Little interest in Carrie Lam's Facebook live - RTHK
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Little interest in Carrie Lam's Facebook live

2019-10-17 HKT 22:37
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  • Carrie Lam answered questions posted on various internet forums and from posts on the Facebook live. Photo: RTHK
    Carrie Lam answered questions posted on various internet forums and from posts on the Facebook live. Photo: RTHK
A live question and answer session on Facebook by the Carrie Lam on Thursday evening attracted a modest number of viewers, even though this was the first opportunity for people to question the Chief Executive on her new policy address.

Lam became the first CE to have to deliver her blueprint via video on Wednesday after rowdy protests by pan-democrats forced her to abort her attempt to deliver her speech at the Legislative Council and resort to a video address instead.

The government also decided Lam wouldn’t attend the customary question and answer sessions on television and radio either, out of security concerns.

The one-hour Facebook session was so far the only avenue for people to direct their questions to the Chief Executive, but the number of viewers hovered around 7,000, and dipped to below 6,000 at the low points.

It was a fairly staid setup, with Carrie Lam sitting with a tablet computer on a table, in an office. Next to her was political assistant and former broadcaster, Kenneth Ng, picking out questions from the comments on the live feed, and selected from various internet forums.

Ng selected a variety of questions, from special needs education to staff shortages at hospitals. But mostly, people asked about the ongoing protests, and why her policy address did little to directly respond to the crisis.

Many insisted that Lam must accept all five of the movement's demands, especially an independent probe into allegations of police brutality.

In response, she said she hopes people would not be prejudiced, or think the police were somehow against them.

Lam said if some officers made mistakes in law enforcement, people can complain through established channels, and again noted that the Independent Police Complaints Council is already looking at several incidents of particular public concern, such as the attack at the Yuen Long MTR station on July the 21st .

Housing was another focus. One person who posted a question on the LIHKG forum – the online home of the protest movement – accused her of trying to turn protesters into homebuyers by making mortgages more accessible, and give them a pricey motivation to stay off the streets.

The CE dismissed the conspiracy theory, saying the questioner was overthinking things. She said that the government is not trying to use housing as a solution to a political problem, but the relaxation of mortgage requirements was simply aimed at helping those who desperated wanted to buy a flat, but couldn’t afford a prohibitively large downpayment.

Lam also commented on Wednesday night's hammer attack on Civil Human Rights Front convenor, Jimmy Sham, saying the government condemns all violence used on anybody regardless of their background and political views. She said the police would pursue the case.