Lam’s son leaves Harvard, returns to Hong Kong

Local | 9 Aug 2020 9:58 pm

The youngest son of Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor returned to Hong Kong days ahead of the United States slapping sanctions on 11 local and mainland officials, including his mother, over the imposition of the national security law.

The 26-year-old Joshua Lam Yeuk-hay -- Lam's second son -- who is studying for his doctorate in mathematics at Harvard University was out of reach for several days before he told his roommate in Boston, Massachusetts that he had returned to Hong Kong, FactWire reported.

Lam informed his roommate through Facebook on July 27 that he had returned to Hong Kong because of "a family emergency."

The landlord of Lam’s rented apartment said Lam's roommate had been unable to reach him since July 25.

And then the landlord could not contact Lam when trying to call him on June 26 to remind him to sign the lease renewal for his apartment.

The landlord e-mailed Lam the following day to notify him the apartment would be put on the market as he had not signed the lease. 

“If you decide to change your mind and want to rent the whole apartment for the whole year ... the apartment is still yours,” the landlord also wrote in his e-mail on the morning of July 27.

Lam replied that night that he would  rent the apartment from September 1 to August 31 next year and asked the landlord to send him the lease to sign via e-mail.

The landlord received Lam’s payment for rent on August 1 but had not sighted a signed lease by Friday.

There was no response to requests from The Standard for comment to Joshua Lam and government officials today. 

The US Treasury Department’s Office for Foreign Assets Control on Friday froze the American assets and properties of the 11 officials from Hong Kong and the mainland.

They will be barred from running businesses in the United States and generally prohibit Americans from doing business with them. 

Carrie Lam wrote on Facebook on Saturday that she has no desire to go to the United States and would revoke her US visitor's visa, which is due to expire in 2026. 

Lam also condemned Washington for the “shameless and despicable” sanctions imposed on her and the 10 others. 

The head of Beijing’s liaison office, Luo Huining, who is also on the list, said on Saturday that the sanctions were “in vain” as he has no assets in the United States or any other foreign country.

“Perhaps I should send US$100 to Mr Trump for him to freeze to implement the 'sanctions,'" Luo added.

Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, who was sanctioned for her role in implementing the Hong Kong national security law, and her husband, Otto Poon Lok-to, were hoping to acquire a US company.

Analogue Holdings, in which Cheng and Poon hold a 63-percent stake, announced the acquisition of 51 percent of equity in US company Transel Elevator & Electric on March 31 for US$35.7 million (HK$277.7).

Analogue Holdings today said in a statement that Cheng does not have any rights to the shares, has no rights to dividend, has no rights to vote and has no rights to deal in respect of the shares. 

Analogue’s executive director and chairman – who is also Cheng’s husband – wrote in the statement: “As disclosed in the company’s announcement dated July 23, 2019, in respect of Ms Cheng’s deemed interest in the 888,650,000 shares that Dr Poon [Otto Poon Lok-to] is interested under section 316(1)(a) of the SFO (Securities and Futures Ordinance), Ms Cheng had filed a Disclosure of Interests Form solely for the purpose of the disclosure of interests requirements under the SFO.”

The statement said the sanctions do not apply to the company, emphasizing that its overall operations and business remain normal. 

Sources now say the sanctions could stymie the deal as Washington declared that entities owned 50 percent or more by the 11 designated officials in the United States are blocked.

The eight others sanctioned by Washington are retired police commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung, current commissioner Chris Tang Ping-keung, Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office director Xia Baolong, his deputy Zhang Xiaoming, director of the new Office for Safeguarding National Security Zheng Yanxiong, office secretary general Eric Chan Kwok-ki, Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu and Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang Kwok-wai.

United Sates Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted on Saturday that the world has witnessed more examples of the Chinese Communist Party's efforts to coerce and control its citizens, including the arrests of pro democracy activists in Hong Kong and the control of Muslim minorities in Xinjiang. 

“These actions aren't one-offs,” he tweeted.

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