Promotion of racial equality requires contribution from every sector of the community, the Under Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, said today (July 2).
Speaking at the Harmony Scholarships Presentation Ceremony, Mr Tam called on all sectors of the community to continue to support fostering a culture of mutual respect and equal opportunities for people of all races.
Mr Tam noted that Hong Kong, as Asia's World City, prided itself on the diversity of our people and cultures.
"The Government is firmly committed to providing an open environment in which people of all racial and cultural backgrounds can thrive and make their best contribution to the betterment of our society," he said.
Hence, with this commitment, he said the Government established in 2002 the Committee on the Promotion of Racial Harmony and the Race Relations Unit to promote racial harmony and enhance support to ethnic minorities.
He noted that over the years, the Race Relations Unit had substantially increased its range of programmes and services it provides.
"From the operation of its inquiry and complaint hotline, the Unit's functions have gradually extended to cover education, promotional, cultural and community participation programmes, including the popular Cross-cultural Learning Programme, the Chinese and English Language Programme, and various school talks, to name a few," he said.
The objective of the Harmony Scholarship scheme aims to instill in the minds of the next generation the importance of merit and equal opportunities.
At today's presentation ceremony, 61 scholarships were awarded to students from 22 schools.
Apart from congratulating the students winning the scholarships for their outstanding academic and extra-curricular achievements, Mr Tam also expressed his sincere gratitude to headmasters, teachers and parents for their commitment and enthusiasm in nurturing the younger generation and fostering a multi-ethnic environment in the schools participating in the scholarship scheme.
"You have provided a role model in facilitating ethnic minorities to integrate into the wider community, and in the long run, help build a more equitable and harmonious society," he said.
Ends/Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Harmony Scholarships Presentation Ceremony (1)
Photo shows primary school recipients taking a group photo with the officiating guest, the Under Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam (back row, seventh left), at the Harmony Scholarships Presentation Ceremony.
Harmony Scholarships Presentation Ceremony (2)
Photo shows secondary school recipients taking a group photo with the officiating guest, the Under Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam (back row, fifth left), at the Harmony Scholarships Presentation Ceremony.