Radio Free Asia
Translated from Khmer by Khmerization
The prime minister has declared that he will move the Army Command Headquarter outside of the capital to make way for a construction of a hospital: that is to transform a war zone into peace.
Speaking in an inauguration ceremony of Royal Rattanak Hospital in Phnom Penh on the 20th March, Prime Minister Hun Sen (pictured) said that the transformation of an Army Command Headquarter into a hospital is to make the city a safe place, a tourism site, a cultural site and a comfort site.
The PM said: “This land is very huge and very beautiful. The Army Command Headquarter was located there since the French colonial period. And I want to transform a war zone, a killing zone into a fine hospital. So, please help me to check out the place, if we can put the hospital there it would be nice. It is a junction, the ground is very nice and that land, if we offer the buyer for $30 million they will buy it without hesitation. Not only $30 million, even $50 million they will buy it. But we will not sell it because it is an historic site where we will transform it from war into peace.”
The PM reiterated that: “The issue of school lands and hospital lands must be preserved because, perhaps in the future, we have the money to build them but we don’t have the lands in which to build them on.”
This declaration was made following the launching of the construction phase of a 42-story Gold Tower, which will be the tallest building in Phnom Penh, and which is located at the site of the old Cambodian-Chinese Friendship Hospital.
In relation to the prime minister’s speech, an opposition MP from the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Son Chhay, has criticised the PM’s word as good for listening in order to canvass votes. In reality, many of the state land sites had already been sold.
Mr Son Chhay said: “There is a possibility that he might be voted out of office in the near future, so he has to say something good to persuade the people to change their mind and their stance.”
The president of the Cambodian Economic Association, Mr. Chan Sophal, spoke in support of Prime Minister’s declaration by explaining that, at present, state properties are getting less and less, so it is best that there is a measure to prevent the sales.