Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said her achievements in preserving heritage are “obvious to all.”

In a RTHK programme hosted by former financial secretary John Tsang broadcast last week, Lam was criticised for taking the credit for preservation without mentioning the work of local groups. Their members found historical details ignored by the government to prove that old buildings – including the former Police Married Quarters and the former government headquarters in Central – should be preserved.

Carrie Lam Katty Law
Carrie Lam and Katty Law. Photo: Screenshot.

“She lost a very precious opportunity to mend the rift with residents and civil society,” said Katty Law of the Central and Western Concern Group.

When asked about the criticism, Lam said she has not watched television programmes for a long time.

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“But as the secretary for development, my achievements in preserving Hong Kong’s historical buildings is obvious to all,” she said ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, as she mentioned the historic Blue House.

The Blue House Cluster of buildings, after being revamped into a residential and community complex, won the Award of Excellence at the 2017 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

It was the first time since the awards were launched in 2000 that a local project has won the top award.

Blue House cluster
Blue House cluster. Photo: UNESCO.

“My years of work for the Blue House were also recognised by NGOs operating inside,” Lam said, adding that she received a letter of thanks from the St. James’ Settlement after the award.

“But of course this work cannot be conducted solely by the Hong Kong government or by one official. In the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme, many NGOs have cooperated with us,” she said. “I am not an official who likes to take credit. If I was not the chief executive, I would not even share my daily life using so many social media platforms.”

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.