National Policies and Achievements in Kompong Thom
I am so glad that my wife and I have the opportunity to join with Samdech, the Buddhist monks of all levels and our compatriots for the inauguration of various achievements in the Centre for Buddhism, Culture and Tourism (CBCT) in the village of Kalmek, commune of Tbong Krapoeu, district of Santuk, Kompong Thom province. I was in this part of the country once ten years ago to inaugurate the Buddhist temple of Pannhaji on April 2, 2003, then before the elections day too. Months ago, I also came to Santuk to visit our cadastre officials and youth-student volunteers, who were here to measure land for the people in the first phase, and to hand out land titles to the people.
Again, in 2008, also before the elections day, I also came to Santuk. Now, 2013, coincidentally, there are achievements for me to come and put into official use again. Roughly, we can say that I come to Santuk once every five-year term and there are always major achievements to celebrate and inaugurate. In 2003, it was the Buddhist temple of Pannhaji and in 2008, it was the inauguration of a Secondary School, from where I made the remarkable Santuk 2002 declaration on the plan to establish a junior secondary school in every commune. This year 2013, over four months before the elections, I am here in Santuk again with so much joy to see new achievements on the land of Santuk district in general, particularly the commune of Tbong Krapoeu that is right next to Stoueng Sen Buddhist pagoda.
Centre for Buddhism, Culture and Tourism (CBCT)
I am so pleased that you have thought up the name of this place as Centre for Buddhism, Culture and Tourism (CBCT). It brings together the three elements – Buddhism, culture and tourism – altogether. In addition to the report of HE Chhun Chhuan, governor of Kompong Thom, the booklet made available to me here states that the achievements are (1) the Ship of Tri-characteristics of life (impermanence, suffering and non-self) and the Ship of Tri-domain of Existence (desire, form and abstract worlds). These ships are to bridge the human beings across the three open fields, four abysses and keep the country safe and peaceful under the shade of Buddha tree.
These achievements are for real. They are not here because of promises or imaginations. People in Kompong Thom as well as charitable persons from near and far have witnessed the achievements that they have pooled their resources and efforts together to put them in place as advised by the late Buddhist head monk Koet Wai and under the leadership and initiative of Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An and Oknha Ung Sisrorn. While the Buddhist head monk Koet Wai passed away, his students have continued to pursue the initiative at the steering of the wise man Sier from 1982 through to 1999, and from then, under the leadership and management of Mr. Sok Heng.
The Son under the Full Moon
The construction started in 2006. The cost of putting these two achievements together is 1,262,448 USD. We can call it a new achievement on this land, created by common efforts. According to the booklet, we can see various activities held in the compound of the Centre. Should the Centre turns out at any stage thereafter to capture also tourism and culture, people will gather here to organize various Buddhist rituals. Last night I listened to the story ‘The Son under the Full Moon’ broadcast on Bayon radio. It is on between 11 am and 12 am during the day and 8 pm and 9 pm during the night. Last night there were many songs played on Bayon radio in relation to the tri-world and tri-characteristic ship.
I walked by that side and talked to a young girl and she told me she also listened to the story. It is a story that relating to our country’s phases of development. The story is in all 70 hours. It is now on the Bayon website too. I learn that they also have it on the Kolbot Khmer and Kampuchea Thmey newspaper websites. The songs played last night are famous ones. We had the poem narration by brother Yan Borin too. They all are talking about the meaning of the tri-world and tri-characteristic ship that carry human beings through three fields and four abysses to bring the country to peace and shade of Buddha tree. We have gone through all but perhaps the poverty one. We will make further effort to cross this last one.
Win-Win Policy Toppled Pol Pot, Dealing with Natural Disasters
I would like to take this opportune moment to express my sincere appreciation and thanks for every effort made in this marvelous construction. Looking at this vicinity, I am of the opinion that these achievements and the surroundings will be a great place for the younger generation. We are doing everything for the next generation. We all are reaping the fruits left from thousands years of our ancestors too. I thank everyone for every effort they are making, especially those of HE Men Sam An, Deputy Prime Minister, and Oknha Ung Sisrorn and their families. I thank the common efforts made by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, the Ministry of Tourism and those of the local authorities. These achievements are here because of the art of sharing that is possible only when the country is in complete peace.
