Just one term is enough, Carrie Lam says

Friday, October 13, 2017

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has spoken of her preference to serve just one term as Hong Kong's leader. In fact, she told a special phone-in program on RTHK that this was a condition of her husband for her taking up the job.

She also said there are many other things she wants to do, but said as a politician she could not say definitively that she won't serve a second term as Chief Executive.

Lam was congratulated by a number of the callers over her first Policy Address on Wednesday.

She also made a number of revelations, including that the children's commission she plans to establish will not initially be an independent statutory body. But she insisted that children's interests are at the forefront of her administration. 

Lam said the issue of importing labor to help with elderly care needs to be looked at over the next five years of her current term.

The Chief Executive said even if her administration could commit more resources to the problem, there would still be a shortage of manpower. But she said any scheme to import carers may have to be different from the current one involving foreign domestic helpers.

Lam comfortably fielded questions on everything from tax reform to farming and agricultural policies. But she was far less assured when questioned about whether Hong Kong or Beijing was in charge of immigration.

On the day she delivered her policy address, a member of the British Conservative Party's Human Rights Commission, Benedict Rogers, was barred from entering Hong Kong.

The Foreign Ministry in Beijing has made it clear that it was its decision to keep him out and that it could decide such issues for all parts of China.

Lam insisted during the phone-in that Hong Kong has the right to decide who to admit or not under the high degree of autonomy promised by the Basic Law.

But she could not guarantee that other former long-term foreign residents of Hong Kong who are critical of the Central Government, including former Hong Kong Governor Chris Patten, might not also be barred.-Photo: RTHK