Legco farewell dinner turns sour after Lam makes 'sorry' demand

Finance | Staff reporter 28 Oct 2021

A farewell dinner for lawmakers and Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor turned "unpleasant" when the chief executive said some pro-establishment legislators should apologize for requesting her to set up an independent inquiry to probe police violence.

Those who attended the dinner at the Legislative Council on Monday were Lam, 41 pro-establishment lawmakers, government officials and Executive Council members marking the end of this term.

Lam, still with a cast on her right arm following an elbow fracture, was said to have asked the lawmakers to apologize to the force for proposing a commission of inquiry to investigate police violence.

It is understood that Lam said her biggest pressure during the 2019 anti-fugitive bill movement came from colleagues, some of whom "criticized her for doing things wrongly."

Lam, however, thanked herself for being determined not to accept the request.

At the dinner she also thanked three men in her life - her husband Lam Siu-por and two sons - for giving her full support and trust. She noted that her sons did not question her on whether she was doing anything wrong despite them being attacked online.

Talking to the media yesterday, lawmaker Michael Tien Puk-sun, who had supported the launch of an independent probe, criticized Lam's speech for being "too superficial and narrow-minded."

Tien added: "At that time, many people proposed the idea of an independent inquiry, but now they have all become Election Committee members who love the country and Hong Kong."

Tien questioned whether Lam was casting doubt on then-director of the Liaison Office in Hong Kong, Zhang Xiaoming, who said "now is not the right time" when asked about the independent inquiry proposal in August 2019.

Tien said he supported the proposal because he wanted to look into whether foreign forces were involved in the movement and hoped to clear the force's name through the investigation.

"Every aspect has to be looked into so it can be called an independent inquiry," Tien said.

"At that time, the majority of people might want to probe the July 21 [Yuen Long attack]," he said.

Some people from the pro-establishment camp also criticized Lam for "lacking political wisdom" and said her speech annoyed many people in the camp that night.

Also at the dinner, lawmaker Alice Mak Mei-kuen addressed herself as "Mak Mei-kuen" - and not "that girl" - when she gave a speech.

She was referencing an incident involving lawmaker Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, who mentioned "that girl" directed profanity at Lam, and later accidentally revealed that he was referring to Mak. Cheung was not at the farewell dinner.

Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said in his speech that this term has been "sweet, sour, bitter, spicy and salty."

He also sent words of encouragement to officials and legislators by citing lyrics from a song of Keung To - a member of the boy band Mirror - hoping that they can treat the difficult times as challenges that need to be overcome.

Read more: Lawmakers want share of blame and glory



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