Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee spent the last day of her 28 years as a civil servant as a special guest of some 'old friends' - the central government in Beijing. Returning to Hong Kong last night from her two-day trip, Mrs Ip held a press conference at Chek Lap Kok airport where she praised the public for its support. She said: 'I have served as director of immigration and then secretary for security altogether for seven years. 'Because of the nature of my job, I have worked closely with my colleagues on the mainland and we have built up a very good working relationship. 'Now that I am leaving my post, the central government asked me to visit Beijing again to bid farewell. I was very glad to have the opportunity to call on my old friends.' Mrs Ip then named the officials she had met: Procurator-General Jia Chunwang, Minister of Public Security Zhou Yongkang, and the director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, Liao Hui. 'I am grateful for their concern for me and my family, and their support for my work,' she said. She said her office had been flooded with e-mails, bouquets, presents and even cake coupons from the public since resigning. Legislator James To Kun-sun said Mrs Ip's trip was a strong signal from Beijing. 'It is a reminder to Hong Kong people that no matter how badly officials have done their job, as long as they follow their line, they will support them,' he said.