Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Inauguration of Samdech Techo Hun Sen-Boeung Kok in Kompong Cham city [Unofficial Translation]



Hun Sen and CPP Lead Many Continued Changes in Cambodia

We will continue to do more. We have led the country through many changes, one after the other, and there is no need for anyone to tell us what to do or change. Hun Sen and the Cambodian People’s Party have led the country out of the regime of Pol Pot’s genocide, given people back their life, through which our population has increased from then only five million to now more than 15 millions … We have numerous requirements to respond such as food and education. We have transformed the country’s difficulties left from the regime of Pol Pot and wars, from the empty city of Kompong Cham to one with development. Now, we have a new school building in place and many more high-rise buildings are on the way.

I first thought of staying one night in Kompong Cham so that I can visit some farms and talk to people in markets. Now, I have to cancel those wishes. I will have a Party committee meeting here and will fly to Siem Reap to have lunch there. There will be another meeting in Siem Reap. I will have dinner in Siem Reap tonight. Tomorrow morning I will deliver a speech before returning to Phnom Penh to meet diplomats in the afternoon. I do not know why people wanted to be Prime Minister. It is a post of busy schedules. I do not know if someone would rather do same amount of work as I do. People have different working habits.

Youth to Practice Sports and Stay Away from Drugs

While landing the helicopter, I doubted why the city of Kompong Cham is so terrible looking at the football field. Now the Techo engineering team starts working on the field. Svay Rieng province hosts many football matches and they can play at night too. As for Kompong Cham, the Prime Minister’s birth province, the field is terrible. It is worse than the football field of Svay Rieng. Now let renovate it and light it up. We must have a vision for Kompong Cham to have a great football field for country’s regional matches. We already have a good swimming pool, which is adjacent to it. I just received a trophy of the President of the Olympic Committee, so it is a good thing to mobilize sports activities. I am begging our youth to practice sports and stay away from drugs.

Circulation of Krom Ngoy’s and Ou Chong’s Masterpieces

I am sharing with you that in days coming, we will distribute books about the masterpiece ideas of Cambodian popular scholar Krom Ngoy in every secondary school in the whole country. It is now in the printing shop. We will print 15,000 copies. I think it is a good piece of reading and seeking advices not only for students but also for teachers. I also have a copy of Krom Ngoy’s and another one of the scholar Ou Chong. I keep both of them at my bed’s head. I can run my hands on it anytime I need without having to go online.

Saving the Palm-Leaf Manuscript Work

There is one other issue and I have been worried that it disappears. However, it has come back again as a rebirth. I watched CNC on Sunday and noted a report about someone who devotes to palm-leaf manuscript works – keeping old and writing new ones. I picked up the phone and asked Keng Samet in Siem Reap to arrange a meeting. The work is facing a risk of loss for negligence. I used to have some use of the palm-leaf manuscripts that I borrowed from Proes pagoda in Batheay. We do keep old ones and we do not have the momentum of writing new. Now we have discovered a person who actually is doing the job. She has a few followers.

Salary Increase and Khmer New Year Bonus for Teachers, Civil Servants, Armed Forces

I wish to inform teachers that their salary has increased one gradual step. This happens for not only our teachers but also civil servants in the whole country, the armed forces. In just one more month, the salary will increase again and you will get it before the Khmer New Year in (midst April).

The teachers and health staff will receive a minimum of Riel 950,000 as their basic salary. Considering that they will have additional regional supplementary fund of 80,000, or 100,000, or 120,000, they will have over one million Riel as their salary.

To show you how do we think and make things happen without making a single promise, I also bring you news that at the coming Khmer New Year, we will provide a bonus of Riel 50,000 for each, and every civil servant. This will require a sum of 30 billion Riel or about 7 million USD. Last year we offered a bonus of only Riel 40,000 for the Khmer New Year. This year, while increasing salary as planned for April, we are also offering the Khmer New Year bonus. How much would we need someone go around with their promise to offer this or that much for people who are 60 and older, of whom there are about over two million of them.

That thing they say is a hoax. I would just warn them to make it happen is not simple. You will get a gist of it. People may ask why salary increase does not happen in January or why not increase in April all two increases together. Why is there a need to increase salary at two different times?

Well, release of cash would have to abide to the norm. The exchange rate at this moment is Riel 4010 to a USD. We must make sure that increasing circulation a big amount of cash before the Khmer New Year the exchange rate will stay the same or the Khmer currency will not devalue. At least that is what we hope. People will spend their money while we will get it back through income collection.

In May, we will not make payment day in the fourth week but in the third week to ensure a not-too-far gap between the two paydays in April and May. As this is not an empty promise, we must consider every factors involved.

