Chief executive candidate Carrie Lam cancelled a meeting with grassroots concern groups in Tin Shui Wai on Saturday. Her campaign team said Lam would be resting, rather than visiting the “far away” town in the New Territories.

She originally promised to meet groups in the district to discuss street market policies and concerns over Link REIT – a private company which owns and runs several public estate shopping malls.

carrie lam
Carrie Lam. Photo: Carrie Lam, via Facebook.

But the groups received a notice from Lam’s campaign office on Friday saying that she could not attend as she was tired and Tin Shui Wai was far away.

The campaign office told Apple Daily that Lam’s schedule was packed: “Mrs Lam was quite tired over these few days, [she] wouldn’t want to go to Tin Shui Wai – that far away, [we] want her to have some rest.”

It typically takes around 40 minutes to an hour from her office in Wan Chai to go to Tin Shui Wai.

Lam has three other events planned for Saturday including a radio talk show, a forum with the architectural sector and a meeting with the pro-Beijing New People’s Party.

‘No integrity’

Her campaign office said it has explained to the concern groups why she could not come and invited them to meet next week at Lam’s office in Wan Chai.

But the groups condemned Lam, saying that “Carrie Lam has no integrity.”

link reit
Protest outside the Link REIT office. File photo: Au Nok-hin via Facebook.

“She talks about ‘We-connect’ in caring for grassroots’ needs, but – in reality – she refuses to respond to the livelihood issues of the grassroots, [and] does not have any intention to resolve the Link REIT monopoly – one of the biggest problems in Hong Kong,” they said in a statement, with reference to Lam’s campaign slogan.

Chan Shuk-ki, of the Alliance on Development of Public Markets, told the newspaper that they first invited Lam in late February and a meeting was set on March 8. But it was moved to this Saturday without reason. She said Lam’s campaign office members had gone to Tin Shui Wai to make preparations and asked for the tour of public markets to be shortened to 90 minutes. They did not, however, mention that Lam may pull out.

Chan said that, even if residents of Tin Shui Wai were willing to go to Wan Chai next week, the campaign office would not confirm if Lam will be around to receive them.

“She has written about Link REIT in her election manifesto… but will she do anything about it at all? We are quite disappointed,” Chan said.

John Tsang and Woo Kwok-hing are also standing in the small-circle elections, due to take place next Sunday.

Kris Cheng

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.