Ever since she took office in July last year, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor has been working aggressively to reverse the “far-left” policy approach of her predecessor Leung Chun-ying and repair the relations between the government and the pro-democracy camp.
During a recent media interview, Lam revealed that she has been “chatting” with several pan-democratic lawmakers on WhatsApp, and that she has invited lawmakers who are members of the Professional Commons to a dinner scheduled for early April.
While Lam might be now in a honeymoon period when befriending some pan-dems, it is pretty much “sour grapes” for those in the pro-establishment camp, who are, according to sources, getting increasingly dismayed at the fact that the chief executive has been focusing almost entirely on befriending the opposition while taking their support for granted.
As some pro-Beijing camp lawmakers have lamented in private, Lam has never greeted them through WhatsApp, let alone inviting them to dinner.
Worse still, it is said that some members in the pro-establishment camp have got the impression that Lam and her bureau chiefs seem to be taking their support for government policy initiatives for granted so much so the administration has been putting very little effort into lobbying them.
It is also said that such discontent is particularly intense among supporters of the former chief executive, or the so-called “Leung fans”.
And it appears such discontent has already taken its toll on the government.
Earlier on, when the administration was pushing a bill through Legco to ban sales of alcohol to minors, a proposal to give health inspectors the power to enter private premises to collect evidence with a search warrant was, surprisingly, vetoed by the pro-establishment camp under the lead of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.
It is believed lawmakers of the pro-Beijing camp deliberately struck down that proposed amendment as a show of protest against Lam’s cold shoulder.
Given all this, it appears Lam has her work cut out as she will need to please both the pan-dems and members of the pro-establishment camp at the same time.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Feb 24
Translation by Alan Lee
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