Ke Leng Sportswoman’s World Record for 2013 and 2015
… The Royal Government of Cambodia always conveys greeting to sportsman or sportswoman on success s/he scores. (Ke Leng) has proven to maintain top world record for 2013 and again 2015. Today we also have the presence of Sorn Sievmey here. I would take this opportune moment to emphasize for you that reason why we have rescheduled the welcoming event to today is because the previous date fell on the National Day. In a reading of HE Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister, informing everyone about the news of (Ke Leng’s) amazing performance … had attracted every senior leaders’ attention and everyone expressed his/her greeting. However, as President of the Cambodian Federations of Petanque, HE Sok An requested that the welcoming event to be held at a later date for the National Day.
As we had to reschedule it, there had been comments in Facebook that comparing to Sorn Sievmey, Ke Leng’s world record has gone into silence as some had even claimed it to be political matter. I then commented that it was not those matters but the National Day that we had to reschedule the event to a later date. Today, we are organizing official event that includes making a motorcade procession (of our gold medalist) as prepared in advance. Of course, we do not escort her from the International Airport of Phnom Penh to the city but we will present her in procession from the Peace Palace to a certain places pre-determined by the organizing committee.
I am very happy indeed. Just now, I listened to what Captain Ke Leng had had to say and so did her trainer. I do not feel disappointment (to the fact that we did not score success) as a team though scoring medal would be nice. There is a procedure and method for the judges to make decision. Take for instance the Cambodian Idol contest, I voted for Haji, though I did not mean Ni Ratana was less talented. However, in the end the juries gave their decision to Ni Ratana. One should not blame either the juries’ decision or the Hang Meas TV management. No matter what result came out, we give our recognition and greeting to every participants.
Go Watching Sports Indicates Peace in the Country
I would take this opportune moment to express my greeting to the victorious contestant, after whom I think it would be hard to find a sportsman or sportswoman to break her record. They organize petanque contest once every two years with participants from numerous countries … (Ke Leng) did it twice consecutively – once in 2013 and again in 2015. It would be difficult to find one like Ke Leng. We should also look into other world individual sports such as tennis, by which some have won medals consecutively too. Golfing such as US Open, Michael Campbell of New Zealand made it twice. The Government of New Zealand also provided him with motorcade procession from the airport. Tiger Woods also won many in the US Open Masters Tournament. However, to break record in petanque would not be easy. However, with persistent efforts, I am sure there will be one successful sportswoman or sportsman who can do it …
I used to play petanque too. In 2009, in my visit to France, the French President gave a set of boules (hollow metal balls) to me as a souvenir. When one of the French Prime Ministers came to visit Cambodia, he also brought me another set for souvenir. I cannot play it anymore now. When I first started golf, I could not hit the ball. I asked myself why Samdech Chea Sim and Samdech Heng Samrin could give it a go, while they are older than I am. I began to make effort and practice. I could do it … and last Sunday I lifted a cup too. The question here is if Ms Ke Leng, our heroic sportswoman could do it, would the younger generation keep in mind to make more effort to be able to do it too? I think we can. However, there must be systematic efforts made within either the federation or individual frameworks. Our (sports) movement is now making a breakthrough. Deputy Prime Minister HE Sok An seems to have a boost in this sports of his federation.
On 2 December, I wish to place you invitation for live broadcast – on Facebook or TVs, on final event of swimming contest from the city of Kompong Cham, where we also put into official use the swimming pools. We also have other federations of football and volleyball, which General Net Savoeun, Chief of National Police, sponsored. They had a good match lately between national police and the police force of Battambang province. As for football led by General Sao Sokha, is also making advancement. This evening, you may want to watch the match between the national teams of Japan and Cambodia in a World Cup Qualifier match. Winning or losing – let us be fans altogether. There have always been tens of thousands coming to watch football match, either it is Cambodian team Vs a foreign team or between locals. I am sure that our sports sector is moving forward now and is indicating our country is in solidarity. In short, to just go and watch football or other sports also show that the country is in peace.
Boat Race – Not in Phnom Penh, in Province Though
There are many sports that I could not count them all here. Please continue to make more efforts. Though this year we will not celebrate the boat race event in Phnom Penh, if there is going to be a possibility to organize it in provinces, please do. However, organizers must be precautious about rowers’ health as the level of water in the Mekong River hits its very low level at this time of year. Until 24 November, we have one full week. The water level would go down another 40 centimeters, on which rowing racing boats would be difficult. However, in Phnom Penh, there will be many concerts in various places to be conducted by Hang Meas TV, SEATV, Bayon TV and others. I hope that the Cambodian people in provinces will come to Phnom Penh for the water festival celebration.
… I wish to affirm that there will be a motorcade procession soon … HE Dr. Hang Chuon Naron just returned from Thailand. He stepped off the plane and came right here. He was supposed to read the speech but out of concern that he would not be able to make it, HE Pit Chamnan, Secretary of State for Education, Youth, and Sports did it on his behalf. According to the sub-decree for sportsman/woman winner, Ms Ke Leng is to receive 120 million Riels and as usual I give her another ten thousands USD. Her trainer will receive 120 million Riels too and I top up another three thousands USD … I already talked to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense, HE Tia Banh, Ms Ke Leng rank in the army of Captain will be promoted to Major. If she is going to bring another gold medal for the country, she will be made lieutenant colonel and to colonel by a sub-decree that I will sign, etc. Please understand that the gold medal is not only for Ke Leng and Family but for the whole Cambodian people.
A Formula for Promotion for Gold Medalists
I suggest the Ministry of Public Works discuss with the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports, the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia on a consideration (of formula for promotion for those who win gold medals for the country). The formula will not apply only in the case of Ms Ke Leng but for everyone in the army, police, military police, civil servants, etc. who practiced sports and win gold medal for the country. We must figure out how much would be for the awards, what sort of promotion are they going to get, etc. Now let you proceed to motorcade procession for the greeting of our heroic sportswoman who has brought fame and victory to the country. The top decoration presented to Ke Leng today is also a symbol of respect from the whole 15 million Cambodian people. The Royal Government of Cambodia, on behalf of HM the King, would present Ke Leng this decoration. She was presented with a Moha Sereivadh medal before but today she will get the Jeatobaka decoration, the highest decoration of Cambodia. As for Sorn Sievmey, if she were to win a gold medal again, we will also present her with Jeatobaka decoration./.