No regrets over pushing 2019 extradition bill, says Carrie Lam

Outgoing Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yet-ngor on Saturday said she doesn’t regret pushing forward the fugitive bill in 2019 and the government was not at fault, but admitted failure in explaining the bill clearly and felt heartbroken for teenagers arrested in following protests.

On a radio program this morning, Lam underlined that she still believes amending the fugitive bill is necessary because it is to shoulder Hong Kong’s international responsibility and ensure the city will not become a paradise for fugitives.

She also apologized not for proposing the amendment bill but for government officials not doing a good enough job of explaining the bill to the public.

Lam continued that she missed her chances to explain to the public those few months [in 2019], and it was already too late in the later stages of the anti-extradition bill movement.

She specifically highlighted that protesters’ promotional works of the movement were so overwhelming that there was even a short film and added she didn’t think that was a coincidence.

The Hong Kong leader also said the government was not at fault for pushing forward the bill but praised the government for being brave enough to tackle a long overdue issue.

She went on to say that the amendment bill guarantees the SAR a consolidated legal framework and protects human rights better, including no extradition for convicts sentenced to death, political prisoners, and those sentenced to jail for less than seven years.

On another note, Lam said it broke her heart to see all those youngsters arrested amid clashes with the police.

Yet, the government must enforce the law resolutely, and asking for pardon is no different from charging against the city’s judicial system.

Lam noted that the teenagers may not understand the bill thoroughly, or they may have been incited by social media. However, it could significantly impact Hong Kong’s lawful society if youngsters believed they could solve problems through violence and then get away with it.