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The First High Table Dinner of

HKU Morrison Hall

12 October 2017

Speech by

 Secretary for Food and Health

Mr Sam Ho [Chairman of Morrison Hall Student Association], Professor (Sydney) Tang [Warden, Morrison Hall], Tutors and Students,

                Good evening.  It is indeed my honour to take part in the first high table dinner of Morrison Hall this academic year. I would also like to warmly congratulate all Morrisonians here for upkeeping the tradition of academic excellence and sport triumphs of Morrison Hall, which is the second oldest residential hall of the Hong Kong University.

2.             I always enjoy conversing with students as it reminds me of my memorable days when I was the Head of the Nursing Department of the Hong Kong University.  Before joining the Government, I had worked in the education sector for some 20 years.  I have had the opportunity of watching my students growing up in their studies, career, and life journey.  Walking along with them, I have also seen for myself how their journey of development differed from my own which reflects the changes of our society in the past few decades.

3.             With rapid economic development and general improvements in the standard of living and education, our younger friends here are generally provided with more opportunities in the areas of education, personal development, as well as in the pursuit of personal interests and cultural or leisure activities.  While it is encouraging that our millennial generation has been provided with more resources for personal development, I also note that youngsters are facing unprecedented challenges nowadays.

4.             The explosion of knowledge coupled with advancement in information technology and the internet has unleashed a massive flow of information and knowledge.  Meanwhile, geographic frontiers are drawn closer by modern means of transportation, communication media and globalization.  In order to remain at the forefront and stay competitive in this rapidly globalized world, young people need to attain a multitude of training and qualifications in different professional and vocational fields.   If you can afford to, please also go abroad to see the world.  This will help you broaden your vision in life and your future endeavors beyond Hong Kong and Asia.

5.             Hong Kong has already transformed herself from a fishing port into an industrial centre in the last century and then into a financial hub majoring in various service industries.  It is now widely recognized that in addition to maintaining our leading edge in finance and service sectors, Hong Kong will need to become innovative in order to stay afloat and develop further.  In addition to obtaining qualifications, all of us need to acquire the trait of becoming creative and curious.  As Steve Jobs said, “Stay hungry, Stay foolish”.  Grasp as many learning opportunities as possible by asking questions, trying new things, going beyond our comfort zones and preparing to make mistakes.  I believe it is through this continual pursuit of self-learning, creativity and exploration that we can continue to grow and prosper in an era of information, innovation and technology.

6.             In addition to preparing oneself for the challenges and competition in a globalized world, I hope my young friends can also see beyond our own responsibility in personal development, and recognize that there are many who are still under-privileged, and need assistance either because of diseases and disability, poverty, natural disaster or human conflict.  One of my favourite quotes of Mahatma Gandhi is that ‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”.  Through providing volunteer services to those in need, we gain more insight into the many factors accounting for poverty and lack of development.  We then realize that prosperity and security of any society is not to be taken for granted.  All of us need to work together with collaborative spirit, tolerance, mutual respect and support.  Equally important, by doing volunteer services, we also understand ourselves more and be thankful to what we have had in our lives.

7.             My young friends, we are born with different personalities, interests and talents.  To become accomplished and responsible, it is most important for us to grow through education and life experience and develop a set of values and principles during our youth.  These values and principles will in turn help us to steer the right course in our life-long pursuit for knowledge, self-betterment as well as our “goals” and “dreams”.

8.             On a personal note, it is my honour and pleasure to have the opportunity of getting to know Morrisonians in different capacities and witnessing their dedication and exemplary contributions.  I have full confidence that you will build on the solid foundation of Morrison Hall and pursue excellence in your studies and careers, act with integrity and responsibility, and enjoy serving with love and dedication. 

9.             Last for not least, as the Secretary for Food and Health, to safeguard public health, provide quality medical services, ensure food safety and environmental hygiene as well as assisting the sustainable development of fishery and agriculture will be top priorities on my agenda.  My team and I would continue to work hard for the betterment of Hong Kong.

10.           Thank you.