Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said on Wednesday that it is “not a bad thing” that more young people wish to get involved in politics following last year’s pro-democracy Occupy protests.

Speaking at a forum hosted by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the territory’s second-in-command said it was “not a bad thing” in her view that more young people wanted to participate in this year’s district council election.

Lam then added that “it stands for us government officials to seize the opportunity and to engage these young people. Hopefully we will be able to nurture more young politicians to govern Hong Kong in the years ahead.”

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam. Photo: Gov HK.

Lam also said that the impact of the Occupy protests on foreign tourism and the business sector was minimal: “Basically, I think every one of us in the government does not feel that Hong Kong suffered tremendously from the Occupy movement.”

She added that a foreign friend told her that her confidence in Hong Kong’s government and police force had grown due to their handing of the movement.

‘Nurture politicians’

Government officials have meanwhile been contacting newly elected district councillors to exchange views following Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s pledge to invite young councillors onto government committees.

Undersecretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Ronald Chan Ngok-pang recently sent a Facebook message to Clarisse Yeung Suet-ying of Wan Chai’s Tai Hang constituency inviting her to meet.

Yeung made a counter proposal inviting Chan to visit small businesses in the constituency at night to talk to residents.

Previously, a candidate who ran in the 2011 district council election claimed that someone from the pro-Beijing camp asked him to join this year’s race in order to snatch votes from Yeung.


Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.