– Your Venerable Monks
– Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
– Beloved Compatriots!
Today is almost thirteen months after my participation in the Inauguration Ceremony of a new Monivong Bridge and Grounding Breaking Ceremony for the Construction of the overpass that was held on 24 June 2009. Once again, I have great honor to join the official Inauguration Ceremony of Kbal Thnal Overpass. A year is over, but the great achievement is in front of us and will be forever with us. It facilitates our travelling and fixes traffic congestion at all time. With a first overpass of our history, I would like to share happiness with your Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, and Compatriots all over the country and people living around this bridge. Shortly, this bridge offers countless benefit through our utilization. At the same time, I would like to compliment effort made by the Phnom Penh Municipality and relevant institutions for making this construction project completed within twelve months with attention and high responsibility.
According to the report by H.E. Kep Chutema, Governor of Phnom Penh Municipality, this bridge is built on both heads of old and new Monivong Bridge. It is made of concrete and is 308 meters in length, 14.2 meters width and 5.20 meters height. It costs 6,440,216 USD to be built. Certainly, this overpass is not accidentally appeared, it is the outcome of the efforts and firm decision of the Royal Government for the cause of internal integration, economic efficiency, equity of sharing growth and solution to traffic jam. I am of the view that this overpass will raise profile of Phnom Penh which is the heart and center of politics, administration, diplomacy, economy, commerce, industry and tourism of the Royal Kingdom of Cambodia. Moreover, it is a starting point for the construction of other overpasss in Phnom Penh, provinces and cities as the nation is ever making progress and economy is leapfrogging. I strongly contend that Phnom Penh Municipality will make further effort to expand and improve infrastructure and beauty of Phnom Penh in the form of tapping Phnom Penh resources to develop Phnom Penh, namely “using the capital’s budget for the capital’s development” or through mobilizing external resources.
Development of infrastructure such as construction of road and bridge is key priority stated in the Rectangular Strategy-Phase II of the Royal Government and is of significantly strategic nature for implementation of pacifism and physical integration policy, and is also a policy that promotes and supports growth and poverty reduction of the people. Having ensured political stability, peace, security, order and economic growth so far, Cambodia needs to develop infrastructure that is extensively covering the whole nation, modern and responding to the demand of highly civilized society such as construction of overpasss, underground bridges, bus station and railway station. Although, at the present our infrastructure has been remarkably and proudly expanded and improved, we are not going to stop our activities here, that is to say we must continue building, repairing and improving both old and new infrastructures.
At the moment, since Phnom Penh has made a huge progress in socio-economic sector, construction of high rise building, roads and bridges, all of foreign tourists, investors and friends who come to visit Cambodia always deeply admire achievement and development. This makes us feel extremely proud and be strongly committed to the national development process, especially in the capital city of Phnom Penh and other provinces in order to enhance the prestige of the nation as well as attracting investment to transform Cambodia to become a small dragon in Asia in the future.
We can actually realize this vision only if we all, in the Government, private sector, families and individuals, try our utmost as a unified set of resources for common objective, which is the socio-economic development goal in order to transform Cambodia to be a small dragon in the future due to the fact that Cambodia is now already in full peace, security and stability, which is the pre-requisite for development. Together with this long term vision, I have realized that we have to effectively fulfill our duties with good governance by trying to generate more revenue for public spending, which is to support development, economic growth and the implementation of various interconnected and complementary projects. The development of physical infrastructures, especially in the potential areas such as Phnom Penh and other provinces, are the significant priority to achieve the set vision that require us to be highly committed with high responsibility and sufficient capacity.
I clearly understand that we still have many other development projects while our society is in progress in all sectors and the requirement of travelling and transport is also very much growing. In this context, if we do not promote the construction, renovation, expansion, and the improvement of road and bridge infrastructures we will never be able to solve the problems of traffic congestion, local integration and within this we will never be able to achieve economic efficiency and equity of the growth sharing.
In this connection, related ministries and institutions and all levels of local authorities must cooperate and implement the infrastructure development projects according to their ability of resources with high quality, long durability and good beauty. At the same time, when high- rise and modern buildings are being planned or constructed in the country, especially in the capital city of Phnom Penh, we have to also consider the balance of development projects between high rise buildings and sky bridges and the impact on the residential areas and traffic congestion.
In the capital city of Phnom Penh, we certainly need more overpasss in the congested areas that require the Phnom Penh Municipality to study in details and use all means in order to solve the issues of traffic congestion and traffic accidents. Moreover, the Municipality has to study and properly install more traffic signs, traffic lights and road dividers to facilitate transportation and save the traveling time. Furthermore, the Municipality and relevant institutions have to exert more effort to campaign on traffic law, road-bridge traveling as well as driving morality. Taking this opportunity, I would like to urge all people to respect the Traffic Law, to highly keep driving morality, not to race on road, or to load higher than the height of bridge. This will contribute to traffic order and traveling in our city, like a slogan put “Respect the traffic law for all and all for respecting the traffic law”. By doing so, we are a good citizen who contributed to national development as a whole and particularly to Phnom Penh to be a Clean City, Clean Resort and Good Service.
In Phnom Penh, many roads and bridges have been built by the Royal Government, but we are facing traffic congestion due to the lack of respect of traffic law and growing number of vehicles. Currently, I noted that the disrespected traffic law created anarchic and out of order flow on the road and caused traffic congestion and accidents. It becomes a disease of our society. I am aware that traffic congestion and accidents could not be solved by only building more roads and bridges, installing traffic signs and road dividers as well as the presence of traffic police, but by having participation from all travellers. Obviously, traffic police could not control severity of anarchy and law disrespect, while travelers do not deter or follow the traffic command made by the police. However, traffic police have to continue doing their jobs based on the Law and uphold its professionalism, while avoiding using its roles and duties for personal or group’s gain. At the same time, I would resistibly urge our people to promote national dignity by respecting the traffic law and traffic police have to maintain their professionalism for the public interest.
The new achievement that we are officially inaugurating today is ours and it is born with a clear and right consideration of the Royal Government of Cambodia with effort form relevant ministries/institutions, the Municipality and the private sector. Once again, I would like to praise and highly appreciate the Phnom Penh Municipality and Private Sector for jointly investing in building this overpass. At the same time, I would like to appeal to our people, particularly to those living around this bridge and local authority to participate and cooperate to maintain for long-lasting and common interest as well as historical heritage of our nation.
To close with the inauguration of the overpass, I would like to wish your Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen the four Buddhist blessings: Longevity, Nobility, Health and Strength.