SCMP Friday, February 16, 2001

Donald Tsang's statement

I am deeply honoured and privileged to be appointed Chief Secretary for Administration. The position carries with it heavy responsibilities, but I look forward to the challenge. I pledge to serve the community to the best of my abilities and in the best interests of Hong Kong people.
I am grateful for the confidence the Chief Executive has shown in me, and to the Central People's Government for entrusting me with this office.
Over the past 30-odd years, I have faced many challenges in my civil service career - challenges that at recent times have been exceptionally stressful. But that is something you learn to cope with. They have never dimmed my burning passion to serve the people of Hong Kong.
In taking up my new appointment, I am conscious that Mrs Anson Chan is a hard act to follow. In leading the civil service to support the Chief Executive, Anson has made an enormous contribution to Hong Kong's smooth transition. She has maintained and upheld the continuity of Hong Kong's stable civil service system. She has made great strides in enhancing the international reputation of Hong Kong. Her charisma and achievements are well known. What Anson has done will continue to inspire me and my colleagues to work doubly hard and to do our very best in serving Hong Kong.
For now, I must focus on the preparation of the Budget for the next financial year. I will consider in slower time in detail the work of the Chief Secretary for Administration. There are clearly three main strands of priority work.
As Chief Secretary, my foremost responsibility is to maintain a civil service of the highest integrity, fairness, impartiality, efficiency, and a deep sense of service. I will ensure that the traditional values and the professionalism of the civil service will endure. We, the 180,000 members of the civil service, aspire to serve Hong Kong as a dynamic and responsible team.
Last October, the Chief Executive outlined the blueprint for this year's policy initiatives. We will spare no effort in putting them into place. In doing so, we will work closely with the Executive Council and the Legislative Council, and listen carefully to the views of the people. Our commitment is to strive for improvement, winning public support for each and every one of our policies.
Another vital task will be to assist the Chief Executive in the implementation of the ''One country, Two systems'' policy. I have said on many occasions, and I will repeat it today - Hong Kong's success has been built on the rule of law, a level playing field for business, the free and unfettered flow of news and information and civil liberties. These are an inseparable part of our success.
We have to show clearly in the Mainland of China and the rest of the world that ''One Country, Two Systems'' has been working successfully in Hong Kong. We must let people know that Hong Kong is not a test case but a showcase for this unique concept. I will continue to make my position well known to our many fellow nationals in the Mainland and friends overseas. We must make them feel confident that the success of ''One Country, Two Systems'' and ''Hong Kong people running Hong Kong'' has taken root in Hong Kong.
Finally, I am very pleased that Mr Antony Leung has been appointed Financial Secretary. Mr Leung is highly regarded in the banking field. He has a wide-range of public service experience and is no stranger to the civil service. With his commercial experience, he will bring new ideas to the post. I shall work closely with him to ensure a stable community underpinned by a strong economy. My colleagues and I extend a warm welcome to Antony. Thank you very much.