Speech by Ambassador Lawrence Anderson at the Handover Ceremony of the Refurbished Wat Koh High School on 17 June 2006
H.E. Dr Kol Pheng
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
Kingdom of Cambodia
H.E. Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman
Parliamentary Secretary for National Development and
Member of Parliament for Sembawang GRC
Colleagues from the ASEAN Embassies in Phnom Penh
Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen
I am happy to join all of you on this [gloriously sunny] afternoon at the Handover Ceremony of the refurbished Wat Koh High School.
When I first heard about this project, I was very pleased for three reasons. First, the initiative was started by a Singapore group, the National Youth Achievement Award Council. Second, the project takes place here in Cambodia. Third, it involves the whole ASEAN family.
Singapore has sent many youth delegations to Cambodia and the Singapore 2006 ASEAN Youth Community Project is one of the largest. Its significance is that the participants are not only from Singapore, but more than half are youth leaders and officials from the other ASEAN countries.
This is praiseworthy. The project brings together the ASEAN family to help another family member. In the process, it builds friendships, camaraderie and shared experiences.
The project will benefit greatly the Cambodian children from Wat Koh High School. The school looks really good now, and it is one of the best equipped in Phnom Penh. This is thanks to all of you who have worked hard all week.
The importance of a conducive environment for learning cannot be overstated, and you have certainly managed to create such an environment for the students. Hopefully, this will spur them to study harder and develop themselves to the best of their talents. I would therefore like to commend the organizers and the participants of this Project for a really worthwhile achievement.
This project has also provided an excellent platform for the youth of ASEAN to bond with one another. I am told that you will now be heading to Siem Reap to see the ancient Angkor Temples. This is a real treat because they are truly splendid, but you deserve it after all your strenuous efforts!
The Singapore 2006 ASEAN Youth Community Project has brought all of you together in Cambodia for this meaningful project. I hope you will take the opportunity to make friends and to stay in touch after you return to your respective countries. Friendships forged through pain, laughter, and shared experiences often last the longest. I wish all of you all a pleasant stay in Cambodia and the very best in your future endeavors.