Hong Kong protests: Carrie Lam makes ‘flash mob’ public appearances around town in midst of extradition crisis

Chief executive visits Wan Chai and Tin Shui Wai, and talks to shop owners in Tai Wai Market

Veronica Lin |

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Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam holds a news conference in Hong Kong, China July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su

Hong Kong’s embattled leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor made “flash mob” appearances in Wan Chai, Tin Shui Wai and Tai Wai yesterday. She was accompanied by Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee.

Lam was first spotted attending a gala celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai in the morning.

Later, around noon, she was seen at Tin Sau Road Park in Tin Shui Wai, in Yuen Long district, where alleged triad members attacked civilians and protesters on July 27.

About an hour later, Lam made her way to the Tai Wai Market, where she spoke to several shop owners.

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Although protests have been going on for 10 weeks, with violent clashes involving protesters and Hong Kong police, the reclusive leader has made almost no public appearances apart from a press conference on Monday.

When asked what she had done to resolve the crisis, she said: “I have not stopped meeting different sectors. You might ask why I did not meet the media [in the past two weeks, but] the fact is some radical internet users would storm any event they know I would be attending, be it open or closed door.

“Organisers would not even want me to go now, as they would have to pay a huge sum for insurance. This is Hong Kong today, where people resort to threats and bullying to achieve their goals.”

Reacting to her surprise visit to the Tai Wai Market, one Twitter user wrote: “She’s willing to publicly visit people at the wet market, but not willing to do something useful like holding a press conference where she actually has something to say and is open to all sides of HK’s current situation.”