Monday, November 16, 2009

“I Want to Become a Lawyer to Help the Cambodian People”


One of The University of Cambodia’s “Samdech Hun Sen-Handa National Scholarship” winners in 2007, 21-year-old Bun Chanmary, provided an interview to The Southeast Asia Weekly on November 12. Chanmary was born in 1988 in Baray district, Kampong Thom province and has two sisters and three brothers. She is the third sister in her family. She is now studying Law at The University of Cambodia (UC) and also Finance and Banking at Panhasastra University in Phnom Penh. Her parents are farmers and remain living in their hometown.

Chanmary passed the scholarship exams offered by The University of Cambodia in Phnom Penh in 2007. Before she passed the UC exams, she studied at the Kampong Chheuteal High School in Prasat Sambo Preykup district, Kampong Thom province and earned a Baccalaureate in 2007.

“I am happy that I passed the UC exams because I never thought that I could get the scholarship from UC. It is very fortunate for me in my life that I can continue my studies in Phnom Penh without paying tuition,” she said. “I would like to thank to Dr. Kao Kim Hourn so much for making the suggestion to Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen to give scholarships to students. I also would like to thank both of them very much because without them, I may not have had the chance to study at UC in Cambodia. I wish both of them the best of health and luck,” she said.

Chanmary continued to say that she decided to apply to study Law with The University of Cambodia because she knew that the university is one of the best universities in Cambodia and it can help her to become a future lawyer or law expert and work to advocate for the poor, rule of law, and other developments in Cambodia.

“I really liked the law major since I was a student in high school, as I always listened to radio and heard a lot of problems that related to the laws. I also knew that in Cambodia, there is a lack of lawyers. That’s why I applied for the law major. I hope when I graduate with the law major, I will become a good lawyer and help the poor people facing any problems I can help with so that they don’t have to pay money to lawyers,” she said.

Chanmary pointed out that since she has been studying with UC, she has learned a lot of skills in various field, such as computer science, English literature, law, and others, which she has enjoyed very much. She can also read, write and speak English well. She said that to achieve her Bachelor’s Degree goal, she now is studying very hard and reads many books related to her studies every day. She also conducts her own research from sources like the internet, foreign newspapers and magazines.

She added that that when she completes her Bachelor’s Degree goal, she will then continue to study for her Master’s Degree with the University of Cambodia.

Chanmary emphasized that besides studying with UC, she is also in her second year of a Finance and Banking program at Panhasastra University in Phnom Penh. She added that she decided to study Finance and Banking because she wanted to know about finance and accounting as a supplement to her law skills.

“In the future, I want to become a lawyer but a lawyer in the field of economics. When I know a lot about law as well as finance, banking, and accounting, I will be able to work well. I can also work for banks in higher position, and if I have free time I will create my own law firm that will provide free legal advice for all poor people in my country,” she said.

Besides her studies with UC and PUC, Chanmary is also working as a part-time English teacher at the Chey Chumnah International School in Phnom Penh. She began her English teaching in May 2009 in order to make some money to support her studies. She teaches from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM Monday through Saturday.

San Vuth Pidor, 19, third-year medical student at the International University (IU) in Phnom Penh, and personal friend to Bun Chanmary, said she appreciated Chanmary’s capacity for hard work. She said that she has known Bun Chanmary since they studied together at the Baray High School in 1998. She said that Chanmary was a friendly, gentle, kind and helpful student. She was also one of the most outstanding students in her class.

“I am happy that I have a good friend like Bun Chanmary, and I hope that with her diligent studies and hard work, she will become an outstanding student with UC,” she told The Cambodia Weekly. “I also hope that she will realize her dreams and became a future professional lawyer in Cambodia.”

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