Lam bares the `bad records' in her life

Top News | Kenneth Lau 3 May 2016

Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she had been an activist as a student and felt the highest sense of fulfilment when she was director of social welfare.

Lam shared her ways for overcoming adversity and her aspirations for being in government over the past 36 years in a new Commercial Radio program Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining hosted by the station's chief adviser, Stephen Chan Chi- wan.

Lam recalled that one of the most memorable lows for her was placing fourth in class for a mid- term examination.

That was the one and only one time in her 13 years at St Francis' Canossian School and St Francis' Canossian College when she failed to come in top of the class.

She cried when went back to home, as she was worried about how the teachers and relatives looked at her.

Asked for her reaction. Lam said: "I took the No1 place back."

Lam also said she found that being head of the Social Welfare Department could bring the most change to society, more so than a chief secretary.

"I would say, [the post] which brings most substantial changes, which allowed me to work out of the framework, which allowed me to achieve my aspirations as a student, was as director of social welfare," said Lam, who was director of the department from August 2000 to October 2003.

Lam revealed she wanted to be a social worker when she was admitted to the University of Hong Kong, but changed her mind after her first year, as she wanted to spend more time on campus joining more students' activities, rather than in placements elsewhere in years two and three if she continued with social work.

She was surprised to be accepted as an administrative officer in 1980, as she said she had two "bad records" as a student.

She joined a sit-in protest at the government headquarters six months before joining the civil service.

The second "bad record" was organizing a visit to Tsinghua University in Beijing. She was a deputy leader of the delegation, with former Democratic Party chairman Lee Wing-tat and lawmaker Sin Chung-kai also taking part.

Lam admitted she was a student activist and "anti-government" at that time, but she chose to join the government to bring about change.

"I had a clear objective at that time," Lam said.

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