The Bridge to Kompong Trom Island Is Coming Up

I thank the Buddhist monks for taking their times to participate in the inauguration of the school for our teachers and students, and parents who are here present. I hope the school will offer great benefit for human resource training. Cambodia in this era has travelled a long distance from time and parts of hardships to a better status. I had a bird eyes’ view just now of the bridge that is going to link the city to the island of Kompong Trom. I have strong belief that this year some will be able to use it, especially for those who use bicycles or motorcycles.

As for this year, we have another unfortunate thing that the water in the Mekong River is receding at a slower pace. This has created difficulty for the work of construction. I have seen they are pumping sand to level up ground base for their work. The bridge has only a few more spans to connect after which people can just use it to go to and from the island of Kompong Trom. Would anyone imagine that we would have the Kizuna Bridge across the Mekong? The area of Boeung Kok of Kompong Cham city was a decisive battlefield.

In August 1973, when Sar Hao replaced Srey Ya as governor, napalm bombs dropped breaking down the Boeung Kok dam. (Boeung Kok literally means the lake of egrets).

Water flowed forcefully in and many died of the incident. Soon after, there were not many people living in Kompong Cham. At present, however, the city stands out just like any others. I hope that we continue to carry out works to satisfy our people’s needs.

People Will Witness More Changes

There is a saying that goes tens of river cannot satisfy a sea. Human aspiration and requirement continue to grow and we must make efforts to bring about positive change for Cambodia’s future.

We have already put in place many changes and continue to do so. Take for instance in this place, months ago it was a building about to collapse. Now it has become a new and beautiful building. Soon many more places will witness changes, including the football field of Kompong Cham. We are also wiring electricity from Phnom Penh to Kompong Cham, and connecting it to Kratie and Stoeung Treng provinces.

In September, we will have one turbine running from the hydropower station of Se San, and will send electricity from Stoeung Treng to Kratie, to Kompong Cham and on to Phnom Penh.  Since the Se San hydropower will be 400 Megawatts, it will exceed demands in Kompong Cham and Kratie. We then will run it to Phnom Penh and perhaps some other provinces.

This is requirement of a country in development. Presently, younger generation does not know what a torch looks like. Some parents of medical students and teachers here would not know what it is. After the torch era, we then have kerosene lamp. People now would not have it for their permanent need anymore because they may have a mobile phone that has a light beam as lamp.

I wish to share with you also the news that on April 1, 2017, while we increase salary, the price of electricity will go down. People who use up to 50 KWH and below will pay Riel 610 per KWH and Riel 480 per KWH for those who use only 10 KWH and less. According to a calculation, about 70% of our population would consume 50 KWH and below of electricity. For those who consume electricity over 50 KWH (per month) from national lines and who spend Riel 800, 900 or 1,000 will also pay only Riel 770 per KWH […]

People Who Promise and People Who Do

Soon there will be people coming around and offer bid prices. They would promise that they would increase salary, not one million and more as we do, to three million Riel. They would also promise to offer a cheaper price for electricity, perhaps Riel 200 per KWH.

They would also promise old people to give them a monthly allowance of Riel 50,000, 200,000, 300,000. I just suggest to our senior people that they should opt for things that are real and in their hands. You may need to be careful to go after promises, by which destruction and turmoil are on their ways. You may remember. When the country underwent change from Preah Norodom Sihanouk to Lon Nol, war came as a result. How many died? The regime of Pol Pot entailed. War went on and it has taken us long time and hard efforts to end it.

For those bad things we had in the past, Hun Sen stepped out and do them away. Now Hun Sen is also getting old. I do not have the strength to do such thing anymore. At whatever cost in this case, we must understand that peace is hard to find and people of many generations died. In the time when the US (was here) nearly half a million died or maimed. Under Pol Pot, three million died. That we have secure peace now, we would not allow anyone to destroy it.

People may look at what happened and what do people receive from promises in Libya, Syria and Iraq? People die every day. That is because of a promise. They wanted Saddam Hussein dead, but many more come to life in Iraq. When they wanted Muammar Gaddafi dead, how many Gaddafi come to life? How many died? To topple Assad in Syria, how many have had to die? If they wish Hun Sen dead, what would come after that? If that happened, would anyone be able to sit here? Every day we hear their message of strangling the rich to give to the poor. That sounds like Pol Pot, nothing else.

Kompong Cham’s Pedagogy to Offer 12 + 4 Teachers Training Formula

… As for our teachers here, you may want to remember that some people are blaming Cambodia diplomas useless. Whatever they say, we have students in our schools. In the time to come, the school of pedagogy in Kompong Cham will upgrade its teachers training formula from 12 + 2 to 12 + 4 (Secondary School Diploma with a four years pedagogical training program). This will ensure better quality teachers. As of now, we have over 3.5 million students of all levels. It is not an easy job to carry out this task […]