Date
21 July 2017
In 2003, Carrie Lam, then head of the Social Welfare Department, visited and helped clean the homes of elderly people in Hung Hom in support of the Territory-Wide Cleansing Day to Combat Atypical Pneumonia. Photo: HK govt
In 2003, Carrie Lam, then head of the Social Welfare Department, visited and helped clean the homes of elderly people in Hung Hom in support of the Territory-Wide Cleansing Day to Combat Atypical Pneumonia. Photo: HK govt

Carrie Lam assigned to lead campaign to clean up Hong Kong

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has announced a campaign to clean up the city in August and September, headed by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.

During the Legislative Council’s question period Thursday, Starry Lee Wai-king, leader of the pro-establishment Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), asked about poor hygiene in parts of Hong Kong.

Leung replied that the government had noted that the hygiene conditions of some public areas and facilities had been deteriorating.

He said he has assigned Lam to lead the relevant bureaus and departments in a campaign to keep Hong Kong clean.

Leung stressed recently that economic and livelihood issues should be prioritized after the government’s electoral reform proposal was voted down in Legco last month.

Political commentator Ma Ngok from the Chinese University of Hong Kong said he was puzzled as to why Leung put forward a “Keep Hong Kong Clean” campaign as his first livelihood policy.

Ma said although Leung had said he wanted to foster a new cooperative relationship between the executive and legislative bodies, his performance in question period on Thursday did not back up his assertion.

Most of Leung’s answers were irrelevant to the questions posted by the lawmakers, Ma said.

Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan also hit out at Leung for putting cleaning up Hong Kong as his first livelihood issue of concern.

Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau said Leung was simply copying a similar campaign in 2003.

That year, after the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, then chief executive Tung Chee-hwa assigned his chief secretary, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, to lead a citywide cleaning campaign.

While Tsang was mocked by some as the “cleaning captain” for being assigned to such an unimportant task, he later became chief executive in 2005, when Tung stepped down, citing health problems.

Lau said she is highly skeptical whether the people of Hong Kong would rate a cleaning campaign over other more pressing issues.

League of Social Democrats chairman “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung said C.Y. Leung should be the first piece of rubbish to be disposed of.

The report quoted unnamed government sources as saying the assignment was not intended to belittle Lam, as the campaign needs efforts by various government departments to be coordinated, and the chief secretary is the best person to fulfill that role.

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