1995年香港總督彭定康農曆新年賀辭Read by Christopher PATTEN, Cantonese voiceover by CHUNG Wai-ming
I think at the end of one year and the beginning of the next, when we're gathered together at home with our families and loved ones, all of us spend a good deal of time thinking about what's gone well in the previous year: the things we've really enjoyed, the jokes we've shared together, the ambitions that we've realised together.
And we look forward to a new year, to all the things we'd like to do, all the good resolutions we've made, all the things we'd like to succeed in.
Just as we think about that for our families, I guess we think much the same about our community, much the same about this wonderful city of Hong Kong.
Over the last year, despite the occasional ups and downs, we've managed to cope once again more successfully than I guess almost anybody else in the world could manage. There are economic troubles around the place, but Hong Kong has always shown itself, for decade after decade, to be much more capable at coping with all that than almost anyone else in the world.
Well, one or two newspapers and magazines and American think-tanks have given us a clue over the last year. One of them said that Hong Kong was the most business-friendly city in the world, another said that this was the freest economy in the world, another that we were one of the most competitive places in the world.
Because of all that, which is a huge tribute to your strength and courage and hard work, we've had year after year of economic growth, and we've been able - despite the problems elsewhere - to provide the resources to do the things that we want to do.
We've seen some of that in the last year. We've seen our social programmes developing. In particular, and - I think this is where you place so much priority - we've been able to do more for the young, and that's where our future lies. We've been investing more in kindergartens, in elementary and secondary schools, and in colleges, training colleges, and universities. That's so important to make sure that our young people have the best possible chance in life.
But we've also thought more and done more for the elderly. It's our elderly relatives, our elderly friends, who built Hong Kong, and they deserve the best of Hong Kong today. They deserve to share in some of our success.
It's not just money that matters in life. I think people want peace of mind, and we've done better than others - without being at all complacent - in keeping our city a pretty safe place to live in. We have a marvellous police force here in Hong Kong. I want to see that they always have the resources and support that they deserve. You give them a lot of that support, with the fight crime committees and so on. And with our help I know that Hong Kong will go on being one of the very safest places not just in the region but in the world.
So that's the past. What of the future?
We have to go on making sure that our economy can go on delivering the quality and standard of living that all of us desire. We have to go on developing our social programmes.
There are a couple of other things which I guess will matter very much over the coming year.
First, one thing which helps to make Hong Kong distinctive and helps to make Hong Kong successful is the rule of law: the fact that we have fair rules that apply to everyone. Whoever you are, whether you're the Governor or whoever, the same rules apply. That makes this a particularly good place to do business, but it also provides some of the glue which holds our society together, and makes it more stable as well as more prosperous.
And we all know that we've got a historic task: to manage the transition through 1997 as successfully as possible. It's difficult for all of us to do that. But we want to work better and more successfully with our Chinese colleagues, because it's in all our interests to succeed in the great and unique enterprise which is represented by the transition to Chinese sovereignty.
I spend, as I think you know, a good deal of each week out on the street, visiting housing estates, schools, hospitals, factories, and places of work. Really, I think, getting to see almost everything in Hong Kong, and sometimes it seems getting to see everywhere. I'd like to thank all of you for your kindness and your courtesy and the warmth of your greeting whenever I've been out and about in the last year.
I probably haven't seen all of you, although it sometimes feels as though I have. For those of you that I haven't seen personally over the past year, I'd like to offer my warmest good wishes for the year ahead.
I very much hope that we will meet over the next 12 months. In the meantime, on behalf of my wife Lavender and my family, I wish everyone a very Happy New Year.
All of us, I'm sure, want for Hong Kong what we want, in the Year of the Pig, for our families. Kung Hei Fat Choy.