Carrie Lam gives policy speech via video amid Legco disruption

October 16, 2019 12:33
Carrie Lam leaves the Legco chamber after her annual policy address was thwarted due to protests by pro-democracy lawmakers. Photo: Reuters

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is delivering her annual policy speech via video on Wednesday after she was thwarted from speaking in the Legislative Council due to intense heckling and protests by pan-democrat lawmakers.

"Owing to the current circumstances, the Chief Executive ... was not able to deliver the entire Policy Address at the Legislative Council today. To allow members of the public to know in full the various initiatives in it, she will deliver the Policy Address to members of the public through video," the government said in a statement.

When Lam entered the Legco chamber in the morning, pro-democracy legislators chanted slogans demanding her resignation, police accountability for alleged abuses against protesters, and for Lam to accept all five of the protest movement's key demands, RTHK reports.

The shouting continued inside the chamber, with Civic Party legislator Tanya Chan standing atop her desk and others belting out protest slogans.

Legco President Andrew Leung adjourned the meeting amid the ruckus and Lam quickly left the chamber.

She made a second attempt to speak after some time, but again faced noisy protests from the pan-democrats, forcing the House to be adjourned again.

Later, the government released a statement the Lam would be delivering her policy speech via recorded video, starting from 12.15 pm.

Hong Kong's leader had been set to announce a raft of property initiatives in a bid to restore confidence in her administration after more than four months of anti-government protests sparked by a now-withdrawn extradition bill.

Some of the opposition lawmakers wore masks of Chinese President Xi Jinping inside the chamber as they held up posters calling for the five demands to be met.

Security was very tight ahead of Lam’s third policy address, with riot police stationed outside and water cannon on standby.

Lam has ruled out making any concessions to the protesters in the face of escalating unrest, saying “violence would only breed more violence.”

The pan-democratic camp blasted Lam for having to give her policy address via a recorded video.

RTHK quoted Council Front lawmaker Claudia Mo as saying: "It tells you that she’s just a coward. She quails before the people. ... She is so terrified that she needs to hide away behind a camera." With Reuters

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