… It is indeed my pleasure to return to the district of Bati in Takeo once again after I made two previous trips last year. I am also grateful to be invited by the Cambodian-Holland Bridge Organization as well as the authorities of the whole district and province for the inauguration of a water storage whose irrigation will cover area around this place. I could recall that on February 14, 2002, with the head of Cambodia-Holland Bridge Organization (CHBO), we inaugurated five school buildings with 22 classrooms provided by CHBO in the commune of Chrey Vien, Prey Chhor district of Kompong Cham. Also inaugurated today are a 2919 metre of embankment, 14 water gates, two school buildings in the Choeuteal Chrum College, a school building in the Primary School of Promut, four bridges, 17 water wells, dirt roads and 40 houses for poor women-headed families. CHBO focuses its assistance in building rural infrastructure and in improving condition for education, health, social affairs…
… CHBO representative has just explained to all of us about the meaning of the word “Bridge” and I agree with her that though a bridge could be just a few meters on which we cross from one side to another, but it also could be a friendly relationship between Cambodia and Holland as well. I wish to take this opportunity to express through Mme the representative of CHBO our people’s gratitude to those charitable people who have provided us through CHBO these useful assistances. She first went to assist Cambodians at the Cambodian Thai border in 1981, and she came to assist the Cambodians inside in 1989 – a sum of fifteen years now. She wrote a book “A River of Return” in which, to my understanding, she wishes to express her love of Cambodia that after leaving, she has to return and this is a coincidence to the natural course of our Tonle Sap current which after flowing in, the water returns.
… According to a report by HE Governor of Takeo province, the storage could reserve up to 1,400,000 cubic meters and could irrigate 900 hectares of rainy season rice and between 170 and 200 hectares of dry season rice, plus about ten hectares of subsidiary crops in 14 villages of Kraing Liev commune. I am quite happy to have observed from the helicopter that right behind this place there are farms with cucumbers and with the water facility provided today I just hope that our people will take it further. When I visited the district of Kong Pisey yesterday in relation of providing water for irrigation, I have requested our people there to plant anything they can, to increase yield and to look after infrastructural achievements. Just now CHBO has provided a kind of flower species and I hope our people will try it some where to see how well it grows. Flower growing and marketing is a good business. Take for instance our neighbouring countries have taken up the business of exporting orchids so our people should see that this business is not only for local market but also foreign ones.
… As far as the rice production in Takeo is concerned, I have a great pleasure to notice that though we could not fulfil our target set for the rainy season rice, we instead have exceeded the target set for dry season rice. In general we have achieved rather good cultivation and the market mechanism will assist in providing surplus rice to areas where rice did not produce a good yield or failed to grow. I am glad to return to see our people here once again and I have to come because the people voted for me. There are eight seats in Takeo constituency and CPP was voted to attain five seats already, so how could Hun Sen be expelled. In this sense, Hun Sen will be present for old or new (Government). I wish to have our people’s attention that whatever happens should remain within the circle of politicians and should refrain from destabilizing livelihood of our people. The main issue here is to maintain political and macroeconomic stability, contain inflation, and retain economic growth, while the current Government continues all front of reforms and good relations with neighbouring and foreign countries as a whole.
… We have many forms of cooperation now. We have state-people cooperation; state-private-people cooperation; state-charitable person and people cooperation for the achievements of something. Take for instance the achievements that we realized here is the result of such cooperation and some achievements have taken shape without the assistance of the Government as well. Although some people turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to these achievements, we will go on working harder and mobilize all sources of capital and make use of it economically aimed at downsizing the military spending and increasing investment in areas of education, health, and infrastructural development. We welcome all sources of investment capital, state, private and personal, and in Takeo we have a good example of HE Inoue, former Minister of Post of Japan, who built many schools in the district of Kirivong.
… It is indeed primary to have peace and political stability so as to allow the country to develop, and stability could not be maintained for long if in peace the country does not develop. Therefore we have to work out a real development though we know it could not be achieved in a short time at all. According to the five year plan of poverty reduction strategy that was formulated with helps from the World Bank and other foreign partners, Cambodia has 36% rate of poverty to reduce and we hope to relieve our people from this situation 1.2% a year. It is a naive remark that some politicians have made to wipe the poverty all out in just two years. But we see this as a problem that requires careful examination and steps in resolving it. Take for instance we saved our lives in 1979, and our material requirements have changed since then to the better – from just survival to further requirements such as in education, health, communication …
On that occasion, CHBO provides four more canals for the extension of irrigation to rice cultivation from the Thnol Dach water storage, and Samdech Hun Sen offered ten million Riels each to the pagodas of Choeuteal Chrum, Srah Kev, and Pun Nheankuk, a school building of six classrooms each to the Primary Schools of Choeuteal Chrum and Angrun.