Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the off-the-cuff inaugural speech of the Russey Keo bridge across the Tonle Sap River in Phnom Penh [Unofficial Translation]


(1) In 1989, the Khmer Rouge fired H12 rockets at Russey Keo gas station

[…] This area all the way to the SEA Games venue and the Win-Win Politics Monument […] we sent young people to cut down the inundated forest to prevent the Khmer Rouge from approaching Phnom Penh. In 1989, some ten years after our liberation […] the Khmer Rouge fired H12 rockets into the Russey Keo area, targeting a gas station. The government then demanded deforestation on the other side of the river […] now there are no more reeds. We only see buildings and development projects […]

(2) Development of Chroy Changvar generates property tax for national incomes

[…] Taxes come from (real estate in) this area is also a part of the national incomes. If we do not have it developed, where does the national incomes come from? There have been numerous satellite capities in the area […] the property tax every year is not small […] I remember what HE Khi Taing Lim, then the Minister of Public Works, said – water is the enemy of the road. Well, it’s true. National Road 6 is threatened by floods in those days. Now we have ensured development in this area […]

(3) Many bridges across the Tonle Sap Rivers

[…] We cannot think only of the ferries business and forget millions of people who need a bridge. Just along the Tonle Sap River, we have the bridges of Prek Kdam, Prek Pnov, Russey Keo and two Chroy Changvar bridges, one Cambodia-China Friendship Bridge and the other Cambodia-Japan Friendship Bridge. We will have another bridge that will connect the capital city of Phnom Penh across the Tonle Sap River to Chroy Changvar, and (across the Mekong River) to Areyksatr. This is a project of the Republic of Korea […]

(4) Phnom Penh is waiting for three more bridges

For Phnom Penh, we still need three more bridges. Two bridges can take shape soon – one is the Cambodia-Korea Friendship Bridge (which I mentioned above) and the other is the bridge for the expressway further down the stream […] we let the investors to just worry about the expressway. As for the bridge across the river (of Mekong), we will pay for the construction to avoid people having to pay when crossing […] there is another bridge that we need on the Bassac River to pour Angre. I heard that HE Khuong Sreng wanted to take the Bailey bridge (from Chroy Changva) to mount there […] if our Chinese friend is to process the financial support for the Chak Angre bridge quickly, it would be a waste of time to move the Bailey bridge from here to there […]

(5) Tall building will be presented with medals

Originally the border of Kandal province was at the base of the Chroy Changvar bridge. This was the land of Kandal province. I do not know how many times I signed giving land of Kandal to the capital […] the Kandal provincial authority would not be able to reach these areas anyway. Handing it over to Phnom Penh, the areas are within reach. Thus, Phnom Penh expanded from 300 square kilometers to 700 square kilometers. We could raise the question that 30 years ago, myself included, even was then chairman of the Council of Ministers, (who would have thought) that 30 years later we had such a development? […] in 2004, I announced who built the tall buildings or sky scrapers, I would wear them medals […] like the Vattanac Tower and the Canadia Buildings near the Shakyamuni Stupa, the site was previously allowed only for a few storeys high […] seeing that it was too complicated, I announced who can build the tall building will be presented with medals […]

(6) There will be a bridge and road between Kompong Chhanang and Kompong Thom

In the immediate future, we plan to build a bridge across the Tonle Sap and a road connecting between Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Thom province. The people of Kampong Thom no longer need to travel to cross the Tonle Sap River at Prek Kadam anymore. They cut straight from there and the people of Pursat, Battambang, who had to go to Kampong Thom and to Preah Vihear can just make there way up from there. That is for our people to use less time and cheaper travel costs […] for those who will take over the leadership, I urge them allocate budget on infrastructure to accelerate the economy, which I termed – “divide the fruits of economic growth with equity.” This point must be grasped while leading the country or leading the management of institutions related to the development. The term division of the fruits of economic growth equitably refers to the allocation of funds to serve all people […]

(7) ASEAN Para Games – an integral part of people-to-people relations of ASEAN

(We must ensure that the) opening and closing ceremonies will not be any less impressive than the ones for the SEA Games. HE Thong Khon Eang can check if we can still add more firework display […] will we have more or less firework than the SEA Games? We will have more. That is good. Let us clap our hands for that. We encourage people with disabilities within our ASEAN framework to work hard. They may be physically disabled but not mentally disabled. It is very meaningful not just for Cambodian sports for the disabled. As a member of ASEAN, we have an obligation to promote the ASEAN integration, including the Paralympic Games. This ASEAN Para Games is a part of people-to-people contacts promotion within the ASEAN framework, and it is also part of ASEAN integration […]

(8) Will be 20 or 22 years before Cambodia’s hosting SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games

My wife and I will preside over the opening (of the 12th ASEAN Para Games). We have an obligation to host this sports event. After that, if East Timor is not going to organize it, we would have 20 years more to do it again. If East Timor will, it will be 22 more years before we are (hosting again). By 2043, we have an obligation to host again. Some do not understand it and blamed us for wasting the money on these events […] I wonder if they are so stupid, how could they lead the country. Cannot lead their own family, one party or one association, how could he (think of leading the country) […]

(9) Opposition’s instructions for campaign against the National Elections Committee

(Chham Chhany – a figure in opposition) has initiated three forms of attacks in a social media campaign against the National Election Committee […] (he said) that Samdech Sar Kheng already fulfilled his duty, but Hun Sen, in collaboration with the National Elections Committee (NEC) and the Constitutional Council, prevented the party’s (registration) […] the CPP is an electoral rival and has nothing to do with the NEC or the Constitutional Council. The Royal Government has no control over the National Election Committee and the Constitutional Council.

(10) Anyone causes instability at national and subnational levels are targets of arrest

Would you please not resort to (organizing) demonstrations. I already gave the warning message and it is still valid. I do not need to send a second message. One message is good. Those who come to cause instability at both the national and sub-national levels will be targets of arrest […] In Phnom Penh, there is an extremist who is causing endless problems […] I welcome him to return to prison. If the interior and the city hall do not allow your request for demonstration, and you still carry it out, I say it you wanted to test my resolve. I am calling on people not to be deceived to go to prison for people who lied. It is all because you make (the mistakes) yourself? […]

(11) Malaysia and Thailand apply policy of non-interference in internal affairs

They are now getting out of Kuala Lumpur. Thank you, HE Anwar lbrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia, for keeping promises with me […] they now are heading to the airport. (The Malaysian) authorities dissolve the meeting. Seeing that a political party won the elections, they say they are closer to enter Cambodia […] would they think that Thailand allows them to do that? (As member states of ASEAN, we have) policy of not interference in internal affairs. His Excellency Anwar Ibrahim told me clearly that he would not let (that person) come. I said that if the person was allowed to come, the government and the government would not be looking at each other with their eyes […] Seng Sary said that the only thing left was to cross Thai territory. He gives a good advice. That is right … (the border and competent authorities would welcome anyone crossing the border illegally). Dr. Seng Sary should come sending the three generations traitors himself […]

(12) Ballots printed – the point of no return Ballots have been printed. They are not backing down because of one or two parties. Even if they protest until their last breath, no one would go (backwards). Brothers and sisters (members of the party) whom they claim to be their forces, please do not go to jail with them. I confirm again – my warning message stands valid. Competent institutions and local authorities at all levels have a duty to implement that message […]./.