Chief Executive-elect Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who is often accused of being out of touch with ordinary people, appears to be making efforts to look more down-to-earth after her election victory on Sunday.
On Tuesday she took a minibus to an interview on Broadcast Drive in Kowloon Tong, patronized a local tea restaurant in Lok Fu, and used an Octopus card to pay her bills, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
During the radio interview, Lam revealed that she had taken the MTR and a minibus to reach the radio station.
She said taking public transport would help her to connect with ordinary citizens.
Lam said she took public transport only in early hours because she didn’t want to pose any problem to other commuters.
Taking public transport is not really something new to her. She said in the 1980s she frequently took the 29A minibus to return home from the office, adding that fares have more doubled now.
After the radio interview, Lam had snacks at a tea restaurant in Lok Fu, ordering a toasted corned beef and egg sandwich and milk tea. She used an Octopus card to pay her bill.
She sat down with the restaurant owner Ma Liming, who happens to be a former member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference based in Shantou.
Lam also chatted with other diners, discussing with them her future policies. A woman approached her and kissed her on the cheek, while others asked for autographs and selfies with her.
Afterwards Lam paid a visit to her alma mater, St. Francis’ Canossian College in Wan Chai, and talked with her former teacher, Sister Marie Remedios.
Lam said she is looking forward to more opportunities to talk with Hong Kong citizens.
Political observers said Lam is apparently trying to rebuild her image following criticisms that she seems to be living in an ivory tower.
During the election campaign, Lam was ridiculed for having difficulties in doing ordinary tasks such as using the Octopus Card to get past the MTR turnstile or buying a roll of toilet paper.
Wong Tai Sin District Councillor Chan Wai-kwan, who said he was at the Lok Fu restaurant when Lam arrived, said the chief executive-elect was very friendly to all who approached her, Ming Pao Daily reported.
Chan said he was a regular at the restaurant, and he only ran into Lam on Tuesday morning.
However, when Ming Pao Daily spoke to Chan again later, he said he knew about Lam’s visit the night before.
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