Carrie Lam

In no rush: new Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam set to move into Government House in late August

With Leung Chun-ying gone, workers will move in to carry out maintenance and renewal work in the building that previously housed only male leaders

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 June, 2017, 11:11pm
UPDATED : Friday, 30 June, 2017, 11:14pm

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor will take nearly two months to move into Government House after Leung Chun-ying vacates the chief executive’s official residence.

Marking a departure from the practice of his predecessor, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, Leung’s office said he had no plan to invite the media to watch him wave goodbye to the staff who served him for the past five years.

“The chief executive will move out by tonight,” a spokesman said, referring to a title that he will no longer have after midnight on Friday.

Lam’s office said she was scheduled to move in by late August.

“Pursuant to professional assessments by the Architectural Services Department and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, Government House requires maintenance and renewal work, which will begin after [Leung] moves out.”

It is the first time that Government House, which was used as the governor’s residence in British colonial times, will host a female leader.

All eyes will be on how Lam will renovate her new home. She has so far shown no interest in farming, a habit that prompted Leung to set up vegetable fields and beehives and remove Tsang’s signature carp pond.

Leung spent nearly HK$3 million for the upkeep of the residence throughout his five-year term, covering roof reconstruction, renewing the swimming pool and upgrading the security system.

The cost of looking after Government House is expected to rise from HK$6.8 million a year under Leung to HK$7.1 million for Lam, according to government estimates.