The Democratic Party’s leader has said he believed a veteran party member was invited to join Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam’s cabinet.

Law Chi-kwong, a founding member of the party and an associate professor of social work, was often said to be the “brain” behind the party.

Law, the chairperson of the Community Care Fund Task Force under the government’s Commission on Poverty, has been working with Lam on poverty alleviation for years.

Law Chi-kwong and Carrie Lam. File Photo: GovHK.

The party met with Lam to discuss various issues on Tuesday. According to party chair Wu Chi-wai, Lam asked what the procedure would be if a Democratic Party member were to join the government, without naming Law.

“The Democratic Party’s position is very clear. If Law Chi-kwong becomes a principal official in Carrie Lam’s cabinet, he must withdraw his party membership,” Wu said. “I believe [Lam] has already invited [Law].”

Wu said he did not know what position Law would take and the party has not received an application from Law to withdraw from the party.

But Wu said even if a democrat joins the government, it could not help fix the split in society immediately. He added that the government must show impartiality when forming policies and appointing people to public positions – especially in appointing the head of the Independent Police Complaints Council and the head of the Operations Review Committee of the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Law told Apple Daily that it was not convenient for him to comment.

Democratic Party meeting Carrie Lam. Photo: Democratic Party.

Incumbent Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung was also a Democratic Party member, but he withdrew from the party in 2004, long before he joined the government in 2012. Cheung will leave the government after his term ends on June 30.

Wu cited Lam as saying that she would not ask for help from Beijing’s official organ in Hong Kong when forming policies.

“We saw during Leung Chun-ying’s term that the China Liaison Office was often asked to help – this is unacceptable. Lam clearly said she would not,” Wu said. “She wants to deploy the government’s energy in obtaining a consensus at the legislature to pass policies.”

The party also urged Lam to restart Hong Kong’s democratic reform. Lam was quoted as saying that she understands it is an issue the public cares about, but initiating reform would require a suitable social atmosphere.


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.