She is known as an Iron Lady and a nanny to all male secretaries but is probably a bad housewife.
Former chief secretary-turned-CE hopeful Carrie Lam has admitted that she needs to learn a few things about everyday domestic life after giving up her government job.
On Sunday, Madam Lam, who has moved into a Wanchai serviced apartment after giving up her official residence, revealed that she found herself in an awkward situation in a washroom.
“At midnight I found that there was no toilet paper. I went to a convenience store to buy it, but I found there was also none there, so I had to take a taxi and go back to the CS official residence,” she said, laughing at herself.
Well, Lam, who didn’t have to bother about mundane things all these years as she lived the high life of a senior civil servant, now finds herself having to adjust to the realities of the common citizen.
She’ll have to settle for a new life and some domestic chores at least until July, when she could potentially become the new CE with the support of Beijing and the pro-establishment camp.
Struggling to adapt to a new life at a Convention Plaza apartment, Lam has shown that she is unfamiliar with some aspects of everyday life in the city.
Over the weekend, Lam went to Aberdeen for a friendly roadshow only to find that she had difficulty in using the Octopus at an MTR exit.
She paused at the turnstile, apparently not knowing when to walk out. It was after an assistant guided her that Lam made her exit from the station.
Also, Lam apparently mistook the new MTR station Lei Tung for the Wong Cheuk Hang station. She had to be reminded by local residents as to her exact location.
The lack of knowledge about public transport and other everyday things is perhaps excusable as Lam used to spend most of her time buried in work during her long years in government service.
Still, that won’t make her escape scrutiny and face some barbs from the public that she could be somewhat out of touch with ordinary citizens.
Last week Lam went to pay tribute to Barbara Fei Ming-yi, a soprano singer well respected in China, who died on Jan. 2.
But she went to the wrong funeral parlor, going to the Hong Kong Funeral Home in North Point while the actual service was held in a Hung Hom facility.
Now, we suspect these hiccups, especially the toilet paper story, were admitted to by Lam as she wanted to hide an even bigger mistake she made.
Last Friday when she met with a group of senior editors, Lam said she joined the CE race only because she sought to prevent a situation in which a candidate not backed by Beijing would win the election.
If the central government refuses to appoint the election winner, it would trigger a constitutional crisis, she said.
The comments appeared to suggest that Lam feels that one or more of her CE rivals would not be acceptable to Beijing.
Lam has denied making disparaging remarks about her rivals, but is aware that her words may not have been right.
Knowing that she had misspoken and possibly violated the gentlemen/ladies agreement, she apologized the next day for causing a misunderstanding by appearing to target rival John Tsang.
Well, let’s cut some slack for Lam in her first off-duty week.
But going forward, we’ll expect a more sensible candidate in the Year of Rooster, the year when Lam will also turn 60.
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