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Speech by S for S at Passing-out Parade of the Immigration Service (with photo)

     Following is the speech (English translation) by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, at the Passing-out Parade of the Immigration Service today (January 22)ĄG

Director, ladies and gentlemen, officers on parade,

     It is my great pleasure to attend the passing-out parade today and meet the passing-out officers of the Immigration Department once again in the capacity of the Reviewing Officer.  I recall that 12 years ago I inspected the then passing-out officers in the capacity of Acting Director of Immigration.  Like all of you young officers in front of me, their smart turnout and valiant marches fully demonstrated the vitality and esprit de corps of a disciplined force.  Now, with the completion of the induction course after months of stringent training, all of you, I am sure, are well-prepared to take up various duties and meet new challenges in the department.

     Despite being only a small place, Hong Kong is the home of more than seven million people.  Being Hong Kong's gatekeeper, the Immigration Department takes great effort in guarding our control points and enforcing effective immigration control.  Besides, the department is tasked with combating illegal workers and immigration offenders, as well as actively co-operating with law enforcement agencies of other places to combat cross-boundary illegal migration and the use of forged documents so as to safeguard law and order in Hong Kong.  The department also provides diversified services to Hong Kong residents, among which are the issuance of highly-secure identity cards and travel documents, and the processing of registration for births, deaths and marriages.  It can be seen that the work of the department is indeed closely linked with the well-being of Hong Kong society and the livelihood of its residents.

     Apart from immigration clearance and document-related services, members of the public are also gaining familiarity with the 24-hour hotline "1868".  This hotline enables local residents outside Hong Kong to seek emergency assistance from the Immigration Department, wherever and whenever in need.  During various major incidents over the past years, such as the tsunami in South Asia and the Sichuan earthquake, the Assistance to Hong Kong Residents Unit of the department never failed to dispatch members abroad or to the Mainland speedily to help our residents. In spite of the grievous conditions in such natural disasters, and the shortage of supplies and unavailability of communication facilities, the Immigration officers drew on their professional knowledge and expertise to discharge their duties round the clock with perseverance and selflessness, striving to serve Hong Kong residents to their best.

     Other than Hong Kong residents, people coming to Hong Kong, be they tourists or businessmen from all over the world, will also come into contact with services provided by the Immigration Department the moment they set foot here. To leave them a good first impression of Hong Kong, the department staff, alongside handling heavy passenger flow, have taken up the important role of being Hong Kong's goodwill ambassadors. Bearing in mind to serve with courteousness, professionalism and enthusiasm all the time, they make every endeavour to provide efficient service for our visitors. I am confident that you, being the department's next generation, will certainly carry on the excellent tradition of the department in contributing to the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.

     Officers on parade, I was just like all of you some 30 years ago, having chosen to join the Immigration Department and set to start a career here. I heartily congratulate you on having entered upon a meaningful career with a commitment to the well-being of society. Upon leaving the training school, you will be deployed to different posts. In the days and years to come, I hope you will adhere to the "people-oriented" value of the Immigration Department when performing all kinds of duties, and work hand-in-hand with your colleagues in providing excellent service to the public with fairness and dedication.

     Finally, I wish you all the best and every success in your career.  Thank you.

Ends/Friday, January 22, 2010
Issued at HKT 16:50


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