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SHA's speech at HAB's spring reception

    Following is the speech (English translation) by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Dr Patrick Ho, at the spring reception of the Home Affairs Bureau today (February 22):

Mr Tsang, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

     Welcome to the Spring Reception of the Home Affairs Bureau. Today is the fifth day of the year "dinghai" in the traditional Chinese Xia calendar. May I wish you success, happiness and prosperity in the new year.

     We have bidden farewell to the Year of the Dog and ushered in the Year of the Pig. With the strong support of the motherland and the hard work of Hong Kong people, we are blessed with a booming economy. Everyone in Hong Kong has greeted the new year in joyous celebrations. Since our return to the motherland, Hong Kong people have a sense of home and begin to treasure our cultural heritage. To strive for sustainable growth, Hong Kong must find its anchor in its roots and the revival of its traditions. The Chinese character "jia", meaning family, is by structure a pig under a roof. Pig, proliferative and gregarious in nature, symbolises the continuous growth and development of the family. According to the Chinese almanac, the year "dinghai" is paired with the hexagram xian, which is composed of the upper trigram marsh and the lower trigram mountain. With the nourishing water running down the mountain to form a river of life which nurtures the land, the new year will be full of vitality if different sectors of the community are willing to communicate and co-operate. According to the Yijing, the hexagram xian is all about communication and responsiveness. To build a harmonious society, Hong Kong people should respect and be helpful to others. Hong Kong should enhance collaboration with the Mainland to attain sustainable development and prosperity.

     As spring returns, everything is bright and vibrant. We are looking forward to a prosperous and fruitful year in which everyone can live in contentment and harmony. Last of all, I thank you all for coming and wish you good health and good fortune. Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, February 22, 2007
Issued at HKT 18:53


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