Chief executive candidate Carrie Lam has visited Tin Shui Wai, after being accused of twice cancelling meetings with local groups in the northern town.
On Thursday, around a dozen grassroots concern groups and and market support groups handed Lam a fake airplane ticket, in reference to a Cantonese slang term meaning a last-minute withdrawal.
Last Friday, Lam cancelled a Saturday meeting to discuss street market policies and concerns over Link REIT – a private company which owns and runs several public estate shopping malls.
The company has been accused by concern groups of raising rents at several commercial properties in Tin Shui Wai since 2008.
Lam’s campaign office claimed last Friday that she was tired and Tin Shui Wai was far away. It typically takes around 40 minutes to an hour from her office in Wan Chai to get to the northern border town.
Local concern group Grassroots Bazaar Alliance added that she had also cancelled a meeting originally scheduled for the previous Saturday, March 11.
‘Wisdom of local districts’
Arriving in Tin Shui Wai on Thursday morning, Lam apologised to the various groups: “The wisdom of local districts and local people is very important in the Hong Kong government’s formulation and implementation of policies.”
“If I have the opportunity to become the next chief executive, I will regularly visit local districts,” she said. “[I will] listen to the opinions of grassroots groups and local people.”
The groups demanded Lam not cancel any more meetings, and that she formulate a policy to support local markets if she is elected. She then visited markets and public housing estates in Tin Shui Wai during the afternoon.
Questioned by reporters on Thursday, she refused to comment on reports claiming that Hong Kong’s anti-corruption watchdog is to investigate her role in the planned construction of the Palace Museum in West Kowloon.
John Tsang and Woo Kwok-hing are also standing in the small-circle election, which will be held on Sunday.