I am so proud of what we have achieved here in Kompong thom in particular, and in the Kingdom of Cambodia as a whole. After toppling the genocidal regime, we have gradually brought the country on the path of development. Most importantly, we have put into successful operation the win-win policy, while uniting the country completely. We have transformed battlefields into development zones. This area, sitting around the great Lake of Tonle Sap, was common, I am sure, to insecure situation. It used to be a Khmer Rouge’s crossing zone. Kompong Thom was once very firce battle. I told the people the other day that those members of the artistic performance of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts were armed while performing. The other day the man who acted as a giant in the performance and hold B 40 rocket-propelled grenade in those days came to Phnom Penh to perform with ‘tro’ in Phnom Penh. Now we do not have Pol Pot’s threat anymore. We have only one Khmer – no more Khmer Rouge or Blue anymore. We have only political parties that contest in months ahead.
As is reported by HE Chhun Chhuan, the province of Kompong Thom went through natural disasters one after the other – such as the 2009 Ketsana storm and the 2011 disastrous flooding. Thanks to the efforts made by every institution and authority of all levels, such as the Cambodian Red Cross – central and local, we have saved our people from hunger-related death, except those who had drowning and snakebite accidents. This has clearly illustrated responsibility and efforts of our sub-national level authorities, those of the Cambodian People’s Party and the Royal Government of Cambodia. The combined efforts have so far liberated our country from the Pol Pot’s genocide, prevented the possible return of the regime and ensured the socio-economic development and reduction of poverty.
Reflecting Change of Living Standard
I think our people should reflect what has changed within one’s own family from 1979 through to the present. Those who were born before 1979 and even after that could compare the different progress their families have gone through. They should reflect the time when they were in primary schools and could not find even proper shoes to put on. Now the situation has changed. Those with bicycles now have motorcycles or cars, tractors, pulled tractors, water pumps. I believe that though some people may not like the Cambodian People’s Party, they could still like Hun Sen.
Some of our people may have retained their photos taken after 1979. They may compare them with the ones they are taking now. Look at the way they dressed then and they do now. The difference has been noticed in family, at sub-national and national levels. After Pol Pot, no one was left with land since Pol Pot already recognized no land rights. Now people have farmlands of their own. As you know, the youth-student volunteers are everywhere measuring the land for people and I thank them all every much. Every village, commune and Buddhist pagoda could ponder and reflect changes that they have gone through. The same is true for the Muslims, have they not changed their living standard? At least they now can pray on Friday?
Reflecting all these, we would see the improvement in our living condition in family, village, commune, community and even national level. While in the war, some communes that were not directly involved also had no chance to develop or make thing different. As the war ceased, we no longer need to displace but go wherever one may want or need to. We are making former battlefields into development zones now. We did not have sufficient school buildings but take for instance here in Kompong Thom, particularly the district of Santuk, the policy of at least one junior secondary school in every commune has been implemented successfully. Take for instance in Santuk alone there are 64 primary schools, 8 junior secondary schools and 3 senior secondary schools in only 10 communes.
The CPP’s Correct Policies
We are just three days away from the 43rd anniversary when General Lon Nol removed Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk from power on March 18, 1970. War broke out in the whole country. That was a big political mistake. Following was the regime of Pol Pot’s genocide. They killed people, displaced them and markets were shut down. It was political mistake again. Politics closely relates to the political party and royal government. The issue here is to ensure that people can do business, trade and move from one location to anywhere freely. It is demanding that we have to ensure correctness in everything. We cannot just make empty promises.
Take for example this area, if we were to build these statues of Buddha but we did not have road access to, how could the people come and celebrate their Buddhist rituals. It was in this thought, I am sure, that first they had to build asphalted road of 8 Kilometers leading to here. For the second phase, as is reported by HE Chhun Chhuan, the Ministry of Rural Development under the leadership of Minister HE Chea Sophara, built a bridge and four Kilometer road that connects the village of Kalmek to the commune of Prek Kuy, Kompong Svay district. I would take this chance to share with our people that we have planned at the national level to build between 300 and 400 Kilometers of rural roads per year to alleviate people’s traveling difficulties. These are to achieve with our own efforts and not with promises made by anyone at all.
