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Embattled Hong Kong Leader Carrie Lam disrupted by opposition lawmakers during her policy address

As the Chief Executive of Hong Kong gave her speech in a televised pre-recorded video, she stated that there was not enough time to prepare for a comprehensive policy address. Despite this, she asserts that Hong Kong has prepared 220 new policies in areas such as land and housing; assuring that every citizen will have their own home. 

The unusual nature of her pre-recorded speech was due to the chaos that ensued in the Legislative Council (Legco). As she began to deliver her policy address, Many pro-democracy opposition lawmakers tried to disturb her speech by yelling at her; asking her to address the demands of the protesters. In addition, they also projected a large writing containing the words “5 demands, not one less” to the backdrop of the room. In the end, she decided to suspend the meeting and exited the room. 

This is unprecedented, as there has never been a suspension of the Chief Executive’s policy address in the history of Hong Kong since the 1997 handover. 

Due to this, she resorted to video to deliver her speech. The video containing the policy address was recorded and published on Wednesday (10/16). In the 9 minute speech, she addressed a few issues namely the importance of housing and helping people who want to have their own private property. 

The main part of the speech, however, was her efforts in addressing the ongoing unrest that has been going on for the past 5 months.

She emphasized the importance of Hong Kong as a safe place with an inclusive and open society, withholding values that have been integral to Hong Kong’s growth such as democracy, the rule of law and sophisticated institutions among others enshrined in Hong Kong’s Basic Law. 

In addition, she also stressed the need to end violence and stop the protests to prevent more long-lasting damage to Hong Kong. She notes with regret how the protests have affected wage earners and Small-to-Medium Business (SMEs). In trying to solve the situation, she stated that she has engaged with the public by holding consultation sessions in regards to the protests.

This response was considered to be lacklustre by many, who believed that she needed to address the demands of the 5-month-old unrest plaguing Hong Kong by doing extensive reforms. Regardless, it seems Carrie Lam will still be likely to continue its role as Chief Executive.

 

Photo: Carrie Lam in 2016 | Credit: Elsa Ruiz/Asia Society via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

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