Chief executive candidate Carrie Lam has defended one of her video clips that was criticised for giving a misleading impression that a renowned professor of social welfare supported her.

Lam’s Facebook page on Thursday uploaded a video of her with Nelson Chow Wing-sun, a retired social work professor. Chow spoke to Lam about welfare for Hong Kong’s elderly people in the video.

It was entitled “Professor Nelson Chow and Carrie Lam Connect with Hong Kong,” in line with a series of video interviews with Lam’s supporters that her team put up. They follow the theme of Lam’s campaign slogan “WeConnect.”

Carrie Lam Nelson Chow
Carrie Lam and Nelson Chow. Photo: Facebook.

However, Chow soon clarified that he did not appear in the video to support Lam.

“If it wasn’t about the election, she would not have come to find me again. She wants to gain popularity – I know she has that consideration,” he said on a RTHK programme on Thursday night.

Lam was a student of Chow’s when she was studying at the University of Hong Kong.

Chow in 2015 criticised Lam for misusing his studies in order to implement the government’s version of retirement protection, an effort led by Lam. Chow described as “nonsense” Lam’s warning that taxes would rise if a genuine universal pension scheme was implemented.

“I don’t have a grudge against her – I just have a different stance,” he said on RTHK. “I don’t mind being used, as long as I can express my opinion and grassroots people can benefit.”

Lam is seen as Beijing’s favourite in the small circle election, in which 1,194 electors will be able to choose the chief executive on Sunday.

Carrie Lam
Carrie Lam visiting elderly people. Photo: Facebook.

‘Common ground’

Lam then said on a RTHK programme on Friday morning that she can “connect” with people who have different political views.

“My common goal with professor Chow is a good retirement for elderly people. We do not agree on everything about elderly care, but we seek common ground,” she said.

“I didn’t say that professor Chow supports my campaign, or supports me as a chief executive candidate. Professor Chow has said that if the other two candidates want to visit [elderly people] with him, he would love to do so,” she added.

“I think my slogan “WeConnect” means that people of different stances can also walk together,” said Lam.

Lam’s main rival John Tsang is organising a bus tour around Hong Kong Island and a rally in Central on Friday as the last public event for his campaign.

Lam said she would not host such a “high-profile” event. She said she focused on “doing practical things” during her campaign.

Woo Kwok-hing is the other candidate in the election.

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.