To be frank, our people who survived in 1979 under the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party enjoyed not a single coin from anyone in those days, but faced with concerted efforts of the Khmer Rouge to bring us down. Still, we survived together and are able to ascertain chance for development altogether. If we do not compare the present to the 1979 period, which has 34 years, we should at least go back to 2008, one legislative term of the National Assembly. In five years, how much do we achieve? What a family had before 2008, and what does it have now? It is important that our people are reflecting clearly on that since in just over four months they will have to make decision. So much that everyone has achieved is not by accident or promises but because of credible leadership, which creates opportunity and chance for our people, of the Royal Government. The point is the Cambodian People’s Party is leading this Royal Government.
Take for example, the Royal Government has returned the fishing lots access to the people, particularly here for those along the river of Sen. We de-regularized six fishing lots and kept only four conservative zones for fish species. The total size of fishing lots cleared for people to fish is very huge. I just seek your cooperation not to fish in the fish conservative zones. They are places for fish to regenerate more. I also encourage the use of only tools that are lawful. The Royal Government also carries out land measuring and titling policies with thousands of youth-student volunteers in the field with cadastre officials.
Think, Remember and Care for Those Involved in Land Measuring Missions
My wife keeps contact with all youth volunteers in their missions. She could not call you lately because she was ill. She even canceled a number of her schedules with the Cambodian Red Cross. She comes here with me because she does not have to speak. She sent her representatives to Kompong Cham, Pursath and other provinces and could not call you. It was not because she forgets you. We all are thinking of you. You could feel the warmth and care from the song that you can hear on the Kolbotkhmer website ‘Father and Mother Are Always by Your Side.’ The songs well demonstrates feelings of my wife and mine for every one of you.
Taking this opportune moment, I would like to convey through those of you who are here our cares and feelings to other members of the land measuring teams, which, among its over one hundred members, include drivers, physicians, cadastre officials, and young cadastre recruits. We also convey the same feelings to those who reside in the land measuring areas. I would take this time to convey my appreciation and thanks for the parents and/or supervisors of those youth-student volunteers for their understanding and admission for their kids to take part in the mission. In this phase, the mission will stay until April 7 and will return on April 20 after the Khmer New Year.
Choose Right Man for Prime Minister Job
I am so pleased with these achievements, which, as I already said, are not happening by chance. There have been concrete plans that help allow people to benefit from chance of peace that they could work on family development, expand their income sources – self-employment, agriculture, farming, handicraft, trading, etc. Children and youth have chance to go to school. As of now, we have in all 350,000 students throughout the country and better educational facilities too. We are keeping constant effort to work on fixing shortcomings and improving the quality of education still.
Facing with problem in the fishing lot management that caused difficulties for the people, on behalf of the Cambodian People’s Party and the Royal Government, I take full responsibility before the Party, the National Assembly and the people, who voted for the Cambodian People’s Party (or Hun Sen) in 2008, to de-regulate fishing lots and return them for people’s use. This has completed the action that I started by trimming out 56% of them from the state-controlled fishing areas (in the Lake of Tonle Sap). As you can see, it is like a ship or a vehicle that it is important to have skillful navigator or driver to sit behind the wheel. I would see no difference between leading in politics and driving a car.
The main point here is that people led by politics or sitting in a car would depend entirely on the driver. A country can ensure stability and development or not will depend on the driver too. Look at how damaging the drivers – Lon Nol and Pol Pot – did to the country. Since 1979, on behalf of the Cambodian People’s Party and other Party leaders – Samdech Heng Samrin, Samdech Chea Sim and I have been careful drivers and driven the Cambodian ship across numerous fields already. One of the fields that familiar to all is poverty. Also familiar is war. As one has to depend on a skillful driver while traveling, one has to make the correct decision in choosing the right man for the post of Prime Minister.
