Carrie Lam 'did not fully realize' youth angst

Local | 27 Jul 2017 6:37 pm

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor admitted in an interview today that she never fully appreciated the "depth” of the desperation felt by young Hong Kong people before getting an up close and personal look at the problems they face during her recent election campaign.

Lam told CNN that she was ‘humbled’ by her ignorance of their plight, and that she ‘regrets’ not being fully aware of the ‘desperation’ and ‘disconnection’ they felt, even if she had been aware of their dissatisfaction with government.

"I have been with the government for so many years. How come I did not sort of fully realize the depth of that sort of sentiments, which could be damaging to Hong Kong?” Lam queried. "If our young people, if our young professionals are losing hope about the future, then where is Hong Kong’s future?”

Lam said she only realized that young people felt largely pessimistic about their future after speaking directly to them during her campaign.

Lam agreed that there has in the past been too much focus on the financial services industry in Hong Kong – to the detriment of the development of other industries that could provide much-needed opportunities for young Hong Kong people.

The Chief Executive also pledged to continue to find ways to provide affordable housing, with flats on the private market far beyond the reach of most.

Lam also reiterated that she’s in no rush to enact national security legislation as stipulated in Article 23 of the Basic Law.

She said that when laws are put in place to guard against treason, secession and sedition, such legislation will not undermine the city’s core values of freedom of speech and assembly.

Asked if even independence-advocates would be afforded such protection, Lam answered "I have to because that freedom and human rights and so on, are also enshrined in the Basic Law. To do one thing in accordance with the Basic Law but then running the risk of breaching another provision in the Basic Law is not something that I would go for.”-RTHK

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