I have been a part of Hong Kong’s civil service for more than three decades. Throughout my entire career I have worked with many people whose driving impulse has been to serve Hong Kong. That remains as true today as it did almost 40 years ago, when I first entered government.
The past couple of weeks have been among the most momentous periods since our reunification with China in 1997, and it has left me in the hot seat as Hong Kong’s Acting Chief Executive. It is not easy to describe the enormous level of responsibility I feel.
What sets Hong Kong apart is our ability to sustain social stability and economic growth. One key element of our success is the institutions that buttress our development. These include our legal system, which is underpinned by an independent judiciary, our legislature, and our civil service. Each operates independently but is an integral part of the whole. In short, ours is a system of government like many others.
However, Hong Kong has some distinguishing features, including a very internationally minded and outward-looking government, owing to our close integration into world markets long before globalization became a catchphrase. Within the ranks of our civil service and judiciary are nationals from Britain, Australia, the United States, Canada, and India.