Mr President, Honourable Members and fellow citizens,
1. Today I present the third Policy Address in my term of office. Right in the middle of the term of the current Government, this Policy Address originally aimed to review the progress made by the Government in the past and outline the focus of our future work. I have therefore decided earlier that I would deliver a more focused Policy Address in full this year, and compile a new document entitled Policy Address Supplement to comprehensively account for the work progress and commitments of the current-term Government. Although Hong Kong has been undergoing unprecedented unrest in the past four months, I have chosen to present this Policy Address on the scheduled date as planned, and accordingly held over 50 consultation sessions, with a view to responding to the aspirations of the community.
2. Hong Kong has always been one of the safest cities in the world, and being civilised, law-abiding, free, pluralistic and inclusive, and paying mutual respect are the characteristics that this Asia’s world city takes pride in. Yet in just a few months, the areas affected by the social conflict arising from opposition to the Government’s amendment of the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance have become more extensive. Over 400 demonstrations, processions and rallies took place in various districts in the past four months, and more often than not, they ended up in violent protests, causing injuries to more than 1 100 people and the arrest of over 2 200. A handful of rioters initiated attacks and sabotages in an organised and planned manner. They doxxed and beat people holding different views, spreading chaos and fear in Hong Kong and seriously disrupting people’s daily lives. Employees of all trades and sectors, as well as small, medium and large businesses alike are deeply worried about the prospect of Hong Kong. People are asking: will Hong Kong return to normal? Is Hong Kong still a place we can live in peace?