Speech by Miss. Starry Lee Wai-king, the Chairperson of the DAB
Distinguished guests, honoured guests ladies and gentlemen.
It is an honour to have you here with us celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Founding of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong!
Just as we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to Chinese Sovereignty, we also celebrate the 25th birthday of the DAB. This is a very special birthday for us. In President Xi Jinping’s speech commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Handover, he said that one only comes of age at 20, and that the Anniversary was the celebration of the HKSAR coming of age. At 25, DAB must look forward to and work hard for the year we are to become established in our stand — Confucius says this is to be what it means to be 30.
The DAB was founded five years prior to the Handover of Hong Kong. Like you — our dear friends and honoured guests — we were witnesses to the smooth handover and the successful implementation of “One Country, Two Systems”. We were not passive observers — we were all we were active participants in this historic process. During this historic epoch, the DAB grew little by little from scratch. We were founded in 1992 with only 56 members, including one member of the Legislative Council, two members of the Urban or Regional Councils and eight members of the District Council. We persevered through the fiery baptism of participating in direct elections. We persisted in reaching out to each district, meeting the constituents of each district, and serving their needs. We grew, learning the hard lessons of running a political party and we experienced many ups and downs. Today, the DAB can be considered to have a relatively firm foundation. Our membership rolls have increased exponentially to 35,000, and we have 12 Legislative Councilors, 117 District Councilors and over 200 branch offices and service points to serve Hong Kong residents all over Hong Kong.
The DAB can achieve such successes because of the support, encouragement, and advice of our supporters from all walks of life, from every sector of our community. This is the reason why, despite and in spite of the hardships and challenges we encountered, we can persist in our commitment to being Devoted to China and Hong Kong, persist in defending and implementing “One Country, Two Systems”, persist in calling for the various sectors of society to unite and wholeheartedly serve the needs of the people of Hong Kong and contribute to Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity.
After 25 years, the founding members of the DAB have gradually passed on the baton to the next generation. We summed up our experiences and set out to live up to our motto of “stand by what is right and strive for results” and affirms the following ideas: Endowed with the Love for our Country and Hong Kong, Firmly Safeguard “One Country, Two Systems”, Realising Virtuous Democracy and Sharing the Fruits of development. This means that we shall never forget the founding ideals of our party, persist in standing by what is right, and to strive for results. Just as President Xi had expressed his hopes for Hong Kong, we must stand by what is right and strive for results in order to always understand the relationship between One Country and Two Systems. We must always follow and uphold the Basic Law, we must always focus on development as our number one priority, and we must always uphold and support the stability of our society. We believe that as long as we persist, the people of Hong Kong will continue to support the DAB and the greater the contributions we can make for “One Country, Two Systems”.
On the occasion of our 25th anniversary, the new government of the HKSAR has just begun its term. Our relationship with the HKSAR government is defined by what DAB is: the DAB is a proactive policy advocate and a monitor of the government policy implementation process. The DAB will proactively invite officials to meet with our members. The DAB is committed to continue to find ways, propose policies to solve the housing, medical, education, senior care and local administrative issues that residents are deeply concerned with.
We strive to raise the bar on what we demand from ourselves, our members and our party. We will focus on three major missions. Our first mission is to continue to develop into a party that crosses social strata. We shall continue to our commitment to the grassroots and disadvantaged as we fight for the Middle Class and work with the business community. To this end, the DAB will set up special groups tasked with communicating with the different sectors of society and propose policies that will specifically bring opportunities brought on by the Belt and Road Initiative and the development of the Bay Area to Hong Kong businesses, professionals, our friends in the middle class and the youth. You can expect to hear from us often, and I look forward to having a closer relationship with you. DAB is a party that values and welcomes your precious input and advice.
Our second mission is to nurture political talents. Hong Kong needs more political talents and the DAB is committed to being where political talents are discovered, trained and nurtured. We will not only provide training and opportunities for political participation; we will also be focusing on discovering potential public policy focused opinion leaders and administrators. Dear friends, the DAB is the best platform for those with the heart, the conviction and abilities to serve the people of Hong Kong, and fight against the destructive forces in our society.
Our third mission is to professionalize our services. The DAB has to be the party most accessible to the public. DAB Councillors must be the very problem solvers people look for when they need assistance. In order to be the people’s choice, our services and advice must be more effective in helping and improving lives. I would like to take this opportunity to invite all of you interested in taking part in meaningful community service and professionals to join us. We will make a great team.
Dear friends and honored guests, the smooth return of Hong Kong to the Motherland and the successful implementation of “One Country, Two Systems” are important milestones in the the revival of the Chinese people, integral parts of President Xi’s “Chinese dream”. It is a tremendous honour for the DAB to be able to celebrate our 25th anniversary with all of you, but we know deep in our hearts that “the hardest part of the journey comes near its end”. We must contribute more to the greater success of the unprecedented “One Country, Two Systems”. We must believe in ourselves, believe in Hong Kong and believe in our country. The DAB looks forward to working together with the various sectors of society and the people of Hong Kong to “make this happen!”
On behalf of everyone at the DAB, I wish all of you good health, happiness and success.