Why Carrie Lam’s Facebook Live event remained a token gesture
I am writing in response to the article, “Carrie Lam’s Facebook Live event fails to impress LGBT groups after questions ‘snubbed’” (August 18).
The Hong Kong government has been using social media to educate or engage with the public on various policies. This improved direct communication and interaction can enhance the government’s legitimacy and credibility, by conveying the message that the government is willing to listen and respond to the people.
Sadly, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor’s Facebook Live event once again gave the impression that the government is not really interactive and inclusive, that officials still hold a paternalistic and condescending attitude to public opinion, and that they stick to positions that they are comfortable with or are habituated to.
To rebuild trust and confidence among the public, officials should stop seeing their role as just policy formulators and widen it to include coordinating or mediating diverse interests. Top-down and elitist assumptions should be eliminated. Whether a policy incentive has majority support among key stakeholders should not always be the primary consideration.
Such online events should never be a token gesture. What Hong Kong needs is real and constructive dialogue to promote better understanding, communication and cooperation in society. Only by leading this process can the government reinvent itself as a competent one.
Adrian Lam, Kornhill