Tearful Lam denies betraying HK

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor sobbed as she insisted that she has not betrayed Hong Kong and has sacrificed a lot for the city.

Sophie Hui and Stella Wong

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor sobbed as she insisted that she has not betrayed Hong Kong and has sacrificed a lot for the city.

Lam spoke to TVB at Government House yesterday, hours before the clashes, saying she was worried and heartbroken that youngsters had occupied Admiralty.

"At this moment, I am worried and heartbroken," she said.

"I am worried because so many young people take this action [occupying roads in Admiralty], even though Hong Kong is a society that has always advocated civility and rationality."

Lam was also concerned about how people accused her of "betraying" Hong Kong.

"You said I have betrayed Hong Kong? How have I betrayed Hong Kong? I am born and raised here. I grew up here with all Hongkongers. I have made many personal sacrifices because of my love for the city," she said emotionally.

Struggling to hold back tears, she added: "I wanted to talk about something that is more relaxing, why has it turned to this?"

Lam said her husband also commented on the criticism.

"How is it possible for you to betray Hong Kong? But you have problems as well, after you became chief executive, you sold yourself to Hong Kong," she quoted his husband, Lam Siu-por, as saying.

She also said: "I have worked tirelessly. I don't have any personal time. Because of this incident, my two sons will not come back this year during the summer holidays as I don't want them to see how much pressure I am under right now. I don't want to see their personal safety threatened.

"So please, you can criticize me or curse at me. But don't say that I have betrayed Hong Kong."

She said the extradition bill should continue to be discussed in the Legislative Council and the matter should be resolved there.

"There is no doubt that this matter is controversial. Explanation and communication is useful, but may not completely eliminate the worries, anxiety or controversy as it involves the mainland," she said.

She said in the past few years, subjects related to the mainland or the relationship between China and the Hong Kong government have all been controversial.

"So we have to ask ourselves, if we retract [the fugitive law amendment bill] now, can we ensure that there will be no controversy, no scenes of fighting when we push it out again in the future?"

She added that the SAR has a responsibility to tackle the issue, as an international organization had criticized Hong Kong for its loophole in extradition policy back in 2008.

"If we stop what we are doing today, Hong Kong will pay a bigger price. Even if we retract it now, there is no guarantee that there will be no objection or resistance when we table the bill again," she said.