Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen,​​ at the Visit to Flash-Flood Victims in the Province of Banteay Meanjei (Location 2) [Unofficial Translation]

57

CNV:

Property and Crop Damaged, Life Saved

Even though flood has had us hit very hard, but today we seemed to be meeting in pleasant faces as we have moved now to safe grounds that we are sure about saving our lives even if properties and crops are suffering damages from this unprecedented huge flash flooding. I have a mixed feeling here. I am glad to see that you are now safe, but also I am sad and sharing my condolences with those who lost their lives from this natural disaster […] I am bringing you and our compatriots all hearted messages of HM the King and Samdech Mae (the Queen Mother) […]

I may have come late but the flood situation is not yet over. I have one other meeting our people in another place and I am sorry to have kept you waiting […]. Tomorrow, I will return to lead the Cabinet meeting on Friday. On Saturday, I will return to Banteay Manjei as the number of affected households has reached 30,000 […] I urge the provincial authority to look for people who have not yet received relief assistance as Banteay Meanjei is the worst hit among others. On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I am sharing your losses (– lives and properties/crops) as they are not only losses of each household/family but of the whole nation […]

Leave No One to Suffer – A Respectable Spirit

Impacts from flood caused us more weights as we are in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic […] as of now, about one third of Banteay Meanjei are under flash flood. Such disaster is not for Cambodia alone to come to. It happens everywhere in the world. That this or that person blames Cambodia for this or that problems, (one could understand that) s/he is not broad-minded. S/he just tried to find ways to criticize and demean (others to beef up her/his images). I suggest the Quick Reaction Unit prepare a documentary about natural disasters in the world to illustrate this fact (that it is not a fact for Cambodia alone) […] no one can bargain with nature – earthquake, typhoons, lightning, flooding, drought, etc.

Our people have had this experience – big or small, many times in life but this one is the biggest one in 70 years […]. As I share with you impacts on lives, crops, and properties, I am taking this chance to, once again, thank the authorities at every levels and the armed forces for their effective actions and I have already talked about it in other places. I just wanted you to see that whenever problems arisen, we never abandon anyone. We always help each other in any way we can. That is a respectably good spirit.

Infrastructures Rehabilitation

As we are engaging primarily in rescue operation, we also have thought about the many more tasks that we needed to fulfil in the time to come when the water receded. As far as this infrastructure issue is concerned, I know, some people have said they would not want our humanitarian relief packages or rice but reconstruction of roads. To restore connectivity by means of roads reconstruction and/or rebuilding dams damaged by flooding are indeed our priority. They have indeed added more weights to our tight budget. It is true that we have ability to resolve those challenges but (were there no flood) we could have done even better. I passed by Siem Reap province where (the Royal Government) is in the process of conducting a massive infrastructural project where we will build 38 urban Siem Reap roads to discuss relevant issues. We do not withdraw money earmarked for the project for flood relief operation. It is just that should there be no flood, our ability to spend on this or that project such as rural roads, schools, hospitals, etc. would have been speedier.

Pride of Solidarity among Cambodians

I am so proud with the solidarity among us Cambodians. As of this moment, this or that country declared their assistance but we have not had a cent from those sources yet. That is why I always tell the Minister of Economy and Finance to never leave our hands empty. We have used what we have reserved in a timely manner, for instance, to help the now 20,000 households and another 15,000 later. I came across some disabled people while traveling to see people stranded at homes. I am calling on our people to reserve their understanding for them. Please do not insult them with their handicaps […] I am one of the disabled persons, I feel painful when someone called me “the blind,” and I would not forget it. I lost an eye for the course of my motherland and they should not make fun of it. I am of the opinion to set up a disabled persons association to protect their dignities from insults […]

Charitable Contributions Used for Good Course

As for charitable persons who have contributed assistance to the victims through me, I may assure them that I will make use of their contributions – which is nearly eight million USD, for good course. They will not be disappointed. I will make sure they will get to the target people. We are getting the job done. I just have information from Preah Vihear province that the water level in the river of Sen (Stoeung Sen) surges but not to an emergency level yet. Rain seemed to have decreased now. That would give us quicker chance to relieve difficulties from the flooding. What we needed to focus later after that is about re-cultivating crops […]

To end this talk, I thank our people for voting for the Cambodian People’s Party and supporting my candidacy as Prime Minister. I hope that our people will continue to vote for the Cambodian People’s Party as we have been with each other for 41 years already […]. No matter how huge obstacles were, I always took my presence with our people. I never abandon anyone at any difficult time. When people are in hardships, I appear. When people are in joy and peaceful life, I stayed back […]./.