Can drinking water that contains lead improve one's health or even extend one's life? Three months into Hong Kong’s lead-in-water scandal, this puzzling question from banking sector lawmaker Ng Leung-sing brought some indulgent smiles and a few incredulous shakes of the head, around the Legislative Council on Thursday. At a special meeting of Legco’s house committee to follow up on the health scare in public housing estates, Ng asked officials: "People's life expectancy has been increasing. Will the government conduct any scientific study to see if drinking lead-containing water is one of the factors leading to this trend? Is there evidence suggesting that consuming water with an appropriate level of lead can strengthen one's health and extend life?" Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor smiled and quickly passed the question onto her colleague, health minister Dr Ko Wing-man. "Can Dr Ko please help with the first question?" she asked. READ MORE: No civil servant bypassed rules in Hong Kong lead-in-water scandal, insists chief secretary Ko, a medical doctor, gave a no-nonsense reply. “So far I have not seen any medical literature or evidence that suggests lead can benefit our health. The health effects of lead still needs a lot of research for understanding in more depth,” he said. The lawmaker's question later became something of a laughing stock among internet users. "Is that common sense?" one contributor to the local popular online forum discuss.co.hk wrote. Another netizen adopted a more sarcastic tone. "I strongly recommend the Honourable Ng Leung-sing live in Kai Ching Estate [where excessive lead was found in the water supply] and see if he will live longer." Ng, who was elected unopposed for the finance sector – the smallest functional constituency in Legco in terms of voter numbers – was widely criticised and ridiculed for his performance as the chairman of the Finance Committee meetings considering funding requests for the construction of two new towns in the northeast New Territories.