• Sun
  • Dec 21, 2014
  • Updated: 12:01pm
Occupy Central
NewsHong Kong

Carrie Lam issues warning on Occupy Central shutdown at talk with civil servants

Chief secretary tells civil service unions in rare meeting she fears government services may be threatened if voting reform protest goes ahead

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 10 July, 2014, 10:33am
UPDATED : Friday, 11 July, 2014, 8:27am


  • Yes: 87%
  • No: 13%
11 Jul 2014
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 209

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said yesterday that government operations could break down if Occupy Central brings the main business district to a standstill.

Her warning came at a meeting with civil service and disciplined services unions ahead of the unveiling of the government's electoral reform report on Tuesday.

Civil Servants General Union chairman Chung Kwok-sing said that at the 1-1/2-hour meeting, Lam "said some political parties might not be satisfied and take action to paralyse Central".

Chung, one of the representatives from eight civil service groups who met Lam, also quoted her as saying she was worried the government might fail to offer services as normal.

Yesterday's meeting was unusual - the last time such talks took place was after a protest-hit visit in 2011 by the then vice-premier Li Keqiang .

Joe Chan Cho-kwong, of the Police Force Council, said Lam warned the political reform report "might have an impact on civil servants, but did not explain why".

The meeting also covered the resources and retirement age of the civil service and filibustering in Legco, Chan said.

He added that Lam expressed support for the police, who were criticised for their handling of protesters after the annual July 1 march for democracy.

The government is due to report on Tuesday on its consultation over reforms for the 2017 chief executive and 2016 Legislative Council polls.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen said the reform report would include ideas such as public nomination and party nomination, but would not pass judgment on them.

Views aired in Occupy Central's unofficial referendum and at the July 1 rally - which took place after the consultation ended in May - would be excluded. Lam would brief Legco's House Committee on the report next week, he added.

"It is entirely up to the chief executive to decide whether he wants to reflect the latest sentiments in his own report, to be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress," Tam said.

In its report, the government would mention that there were consultation submissions supporting calls to let the public nominate candidates for the 2017 ballot, a source said.

The source said Lam's report would state there was no need to amend the Basic Law to change the method of electing Legco in 2016, as most submissions did not call for major reforms.



Related topics

For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Emergency meeting with the PLA on how to fit tanks into HK's narrow roads.
Welcome to civil society, Hong Kong. Other political jurisdictions deal with protest and manage just fine. The amount of catastrophizing over Occupy Central shows how much yet the Hong Kong gov't needs to mature...
Dai Muff
No. Because he would actually have a mandate if it were really a free and fair election. Personally I am all for the likes of Jasper as CE. And I insist on my right to a free and fair election.
All this hand wringing about nothing. Whether OC succeeds in its goals or not, the city will not implode. It really seems like the HK government lacks faith in its own strength. Get it together.
Or that civil servants will be required to tow the line or risk losing their job.
At least they know they won't by ticketed by HKPD should they park on double lines in Central...
I am having real problems imagining how the government (finally!) tabling its 2017 electoral reform proposal could impact civil servants.

Unless by 'civil servants' she means the police, and by 'impact' she means having to deal with Occupy Central?
"The unusual meeting comes just over a week after more than 100,000 took to the streets for the July 1 march"
Is this now the official umber - what happened to the 500,000?
So if the HK government ground to a halt, how could we tell?
Most cities in the USA allow for anyone to petition to run for office. Independent candidates happen all the time in city elections. Remember we are just a city. The ce is just a mayor.



SCMP.com Account