Chief Executive contender Carrie Lam has said that she is not “Leung Chun-ying 2.0” and is not interested in continuing every policy of Hong Kong’s incumbent leader.

“There are no two people in the world who are exactly the same, especially in such important positions,” she said during an RTHK programme on Wednesday.

She said that, during the past four years, she kept a low profile as she only promoted the policies as the Chief Secretary. However, she did not give focus to her own personal image.

Carrie Lam. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

“In fact, I did not want to show my personal character in front of people – because, in my view, the role of Chief Secretary is to fully support the Chief Executive,” she said.

She added that good policy ideals of the current government should be extended, but the methods of governance could be different.

The resignation of Lam and that of former finance chief John Tsang were approved on the same day, even though Lam tendered her resignation last week and Tsang did a month previously.

Lam said she did not feel the delay showed that Beijing had made a decision in selecting her rather than Tsang. She said it took time to handle the resignations and approve successors once Beijing knew that both she, and Tsang, would be resigning.

Leung Chun-ying. Photo: GovHK.

God’s will

At a closed door lunch with top government officials, Lam said that it was God’s will that she runs for the top job.

Lam, a Catholic, said: “I believe faith is important when I face challenges and worries everyday.”

“Most civil servants have heard I would retire after this term… I have to explain to them why I made the decision [to run],” she said. “On the basis of my faith, some things are God’s will, some things cannot be explained rationally or scientifically.”

Carrie Lam (L), John Tsang (R). File Photos: GovHK.

She denied poaching Tsang’s campaign team members when asked about rumours that some of his team switched allegiance to her, including Executive Councillor Bernard Chan and barrister Laurence Li.

She said she is confident about gaining enough nominations. “There is still time, until February 14 – the start of the nomination period – to get more support from electors,” she said.

Lam added that she has no plans to open a Facebook account like the other candidates. She said she loves to do things herself and it would be technically difficult for her to do it well in a short time.


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.