On the eve of Lunar New Year last Friday, chief executive hopeful Carrie Lam gave a beggar a HK$500 note during her visit to Pai Tau Village in Sha Tin.
Since then, village residents have blamed the former chief secretary for the proliferation of beggars in the neighborhood, Apple Daily reports.
At least four beggars, some elderly and the others disabled, were seen outside the village on Saturday, the first day of the Lunar New Year.
Apple Daily reporters asked the beggars if they were Hong Kong residents or whether they knew begging was against the law.
Most of them replied in Putonghua, saying they don’t understand Cantonese. Others refused to be photographed.
The old woman which Carrie Lam had gifted with money on Friday did not show up again.
A 60-year-old village resident said she noticed an increase in the number of beggars in the neighborhood during the holiday, adding that she did not give them any money so as not to encourage their mendicancy.
The resident said the village had attracted many beggars, including obviously fake monks who would knock on the door and refuse to leave even after the homeowner had threatened to call the police.
Another male resident said he stopped donating money after realizing that most of the beggars were only being used by gangs to raise funds.
Meanwhile, Carrie Lam said during a TV program that she had reflected on recent events, such as giving alms to a beggar, attempting to buy toilet rolls at a convenience store, and failing to get through the MTR turnstiles.
Lam said while she could be seen as “invincible” in public office, she is quite clumsy when dealing with trivial, everyday pursuits, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
She said her blunders were part of her true self, and should not be blamed on her staff and other members of her campaign.
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