Speech by S for S at Asian Securitex 2010 Conference
****************************************************

     Following is the opening remarks by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, at the Asian Securitex 2010 Conference today (June 2)G

Mr Cheung, distinguished guests and speakers, ladies and gentlemen,

     Good afternoon. It is my great pleasure to join you all at the opening of the Asian Securitex 2010 Conference. Security awareness is important to our community as it is conducive to public participation in crime prevention and it is often a key to successful business operations of various kinds. The growth in the Mainland's security industry has been a focal point of attention and discussion, as it opens opportunities as well as challenges for the rest of the world. This leading conference of the industry deserves applause in presenting this year's theme as "Security in Emerging Markets V China Focus".

     Every year, enthusiastic security specialists and professionals from Hong Kong and abroad gather at the Asian Securitex Conference where an excellent platform is provided for industry delegates to exchange ideas and share expertise. This valuable assembly draws together information on the latest security trends and developments that will facilitate useful examination of contemporary security issues. In addition, industry leaders are going to contribute their insights into strategies for addressing the emerging security industry on the Mainland.

     Hong Kong has been fortunate to enjoy a stable crime situation for many years. We compare favourably with a number of world cities in terms of crime rates. This encouraging level of safety speaks not only of the effectiveness and diligence of our law enforcement departments, but also the dedication and professionalism of the local security stakeholders particularly in helping to prevent crime in their respective fields.  

     The security industry works to keep the city safe and helps provide an environment that is conducive to economic and social development. These are the cornerstones for maintaining the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. But we will not overlook the importance of making progress also in the political environment.  

     Our audience today comprises a wide spectrum of professionals from, for example, property management, engineering, information technology, building services, etc, and many may be registered voters for our different functional constituencies. I would therefore like to take this chance to share with you the Government's commitment to taking forward Hong Kong's constitutional development, with a view to achieving the ultimate aim of universal suffrage as enshrined in the Basic Law.  

     The decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress in December 2007 makes it clear that universal suffrage may be implemented for the election of the Chief Executive (CE) in 2017 and all Legislative Councillors in 2020. Along this direction and under the principle of making gradual and orderly progress, we need to agree on the two electoral methods for the major elections in 2012. The Government has been engaging the community closely to gauge its views on the arrangements for taking forward the constitutional development in Hong Kong. We have now put forward a package of proposals for the two methods for electing the CE and members of the Legislative Council in 2012. Both contain new democratic elements V

* For the election of the CE, the total number of members in the four sectors of the Election Committee will be increased from the current 800 to 1,200. For the political sector, three quarters of the 100 new seats will be allocated to elected District Council members who are returned by more than 3.3 million voters.

* Similar improvement will also be made to the method for electing members of the LegCo. First of all, the number of seats in the LegCo will be increased from the current 60 to 70 to broaden the scope of political participation, thus creating five more seats for the functional constituencies and another five for the geographical constituencies. Moreover, the five new functional constituency seats and the existing District Council (DC) functional constituency seat will be returned through election from among elected DC members under a proportional representation system.

     Although our proposed constitutional development package may not fulfil the wish list of everyone in the community at the time, we consider the proposals as presenting a forward and pragmatic step towards the ultimate goal of universal suffrage.  I would appeal for your participation and support in helping Hong Kong to bring the proposals to fruition. We will soon invite the LegCo to endorse our proposals, in the form of endorsing the motions on the amendments to the two electoral methods. If you feel you can support this forward and pragmatic step in our constitutional development, please make it known to any LegCo members that you or your sector may be acquainted with.

     Hong Kong is "Asia's world city" and is free, open and safe. It is essential for us to take advantage of our strengths in making our city better. Hong Kong takes pride in hosting the two-day conference to facilitate an exchange of knowledge on the latest technologies and security developments in the best interests of the industry. This event is gainfully set alongside the biennial tradeshow that is richly filled with resourceful and inspiring display items.  

     I would like to extend my full appreciation for the keen contribution of all participating parties in making this event possible. May I wish the conference every success! For those who came from a distance, I wish you all a wonderful time here. Thank you.

Ends/Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Issued at HKT 15:24

NNNN