Comeback kid? Stephen Lam’s evangelical tour could be a back door for return to politics
Former chief secretary is touring Canada to explain his journey from being ‘a public servant to God’s servant’, but politics also appears to be part of the agenda
If you were hated by the people and caricatured by the media as “The Broomhead” or “The Eunuch”, you too might want to wipe the slate clean and skip town before coming back and starting all over.
So former security secretary Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee took a detour to the US and took up graduate study in political science before returning to launch a stellar career as head and founder of a new political party. Now she is an elected lawmaker and sits in the Executive Council. No one calls her Broomhead anymore, thanks to her more professional stylists. She may even be the next chief executive.
Is the much-maligned ex-constitutional affairs chief and former chief secretary Stephen Lam Sui-lung trying to replicate a similar transformation? The former “eunuch” shipped off to Britain, where he took up theology at Oxford after leaving office in 2012. It was not that he suddenly discovered God; he has always been religious, just like his boss, the former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen.
As reported in the Post, Lam is launching a cross-country evangelical tour in Canada to speak on his spiritual journey from being “a public servant to God’s servant”. It’s being promoted in Chinese and it targets mainly Chinese churches. But why Canada? Probably because there are many former Hong Kong people there, enough to take an interest in Lam for him to test the waters.
Is this the start of a more public role to come, as a politician, a preacher or both? Though his promoters deny there will be anything political about his tour, he has already attracted some critics questioning his motive, and whether he might use the tour to promote a “pro-China” ideology.
I seriously doubt that. But even if he does defend his time as a top minister and the role he played in Hong Kong’s political reforms, so what? Free speech, anyone?
He reportedly credited God for helping to get the Democrats to support the passage of the controversial political reform bill in 2010. Actually, for that, he deserved more credit than his Maker.
I wish he would talk about his time in the political trenches. That at least would be more interesting than his take on the Bible.