Ministers celebrate first oil drops at win-win monument

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Mounted on a golden stand, a tear-shaped glass ampoule filled with the Kingdom’s first drops of oil is displayed at the Win-Win Monument in Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district. The artefact is shaped like a lotus and a branch of the Bodhi tree, which represents prosperity, purity and growth. Hong Menea

Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem on June 9 presented a glass filled with the Kingdom’s first drops of oil to Minister of National Defence Tea Banh, who also serves as the chairman of the Victory Monument Construction Committee.

At the handover ceremony held at the Win-Win Memorial in Prek Ta Sek commune of Phnom Penh’s Chroy Changvar district, Tea Banh called on government institutions and others to continue their support for the development of the memorial by providing any items of historical significance they possess or other relevant documents for preservation.

He said the artefacts and the documents are important reminders of historic achievements and any donated will go on public display in the win-win museum so the younger generations can learn from them.

“Cambodia received the first drops of oil on December 29, 2020. The [extraction of this oil] is a historic achievement and a symbol of success for the whole of Cambodia. One which civil servants, members of the armed forces and civilians across the country have been waiting for generations to witness,” Tea Banh said.

He said the first drops were a milestone for Cambodia in building the capacity of the nation and the backbone of its oil, gas and energy industries.

The major benefit of these industries, he said, is that they will bring in revenue to fund the national budget and power the country’s economy.

In his remarks at the ceremony energy minister Sem said these first drops of oil – which arrived in the midst of the global economy being threatened by the Covid-19 pandemic – was a testimony to the efforts, diligence and persistent drive to achieve success by the government and the project’s investors.

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Energy minister Suy Sem (right) presents a glass filled with the Kingdom’s first drops of oil to Defence minister Tea Banh. Hong Menea

“This glass containing the first drops of oil is symbolic of the oil resources of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The glass is produced in the Khmer-style and I would like to hand it to Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh, so that he may register it as part of our history,” he said using the defence minister’s full honorary title.

Sem explained the meaning of the glass, saying it has the shape of a lotus and a branch of the Bodhi tree, which represents prosperity, purity and growth.

The pedestal made up of petals of the lotus embodies efforts by the nation’s leaders that continued unrelentingly until they proved fruitful and Cambodia finally received access to its oil resources for national development.

The lotus trophy is 12cm high, with the height chosen because the 12th month of the year, December, was the one in which the first drops of oil were collected for Cambodia.

“The [lion-footed base of the trophy] is 20cm high and represents the year 2020 – the year in which oil was first extracted. Kbach Phni Pleung decorated it with the heads of three dragons, which represent power, prosperity and the strength of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Prime Minister Hun Sen, who led us to this success,” Sem said using the prime minister’s royal title.