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A special Spring Reception

On the afternoon of February 19, my wife and I, together with my colleagues in the Government, held the annual Spring Reception at Government House to celebrate the Chinese New Year with guests from various sectors of the community and to thank them for their contributions to society.

In addition to inviting community leaders, I also invited some special guests to the reception, including the following people:

Photo Christina Wong, a visually impaired writer and composer and one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons in 2008

Christina is a powerful girl who spreads positive energy and stirs the hearts of people through her writing and songs. I remember that she wrote for me a song named "Castle in Children's Tales", expressing her hope that I would rise to challenges courageously. I will always remember her encouragement.

Photo Ah Ying, whom I met at a forum in 2008

When I first met her, Ah Ying was working as a cleaner and had to take up two jobs to make ends meet. After the forum, I kept in touch with her and recommended her for a new job so as to make her life easier. I am touched by what she went through and will never forget her reminding the Government to look squarely at the problems facing the grass roots.

Photo Bibi Tayyaba, a Pakistani student

Born and bred in Hong Kong, Bibi is now a year one undergraduate. For many years, she has been studying hard and doing her best to integrate into the community. Her experience helps me understand better the importance of strengthening support to the ethnic minorities, who also treat Hong Kong as their home, to fit into the society.

Christina, Ah Ying and Bibi have all worked hard to shape their futures with their own hands. I sincerely hope that Hong Kong people from different sectors and backgrounds will work together to create a caring and inclusive society.

Hong Kong is not only our place of living but also our home, to which all of us have a strong attachment. In the year ahead, let us stand united and endeavour to realise the vision of "our home is Hong Kong" with courage, confidence and determination.

February 21, 2013