Building an inclusive HK

May 22, 2019

Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung

I would like to pay warm tribute to the Airport Authority, to Fred (Airport Authority Hong Kong Chief Executive Officer Fred Lam) in particular, for pioneering this very important programme. It is called Extra Mile, but I would like to change its name to “Extraordinary Mile” because that mile is really extraordinary. It combines passion, care and concern, creating shared value and building a coalition in the process for a caring community. Also, I think it is a shining example of corporate social responsibility on the part of the Airport Authority.


As I said in the beginning, your plate is full already. They have got the third runway, a lot of problems to tackle, management issues and all that, but on top of that, you really have a heart for the underprivileged, for the grass roots, and for our next generation - not only for children but also the ethnic minorities.


The ethnic minorities form an important component of the local labour force. They make Hong Kong their home basically. There are around a quarter of a million of so-called non-Chinese speaking residents of Hong Kong. In fact, one-third of them or 85,000 are South Asians. Employment is always a challenge, integration is also a challenge as well. You are tackling the problem at the root, which is employment. You give them a really meaningful job and also up-skilling them in the process. I take my hat off to you for this special programme.


You also provide care for children when their parents are at work so that they do not have to worry about their kids after school. This is an excellent programme, which provides parent education as well. You also build happy families, employee-friendly programme. Once again, a good example for other corporations to follow.


All these actually echo very well with the current Government’s objective. We place very high importance on youth development, particularly promoting upward social mobility of the younger generation in Hong Kong and creating more so-called shared value in the process, and also provide more opportunities for our young generation, not only employment, but education and so on. We have also set up a special steering committee under my chairmanship to look after the well-being of the ethnic minorities. We have also rolled out Hong Kong’s first ever Commission on Children also under my chairmanship. The idea is very simple, it is to move society forward on all fronts and to be more caring, more compassionate, to build a really inclusive Hong Kong.


As for the trainees, congratulations to you. You are very lucky to be able to walk this extra mile, an extraordinary mile. I am sure that you will take off in the right direction. The programme will scale new height next year and when I stand here next year, there will be 36 strategic partners, doubling the number from where you started.


Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung gave these remarks at the Hong Kong International Airport Extra Mile Anniversary Event 2019 on May 22.

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