A speech by Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam at a private meeting expressing her desire to resign was leaked to the press on Sept. 2 raising many suspicions.
Reuters got an audio recording of Carrie Lam speaking to a group of businessmen during a private meeting and published the full transcript of her words on Monday.
“If I have a choice, the first thing is to quit, having made a deep apology,” Lam is heard saying on the tape, implying that she is not free to make that decision.
The leader of the Hong Kong Special Region did not deny the authenticity of the recording when asked during a press conference on Monday and merely said she was very “disappointed” by this leak, according to Hong Kong Free Press.
However, today she changed her version and explained that at that meeting she was expressing her opinion on how ” it might be an easy choice to leave [her job]” and said she has no plans to resign.
In the recording, Lam said that her room for political maneuvering was “very limited” and that the anti-extradition bill crisis has escalated to a national level.
Young activist Agnes Chow, of the Demosisto organization, said on Sept. 3 on a local radio program that it is difficult to know whether this ‘leak’ is part of a “public relations program.”
Chow added that the idea that Lam is not free to resign shows that Hong Kong’s fundamental political problem is its lack of autonomy from the totalitarian regime of mainland China.
For its part, the Democratic Party of Hong Kong (DPHK) pointed out that Lam had made contradictory claims.
Lam Cheuk-ting, a DPHK legislator, said she either lied to the business people or lied to the people of Hong Kong in her press conference, according to The Epoch Times.
Pro-democracy lawmaker Au Nok-hin added that the central government’s policy of suppressing dissent will push the city deeper into the abyss, and that Lam should resign as a matter of conscience if she does not agree with Beijing’s orders, according to Hong Kong Free Press.
Meanwhile, arrests of dissidents and the escalation of police brutality continue.
The pro-democracy organization Demosisto posted on its Twitter account that its president, Ivan Lam was arrested by Customs officials today upon his arrival at Hong Kong International Airport for inciting and participating in an unauthorized assembly.
Amnesty International has condemned Saturday’s “horrifying scenes” at Prince Edward subway station, noting in a press release that the incident “saw terrified bystanders caught up in the melee” and “fell far short of international policing standards.”
“There are also serious questions surrounding the deployment of undercover officers among the protesters and whether they played any role in inciting violence,” the human rights organization added.
Millions of citizens in Hong Kong’s Special Administrative Region oppose a law that would allow the Beijing communist regime to extradite people for trial in China’s opaque judicial system.