of transport anymore.
… In addition to this, traders and shopkeepers will benefit from the abolition of what they called estimated regime for taxation by reducing tax according to the size of trade companies, which would allow small traders and business people to benefit from tax exemption. It will help alleviate hardships for poor people. Sometimes, (we noticed that applying) estimated regime of taxation applied since 1995 through to 2005, the amount of estimated stays the same. If they paid 500,000 Riel when we introduced the estimated tax regime, they continue to pay the same amount twenty years later, for example. It is a big loss of income. Moreover, some tax collectors even caused trouble with petty-cash traders too. We decided to take away the estimated regime of taxation.
Over Pass Techno to Temporarily Open
… Let me inform our people in Phnom Penh that on the coming 21 November, we will put the Techno overpass into temporarily use for the sake of facilitating traffic during the coming three-day water festival from 24 through to 26 November. We are still observing the level of water in the Tonle Sap river whether it will be possible to celebrate the event. If the water stays at the current level, we will hold the festivity but it would be difficult if the level will go one meter lower. As we are monitoring the level of water, we must get everything ready and be prepared for the celebration of water festival in Phnom Penh. I will have to go for ASEAN Summit but will fly back immediately to welcome the official visit of Prime Minister of Russia on 23 and 24 November. The Russian Prime Minister will be our first foreign guest to travel on the overpass Techno. It should be a welcoming news for our people of the achievement the state has provided to save them from traffic jam and loss of fuel …
Salary Increase in 2016
… I wish to take this opportune moment to affirm to teachers, RGC officials that next year there will be salary increases twice – once in January 2016 and again in April before the Khmer New Year. We have to divide the amount of increase to 50% for the early part of the year and the remaining for before the Khmer New Year. For example, nursery and primary education teachers, who get the lowest pay of 640,000 Riel/month plus their regional subsidy between 80,000 and 120,000 Riels, accordingly, in 2016, will earn 800,000 Riel or roughly 200 USD. However, we will increase to 700,000 Riel in January 2016 first and again in April to relieve cash burden at one time. May our armed forces, RGC officials, etc. take this as your information./.