Following is the speech by the Postmaster General, Mr Allan Chiang, at the "Development of Public Housing in Hong Kong" Special Stamps Issuing Ceremony today (December 11):
Mr Leung, distinguished guests and friends from the media,
Good morning and welcome to the issuing ceremony of "Development of Public Housing in Hong Kong" Special Stamps. I would like to thank Mr Leung Chin-man, Permanent Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands (Housing), and Director of Housing for officiating at today's ceremony.
The Housing Department and Hongkong Post have a lot in common. We are both members of the public sector, charged with the mission to provide the full panoply of services essential to everyone's daily lives. Both teams value hard work and efficiency, and we strive to make the most out of our resources to achieve cost-effectiveness. "Caring", "Customer-focused", "Creative" and "Committed", the four core values upheld by the Housing Department, are strikingly similar to "Care from the Heart", "Development", "Innovation" and "Excellence" that form part of Hongkong Post's 12 values. Although the wording is not the same, the underlying messages are one and the same. Over the years, the Housing Department and Hongkong Post have dutifully carried out their missions, and continually undergone transformation, as changes in times may dictate, to better serve and cater for the needs of the customers.
You may not be aware that almost half of Hongkong Post's 132 post offices are situated in public estates managed by the Housing Department. Operation-wise, therefore, we are partners in every sense of the word.
The Housing Department plays a vital role in the development of public housing in Hong Kong. From the provisional resettlement housing directives ascribed to the tragedy of the Shek Kip Mei fire to a full-blown development programme that ultimately has hundreds and thousands of public estates built to house more than half of the population, the Housing Department certainly deserves recognition and applause. In the same vein, Hongkong Post has provided quality yet affordable postal services to the community throughout the years. At the same time, we have kept our fingers on the pulse of the society and continued to devise non-postal services that tap into our large delivery network. Examples include PayThruPost service, one-stop logistics service, electronic remittance service, issuance of electronic certificate, and so on. By thinking outside the box and keeping abreast of change, we have been able to offer the citizens an array of diversified services. Starting from January 1, 2004, we will team up with Global e-Trading Services to provide an electronic means for the trading community to submit import/export declarations and other trade-related documents to the Government. With e-cert, users of this service can perform online customs declarations; or, they can head over to the designated post offices and let our staff take care of the procedure.
Talking about charting new courses, the special stamps we issued today represent yet another innovation of Hongkong Post. This is the first set of pentagonal stamps and tete-beche stamps in Hong Kong. The designer artfully meshed pictures of public estates with line drawings depicting aspects of our daily lives, and put them within the house-shaped pentagonal space constructed with dots, lines and planes. I am sure you will find them original and appealing.
Ends/Thursday, December 11, 2003