Chief Secretary has been quoted as saying that she is not socialist ahead of her expected chief executive run.

She was speaking at a government internal seminar entitled “Serving the Evolving City” at the Hong Kong Science Park on Thursday, hosted by the Efficiency Unit she oversees.

Another speaker Ronny Tong Ka-wah, convenor of political group Path of Democracy, told reporters Lam spoke for about an hour on what he described as “a very deep and complete set of ideals for governing Hong Kong.”

Carrie Lam. File Photo: GovHK.

Lam submitted her resignation on Thursday, according to a government press release. Tong said the views she spoke of were intended for the top officials who attended the seminar, “but I believe you would have to ask her later how she would express this set of ideals to Hong Kong people, if something happens in the afternoon today.”

Tong quoted Lam as saying that Thursday was a “tricky” day for her to attend the seminar. “I feel that her attendance at this forum today and what she may say in the afternoon was not an intentional arrangement,” Tong said.

Tong was then asked by a reporter if Lam clarified that she was not a socialist during the speech.

“She did say that, but how did you know?” he said. “My feeling is she tries to find a balance between good social policy, and the overall income and financing for the government.”

Tong added that it meant she feels the government could do more on social welfare, but not to the extent of becoming a socialist government.

Lam was in charge of poverty alleviation and the universal pension scheme as the Chief Secretary, and was formerly the Director of Social Welfare.

Ronny Tong canvassing after leaving the Civic Party. File Photo: Ronny Tong, via Facebook.

The views Lam gave at the seminar were reportedly mostly the same as the eight-point vision she spoke of at a forum in November last year.

“My following speech, of about 20 minutes, is not a platform for running for Chief Executive,” she said at the time. “You can view them as ‘heartfelt words’ from an official who served the public for 36 years. I also would not mind if you see them as parting words from this official.”

Tong also said Lam was “a capable official” and that her views were close to his group. He said he has invited all candidates to chat with the group, including Woo Kwok-hing, Regina Ip, Financial Secretary John Tsang and Lam’s team.


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.