HONG KONG – Outgoing Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said she had delivered a satisfactory report card for her past five years in office, and marked a full stop for her 42 years in public service.
She made the remarks on Thursday during her last question-and-answer session at the Legislative Council. Her term as the special administrative region’s fifth chief executive will end on June 30.
Lam said that although the past five years have been one of the most challenging times for Hong Kong since the handover, a strong sense of historic mission and responsibility has driven her to move forward fearlessly.
She said she has never regretted assuming the city’s top job, and never thought about resigning.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that on the 25th anniversary of its return to the motherland, Hong Kong is standing at a new point of the “one country, two systems” practice, and everyone has high expectations for the city’s future
In addition to the raging COVID-19 pandemic that has gripped the city for over two years, Hong Kong also suffered the social unrest of 2019, and an economic downturn and geopolitical turmoil in recent years.
Lam said that on the 25th anniversary of its return to the motherland, Hong Kong is standing at a new point of the “one country, two systems” practice, and everyone has high expectations for the city’s future.
Lam stressed that the social unrest in 2019 proved that “one country, two systems” is the basic principle in developing good executive-legislative relations. Only by ensuring “patriots administering Hong Kong” could the relationship be thoroughly improved, she added.
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With firm upholding of the principle, Hong Kong will take advantage of its unique advantages and further integrate into the country’s development with unlimited opportunities, Lam said.
Lam also said she hopes the next government, to be headed by chief executive-designate John Lee Ka-chiu, will continue to address livelihood issues, such as working with developers to speed up the construction of transitional housing, improving the quality of education, and attracting overseas professionals.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor attends her last question-and-answer session at the Legislative Council on June 9, 2022. (CALVIN NG / CHINA DAILY)
She also pointed out that reopening the border with the Chinese mainland is currently a “challenge”. Based on December’s discussions with the mainland, she cannot foresee the border reopening in the immediate future.
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Many lawmakers expressed appreciations for Lam’s contributions in the past five years, praising her efforts on housing issues and improving the city’s electoral system.
LegCo President Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen said Lam has prioritized promoting executive-legislative relationship. During her term, Lam attended 18 Q&A sessions and 18 other short questioning sessions to answer a total 445 questions from lawmakers.