Following is a speech by Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, Dr Yeoh Eng-kiong, at the Passing Out Parade of Police Training School today (January 25):
Commissioner, Commandant, Officers, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am honoured to have been invited to officiate at today's passing out parade.
Let me first extend my congratulations to the 150 new graduates of the Police Training School. This will be a memorable day for all of you. You have successfully gone through the rigorous training that will equip you to take on the responsibility as a law enforcement officer. In this role, you will be safeguarding not only the life and property of individuals, but also their rights as a member of the community. You should take pride in that you have proven your capabilities to become members of one of the most highly regarded, professional and efficient police force in the world.
Hong Kong has consistently able to maintain a low crime rate over the years. Hong Kong, being a safe and stable city, has always been an attractive place in which both local and overseas people like to visit, do business, or live. Apart from enjoying the freedoms and rights under the rule of law, individuals, irrespective of their background and values, are able to go about their everyday lives and businesses without having to worry about personal safety, or that of their property. This is why, among other things, we continue to record encouraging growth in foreign investment and increasing number of tourists from all over the world. This is in no small part the direct result of the hard work of our Police Force. I am confident that Hong Kong can continue to rely on the dedication of the Police Force to maintain Hong Kong as one of the premiere cities around the world.
Earlier this month, the Chief Executive delivered the first Policy Address of his second term, setting out the broad direction for future development of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. His speech emphasized that we should continue to be vigilant in maintaining good law and order despite Hong Kong being one of the safest cities in the world. He also took the opportunity to address the major issue faced by the Government - the fiscal deficit, to which the Chief Executive has accorded top priority.
In his Policy Address, the Chief Executive had called upon the community to join hands with the Government in tackling the fiscal deficit. It is clearly essential for each sector of the community to recognize that the current deficit is serious and Hong Kong can ill-afford to allow the problem to remain unresolved for long. Otherwise, the stability of our monetary system and economy, the fundamental pillars to Hong Kong's success, will be at stake.
With the financial pressure put on Government as a whole because of the budget deficit, there will no doubt be additional pressures on each and every one of you when you discharge your duties. But I trust that all of you will handle the new challenges with the professionalism and dedication that you have been trained long and hard for.
As you step off this parade ground and start your careers as members of the Police Force, you will be facing interesting and challenging situations in your day-to-day work. With rising expectations of the community, you will find your duties as a police officer quite demanding and test your every skill. I am nevertheless confident that you will always apply the highest level of discipline and integrity expected in the discharge of your duties.
Finally, I would like to wish you all every success in your career as a member of one of the best law enforcement organizations in the world.
End/Saturday, January 25, 2003