Speech by S for S at opening ceremony of the United Bible Societies Bookfair

    Following is the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, at the opening ceremony of the United Bible Societies Bookfair today (November 9):

Brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen,

     It is my great honour to be here today to officiate at the opening ceremony of the United Bible Societies (UBS) Bookfair.  First of all, let me welcome those delegates who came from different parts of the World Peace to you and I hope you all feel welcome and safe here.

     The United Bible Societies Bookfair, as I understand, is the first one ever held in Hong Kong.  I am greatly encouraged to see that so many of you have gathered here to review what Bible Societies have achieved, where they are now, what they can do in the future and how they can learn from each other.  Hong Kong is indeed an ideal place for such an exchange, not only because it is one of the safest cities in the world, but also because it is a pluralistic society.  

     Today, you can see for yourselves, our vibrant economy, our role in the international arena, the rule of law, with the key components of judicial independence and protection of human rights, remain as strong as ever in Hong Kong.  Despite predictions to the contrary, people in Hong Kong are still enjoying basic human rights, such as freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of press, freedom of movement, freedom of religious belief and so on.  These rights are enshrined in and well protected by our mini-constitution, the Basic Law.  Our assembly, frank and candid exchanges here are good testimonies of the effectiveness of our system in protecting fundamental human rights.  These freedoms enable dialogue and debate to take place, and different ideas to thrive.  

     Needless to say, the publication and printing industries have facilitated the free flow of information, concepts and ideas.  No matter where one resides, he or she can count on you all to lay hands on a reliable version of the Bible in a language he or she can understand.  In God's teachings, one sees the importance of maintaining law and order.  More importantly, whoever reads the Bible and trusts God will be able to find peace of mind and be assured of salvation.  This, I believe, is security to the highest degree.

     Personally, the Bible is my favourite source of Truth and God-inspired principles of life.  Reading and meditating on God's word, I am blessed to feel the peace in the midst of my busy public office engagements.  Probably, I have been reading Bibles that were published by one of your societies.

     2007 is a very special year for us.  We have just celebrated the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.  To a Chinese Bible reader, this year 2007 is even more special.  I was informed that one of the forerunners in Chinese Bible translation, Rev Dr Robert Morrison, arrived in China 200 years ago and started a mission that seemed impossible at that time.  Through the grace of God, he succeeded.  Today we witness the Good Book being widely circulated in Hong Kong as well as in our motherland.  Praise God.

     I pray that the UBS Bookfair will be a success and our world is filled with more Bible-abiding people.  That will surely make the work of my colleagues, who are working for public security, easier, in any part of the world.

     Thank you and have a nice evening.

Ends/Friday, November 9, 2007
Issued at HKT 18:18