Last Sunday (17 March 2013), in its Extraordinary Congress, the Cambodian People’s Party officially approved my candidacy as the premiership for the 2013 through to 2018 term of office. As I mentioned elsewhere over passing 34 years, especially the last five years, I have done everything I can for the monks and people. Is it not possible for you to give the Cambodian People’s Party your vote on the forthcoming 28 July 2013? (Applause). I thank you very much. Thank the venerable monk for waving his hands as a sign. I place my life and future in the hands of the monks and people. In order for me to continue leadership, I am calling for your help.
In Love, Pity, Satisfaction and Trust – Vote for Hun Sen
I have spent my whole life for the country and people since June 20, 1977, when I joined the army of the National United Front for Salvation of Kampuchea to liberate the country from the genocide. I have become a handicapped person. You may listen to the story ‘The Son under the Full Moon,’ which tells about my life. Though it is a story of a few men, you may realize, it is the general mentality and development that our country and people went through. Father to a dead son whose proper burial was denied, husband to a wife in delivery, who could not take care of her and a man who lost one of the eyes, I have no choice but to take up arms and fight to topple the Pol Pot’s regime.
After spending 22 days in prison in Vietnam, the Vietnamese leaders told me that they could provide me favorable condition if I wished to go to a third country. I resolutely denied their offer. I told them if they do not help me, please give us our weapons that we would go and fight for our life with the people. Over the past 34 years, I have done and fulfilled so many works in my duty as a citizen and a Prime Minister that brings about peace. The win-win policy that I put out and had the support of the Cambodian People’s Party has brought our people this far. It may now be a time that I am asking for your easy tick.
The other day I mentioned only three words for people to vote for Hun Sen. Today I add one more to it – if people love, have pity, are satisfied and trust Hun Sen, they should vote for the Cambodian People’s Party. I have done the best I possibly can, and some ill-willed politicians insulted me in bad terms – like the blind. If people have just one of the four in your soul – love, pity, satisfaction or trust – please vote for the Cambodian People’s Party. It is going to be a vote that will decide on the fate of the Prime Minister. If the Cambodian People’s Party has less number of seats in the National Assembly, I will not be Prime Minister. People see and benefit from achievements under Hun Sen’s leadership, mainly my bringing peace for the divided country.
Even in this area of the Sen River of Kompong Thom, in 1512, there was a fight and killing to end the reign of Preah Srey Sokunbot by Sdech Kan, after the country was divided into three parts since the reign of Punhea Yat. Later on, Cambodia divided into factions of red, blue, white and pink. As I said earlier, my future rests in your hands. I am sure the opposition politicians are also asking for your votes. Since the National Election Committee does not forbid the opposition from asking for people’s votes before the campaign starts, I do not think I am wrong to do likewise. Unless people have no love, pity, satisfaction or trust in Hun Sen, they may not give Hun Sen their vote. I want the votes from those who love, have pity on, are satisfied and trust me. I cannot make everyone like me.
Please remember that wrong conducts here and there at the local levels are something we will have to sort out together but the forthcoming elections are about deciding on my life and fate. This is not an electoral campaign. I just need to explain our people the difference between the non-universal suffrage to choose sub-national or local leaders and the national elections to choose Prime Minister. The national election is to choose the members of the National Assembly. Please remember, the members of the National Assembly who choose the Prime Minister on behalf of the voters. Therefore, if the Party were to have less number of seats in the National Assembly, they cannot choose a Prime Minister.
The elections this time will decide Hun Sen’s fate. People may get angry on this or that commune head but please do not put the anger on Hun Sen. People should instead think thoroughly about the good things Hun Sen has provided for the country and people. People can always vote to remove the commune heads at anytime later but Hun Sen’s fate it is closely relating to everyone one. After I leave, opposition politicians may come in and reason that Hun Sen must have feared that he is saying all that. It was on the contrary that I am seeking people’s true support and winning is a good thing. If I do not win for that matter, the next thing to do for me is to go to the pagoda with my wife./.