Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, GBM, GBS (Chinese: 林鄭月娥; Cantonese Yale: Làhm Jehng Yuht-ngòh; née Cheng, born 13 May 1957) is a Hong Kong politician serving as the 4th and current Chief Executive of Hong Kong since 2017. She served as Secretary for Development from 2007 to 2012 and Chief Secretary for Administration from 2012 to 2017.
After graduating from the University of Hong Kong Lam joined the British Hong Kong civil service in 1980 and served in various government agencies. She became a key official in 2007 when she was appointed Secretary for Development. During her tenure, she earned the nickname “tough fighter” for her role in the controversial demolition of the Queen’s Pier.
She became Chief Secretary for Administration under the Leung Chun-ying administration in 2012. From 2013 to 2015 Lam headed the Task Force on Constitutional Development for the 2014 Hong Kong electoral reform and held talks with student and opposition leaders during the widespread protests. In the 2017 Chief Executive selection process, Lam obtained 777 votes from the 1,194-member appointed Election Committee as the Beijing-favoured candidate and became the first female Chief Executive of Hong Kong.
Lam’s administration has been mired in numerous controversies including the trial and imprisonment of democracy activists as well as the disqualification of several pro-democracy candidates, as well as the criminalisation of the pro-independence Hong Kong National Party. Her government was also criticised for raising the qualification age for Comprehensive Social Security Assistance and for its handling of the cross-harbour tunnel toll plan, among other policies.
In 2019, Lam’s government pushed for the controversial amendment to the extradition law. The widespread opposition to the bill and Lam’s hardline approach on the issue sparked massive protests attended by nearly two million protesters who called for the withdrawal of the bill and her resignation. Protests continued throughout the summer of 2019 as protestors renewed demands which led to the indefinite suspension and ultimate withdrawal of the bill.
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