Coronavirus pandemic
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam meets the media before attending the Executive Council meeting, at the government headquarters in Admiralty on January 7. Lam has insisted that she will stay in office to tackle public health and economic challenges. Photo: May Tse

LettersChina virus: Wuhan mayor should play the Carrie Lam card and deny all responsibility

  • Facing calls for his resignation, perhaps Zhou Xianwang should simply refuse to be held accountable, as the Hong Kong chief executive has done despite having caused ‘unforgivable havoc’ in the city
It’s hard not to feel somewhat sorry for Zhou Xianwang, the mayor of Wuhan. Faced with an escalating crisis in a country where making decisions can have severe political implications, he is being held accountable by some citizens for the failure to act and communicate, and critics are urging that his removal from office (“ Wuhan mayor under pressure to resign over response to virus outbreak”, January 23).

The only bright spot in this sorry saga is proof that the concept of accountability is apparently alive and well in China.

Alas, this is not the case in Hong Kong. The “ unforgivable havoc” triggered by the Carrie Lam administration has poisoned our community for a generation, wreaking damage on the very fabric of our society, not to mention our mental health and our finances.

In a not-too-distant past in Hong Kong, such manifest failings would have resulted in the relevant individuals losing their job, status, pension, benefits, and even liberty, under the concept of “accountability”.

One major casualty of the social unrest has been the redefining by Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor of “accountability”. Instead of losing all, the failing individual(s) will keep all. In short, they will suffer no penalty whatsoever for their manifest failures.

The rationale given is that those who failed have now learned their lesson, and, completely irrational as this may seem, are therefore somehow best-placed to repair the damage they have done. It is an unsustainable argument.

My advice to Mayor Zhou is to play the “Carrie Lam” card: robustly affirm that he now knows what to do, refuse to be accountable for what he is alleged to have done, and firmly state that he and only he is the best qualified person for the job.

Clive Noffke, Lantau

Protesters clearly mistook autonomy for independence

In response to Gerald Heng Snr’s letter, “ People have not misunderstood ‘two systems’” (January 27), I say that many people have misunderstood “two systems”.

Beijing’s goal is a “high degree of autonomy” for Hong Kong. No one ever promised full autonomy, so Beijing has not violated anything.

Mr Heng also claims: “No protester or any protest movement ever renounced China as the national sovereign.” That’s a lie. We all saw protesters waving “Hong Kong is not China” signs, as well as graffiti and posters with similar sentiment put up everywhere around the city.

Bruce Weintraub, New York