The chief executive might be full of praise for newly appointed Chief Secretary Stephen Lam Sui-lung, but young internet users apparently see Lam differently.
Appearing on a live online chat organised by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups last night, Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen said Lam was a 'superb choice' to fill the city's No 2 post, vacated by Henry Tang Ying-yen last month.
'Lam is humble, sociable and has high emotional intelligence,' Tsang said. 'I think he is a superb choice for the position, as he is not afraid of challenges and does not care about his popularity in striving for the interests of Hong Kong.'
But internet users responded fiercely in messages posted on Tsang's Facebook page. Hundreds left comments saying Tsang did not address their questions genuinely during the chat, describing the exchange as a 'political show'. They also took issue with Tsang's defence of Lam's appointment.
Lam, the former minister for constitutional and mainland affairs, got a popularity rating of 38.5 - the lowest for a chief secretary since 1997 - in a recent poll by the University of Hong Kong. Some 3,000 people marched to the government headquarters last week calling on him to step down.
Tsang also elaborated on the bitter exchange in Legco last week when he accused People Power legislator Wong Yuk-man of 'thug-like' behaviour and told him there was no place for 'triad societies' in the legislature.
Tsang said he was saddened some lawmakers did not make use of the chance to discuss his policy proposals. 'Verbal abuse serves only to block communication and undermine the progress of democracy,' he said.