Speech by CE at opening of Make A Difference Festival (English only) (with photos/video)

     Following is the speech by the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, at the opening of International Assembly @ MaD Festival 2017 tonight (July 21):

     Good evening, MaDees from 100 countries and cities, welcome to Hong Kong. Well, I was at the earlier edition of the MaD Festival a few years ago in the same venue, so it really gives me great pleasures to come back to the eighth edition of the MaD Festival.

     This is a very special year for Hong Kong. Hong Kong has gone through a journey of 20 years since 1997 when she became a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. We are very proud to be able to present to all of you a Hong Kong which practices "one country, two systems" and enjoys a high degree of autonomy and also a lot of diversity and vibrancy. So for those MaDees who are coming to our city for the first time, I wish you a wonderful stay in Hong Kong. Apart from exposing yourself to this rich MaD Festival programme, try to spend a few moments to enjoy our city.

     This is also a very special year and a very special edition of MaD because in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the HKSAR, we have supported MaD and Ada to do an enlarged version with a lot more MaDees coming to Hong Kong. So I want you all to thank Ada Wong for her efforts over these many years.

     I notice that one of the themes of this year's MaD Festival is "A Journey". To me, I am right at the beginning of another journey which is a very tough journey for any person to be the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, so in the next five years I will be walking with the 7.3 million people of Hong Kong, with an aim to bring Hong Kong to newer heights.

     And one of the ingredients of successes in my experience as a public servant for over 36 years is creativity, so not every bureaucrat is very bureaucratic. There are bureaucrats which are very creative and innovative, and I count myself as one of those because in order to make a difference, you really have to think out of the box and to identify other ways to do the same thing, instead of doing it time and again in the same manner. So in the last seven years and including this MaD Festival, Ada and her team have been helping young people to be creative, to think out of the box, to find new solutions. The other feature of success is collaboration which I understand is also being advocated by the MaD Festival. You cannot be successful just by yourself; you need to be in a team. So with these over a thousand MaDees this year, I hope and I am sure you will be able to nurture friendship and build up a team which will be very beneficial in whatever you are going to do in the future.

     So let me welcome you to Hong Kong again and wish you have a wonderful MaD Festival this year. Thank you very much.

Ends/Friday, July 21, 2017
Issued at HKT 22:37