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Speech by the Secretary for Security


Following is the translation of the full text of speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, at the Police Training School Passing Out Parade today (May 22):

Commissioner, Commandant, Fellow Guests, Colleagues and Members of the Parade,

I am honoured to be invited to participate in this passing out parade as a reviewing officer.

Traditional Chinese wisdom tells us that "precious jade could only be chiselled out of hard work; and dignity could only be earned through education." With the exacting demands and training of the Police Training School, I am certain that the more than 100 graduates here today will be future proponents of the fine traditions of the Hong Kong Police. You will be contributing towards to the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong is an international financial centre, a sea and air transport hub, as well as a magnet for the world's best. We are all working hard to make sure that Hong Kong will continue to reign in these competitive fronts. Above all, however, one must not forget that a clean and efficient civil service, together with good law and order, are also foundations of the continued development of our society. Hong Kong has long enjoyed the lowest crime rates amongst Asia, if not the world - and you are the frontline of this outstanding achievement.

Hong Kong's own development is closely knit with important developments in the security, economic and social fronts elsewhere in the world. This is inevitable in our age of globalisation. The '911' incident in 2001 and the recent spate of terrorist attacks in other places has only accentuated the fact that no one is 'immune' - the terrorists have already thrown down their gauntlets. While I am glad that Hong Kong has a relatively low risk of being targeted by terrorists, we can never afford to be complacent. We must not let anyone exploit our openness and freedoms, we must not let anyone hijack our safety and stability. The professional training you receive today is your best mate for the challenges of tomorrow.

The hard work of your predecessors and colleagues is the reason why the Hong Kong Police has become Asia's, if not the world's best. Today you are part of this excellent team. You will ensure that the Hong Kong Police strives with excellence.

Law enforcement is never an easy task. The disciplinary services, especially frontline colleagues, must act lawfully and reasonably in ensuring law and order. They must achieve a balance between expectations of the society and enforcement efficiency. We must also adapt our perception of this balance as our society progresses.

Law and order can never be maintained by enforcement alone. The understanding and support of the society at large is also a critical element. For example, how should we balance the expectations of the press and casual onlookers, and at the same time ensure that enforcement actions are not jeopardised? This has always been a difficult balance to achieve. I personally believe that one must, in these challenging circumstances, adhere to the rule of law and your professionalism, and at the same time be understanding.

Policing, and indeed for all other disciplinary services, is not merely a job. You are an important reason why our society is functioning smoothly and effectively. I was a member of the disciplinary services, and I can confidently tell you, and your family here today, that you will be proud of your choice.

Lastly, but not the least, I wish to congratulate you again, members of the parade, and wish you a healthy and prosperous future.

Thank you.

Ends/Saturday, May 22, 2004


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