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SHA's speech at HAB's spring reception

     Following is the speech (English translation) by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, at the spring reception of the Home Affairs Bureau today (February 3):

Mr Tsang, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     Welcome to the spring reception of the Home Affairs Bureau.  First of all, on behalf of my colleagues, may I wish you all health, happiness and success in the year Jichou.

     Lunar New Year is an enjoyable time when Chinese families gather in celebration of our most important traditional festival.  It is a festival which reflects well how much the Chinese value family and social harmony.

     Last year, as with other economies, Hong Kong was hit by the global financial tsunami.  It is expected that our economy will continue to come under severe strain and probably face greater challenges this year.  The HKSAR Government has already introduced a series of measures to tackle the current crisis and to revive the economy.  It has adhered to the strategy of ¡§stabilising the financial system, supporting enterprises and preserving employment¡¨ and sought to work closely with all sectors of the society to turn crisis into opportunities.  With perseverance, confidence and calmness, Hong Kong will surely ride out the frosty winter to see the return of spring in full bloom.

     The year 2009 is the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People¡¦s Republic of China.  In the 60 years since its establishment, our country has met with trials and tribulations.  Nevertheless, with the determination and endurance of the Chinese people, China has risen to all challenges.  There are remarkable developments and achievements in the areas of economics, people¡¦s livelihood, technology, education, culture, sports, national defence and diplomacy.  To commemorate this memorable moment, the HKSAR Government and various sectors of the community are planning a wide variety of activities in celebration of this joyous occasion.  I very much hope that everyone will actively participate in the events and share the joy.  I also hope that from the success story of our nation, we will gain insights to build a brighter future for Hong Kong.

     This December, Hong Kong will play host to the 5th East Asian Games.  This is the first large-scale, multi-sport regional games to be held in Hong Kong.  The games will further promote sports development here and sustain public enthusiasm for sports following last year¡¦s Olympic equestrian events.  I earnestly hope that all sectors of the community will give their full support to the games to ensure that we will organise a unique and spectacular event.

     Once again, let me take this opportunity to wish Hong Kong prosperity and stability, and everybody a very happy and fruitful year of the ox.  

     Thank you.

Ends/Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Issued at HKT 18:07


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