An Irrelevant Population Policy

Chairing the Steering Committee on Population Policy, the Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam put forward a consultation document that at least shows she is very much a part of the blinkered, stubborn and backward-looking bureaucracy. There was a time when Carrie Lam struck me as an outspoken, capable civil servant having some sense of mission and having at heart struggling Hong Kongers’ interests, who readily outshone the coterie of mediocre and self-serving top-ranking bureaucrats. My confidence in her started to wane, though, when she pushed through LegCo the amendment to the Land (Compulsory Sale for Development) Ordinance, lowering the triggering threshold from 90% to 80% of units in the building in question, which effectively makes it easier for developers to encroach on private property rights in the name of urban redevelopment. Public opinion that showed strong opposition to the amendment bill was simply ignored. I began to harbor doubt about Lam’s true colors, but was still willing to believe that she was probably overpowered by her boss who was always all ears towards the powerful property oligarchs.

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