Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam has once again said that she ran for the city’s top job in response to a call from God. She has also begun work to form her cabinet.
Lam, a Catholic, resigned as the chief secretary to run for chief executive, and said at a government internal conference in December that God had called upon her to join the race.
She told students during a visit to her alma mater St. Francis’ Canossian College on Thursday that they could speak to her about anything, including injustice in society: “The biggest goal of my run is to build a more just and kind-hearted society.”
She was chosen by 777 electors on Sunday to lead the city.
“From day one, I have said this opportunity is given by God. Because if you analyse it rationally, you may not want to do this job – there are a lot of difficulties, sacrifices that may need to be made. But as God called upon me – to say that I am needed to continue serving Hong Kong society at this moment – I made my response.
She refused to answer questions from reporters later on the subject, saying that it was a closed-door speech. Lam also visited a garden at the school, which she had donated.
Lam said she has started to form her cabinet and has been meeting some people, following her earlier remarks that there should be some personnel changes. Some principal officials have already expressed that they will not stay.
“I have just started the process to identify, to discuss and hopefully to invite suitable candidates to join the team of politically appointed officials. I think this process will take a bit of time, because there are many positions to be filled,” she said.
“I’ve said in public that regardless of their political affiliations, as long as that individual has the ability and is willing to serve, and his philosophy is aligned with mine, then I would be more than happy to invite him or her to join the politically appointed team.”
She also stated that the ultimate decisions and appointments are approved by the central government.
Lam visited the China Liaison Office, Beijing’s official organ in Hong Kong, on Wednesday afternoon.
She said its director Zhang Xiaoming told her about some general and past arrangements related to her upcoming appointment by Beijing.
“According to the experience of the last term, it was around two weeks after the election – I am prepared for it to be in April,” she said.
Incumbent Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying received his official letter of appointment from then-premier Wen Jiabao on April 10, 2012. He met with then-president Hu Jintao the next day.
Meanwhile, 36 lawmakers from the pro-democracy and the pro-Beijing camp supported Lam’s request to suspend the controversial TSA tests this year – a request refused by Leung.
Lam said she respected the decision of the current administration and it was the lawmakers’ own decision.