中英双语 | 林郑月娥不为人知的一面

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Carrie Lam: A clear head and a warm heart
By Judith Mackay

Judith Mackay writes that Carrie Lam has the personal and professional qualities needed to lead HK and is well known for her compassion, kindness and sense of fun.

To the public, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor is better known for her efficiency than for her warmth. Her personal and private life has generally remained quietly off-limits to public scrutiny. Without trespassing on her privacy, I think it is important for Hong Kong to understand that Lam has an inner core, much appreciated by all her close friends, that lives and breathes dignity, empathy, kindness, compassion, and fun. Yes, fun.

Carrie Lam: A clear head and a warm heartCarrie Lam was born in the Year of the Rooster, and this mystical creature is noted for the traditional Five Constant Virtues (wu chang): benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom and integrity. Crucial to exemplary leadership as well as to personal relationships, the former chief secretary has all these virtues. All her close friends with whom I have spoken say exactly the same thing — that Carrie Lam has both head and heart.

政务司司长林郑月娥女士探访观塘基层家庭
政务司司长林郑月娥女士探访观塘基层家庭

This is exemplified by a little-known project of hers. During the 2002-03 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) epidemic she set up the We Care Education Fund to take care of children who had lost one or both parents to the disease. Her original target was HK$10 million, but with tremendous response from colleagues in the civil service and from the community some HK$83 million was raised within three months!

Since 2003, over 40 of the 75 children affected by SARS have graduated from university, and the advisory committee set up to oversee the usage of the We Care Education Fund still meets regularly, not just to approve funds for the children’s schooling but also to receive and discuss updates on the families involved. In the past 13 years, no matter where she was posted, Lam hardly missed a meeting. Her devotion to the welfare of the children, or young people, is amazing. This caring initiative, and her little-known perseverance in following through a 20-year commitment, above and beyond the call of duty, is an example to all public servants.

In 2013, 10 years after SARS, she invited a number of the affected families to Victoria House. It was not publicized out of concern for the families, which is typical of Carrie Lam — always doing her good works quietly, with no fuss, and always mindful of the feelings of those affected.

Shelley Lee Lai-kuen, then director of home affairs, writes: “It is relatively easy in public service to gain kudos by eking out temporary relief in case of major disasters, but I know how much it takes to maintain a caring spirit for the victims in the long run. The SARS experience shows that Carrie has both the head and heart, and above all, the leadership and compassion to meet the major challenges that Hong Kong people face, now and in future.”

Lam was known for seldom stopping to waste time to chat, so that she might have been perceived by some as “cold”. Another former colleague, however, writes: “In fact, from the ideas emanating from her it is evident she has a clear head and a warm heart, particularly for the weak and the vulnerable. She will go out of her way to help in cases brought to her, no matter how humble the people involved.”

She has had many tough career assignments: In the Social Welfare Department she had to introduce the block grant (an unpopular move to some); in the Development Bureau she met with demonstrations and abusive curses when she initiated action against unauthorized building works in the New Territories; as chief secretary for administration, she had to front up and take the rap for the policy blunders of others. I was distressed to see her take the brunt of hurtful comments from the “umbrella movement” students in the TV debate they held, telling her to her face she had no relevance to Hong Kong any more.

In spite of her cool exterior and image of always being in work mode, Lam has a soft side to her. She always makes time for her close circle of friends, to whom she is caring, generous and kind. One colleague reminisced: “The Carrie we know is just a normal, relaxed, joking friend.”

Though not publicly known, Lam has also been quietly supportive of gender equality, and improving the situation for Hong Kong women — a subject very close to my own heart.

Her human side is exemplified by her fondness for one of our Hong Kong legends — the late Elsie Tu. In 2013, at Tu’s 100th birthday at my home, Lam gave a wonderful speech in support of Tu’s lifetime efforts on behalf of Hong Kong. The late Elsie Tu was immensely touched by this, and often subsequently referred to it. And Tu did not like all civil servants, by any means! Lam was very special to her.

Lam is generous to others. She remembers and cares about friends and colleagues who have become ill, or who have lost a family member. She herself is very close to her husband and two sons. I know that if I ever had a personal problem, Lam would be there.

The author is senior adviser to the Vital Strategies/Bloomberg Initiative, senior policy adviser to the World Health Organization, and director of the Asian Consultancy on Tobacco Control.


中文翻译

林郑月娥不为人知的一面

麦龙诗迪 | 世界卫生组织高级政策顾问

林郑月娥予公众的感觉是一个办事效率很高的人,但她温暖热心的一面却不为人所知。公众对她个人和私生活所知甚少。我无意侵犯她的私隐,但认为香港人应当知道,林郑有着为她所有密友称道的内在特质:为人高尚、有同理心、友善、体恤别人,而且风趣。

我觉得她具备中国文化中至为推崇的,仁、义、礼、智、信五种特质。这对成为模范领袖和维持私人关系都至关重要。和我交谈过的她的密友都告诉我同一件事:林郑不仅有头脑,而且为人热心。

例证之一是一项不太为人所知的项目:在SARs疫情爆发期间,她设立了“护幼教育基金”,来照顾那些失去单亲甚至双亲的儿童。她原本目标是筹资1000万港币,但由于政府部门同事和小区的积极响应,在3个月内筹资额达8300万港币。

2003年以来,75名受SARs影响的儿童中,有超过40名已经从大学毕业;并且,为监督“护幼教育基金”使用而设立的顾问委员会仍定期开会,不仅是为了批准孩子们的上学经费,亦为跟进并讨论相关家庭的最新情况。在过去13年里,不管她担任何职,林郑几乎从未缺席会议。她对儿童(或者说年轻人)福利的奉献令人惊叹。这一护幼倡议,以及对承诺的坚守,已经超越了职责要求,堪称所有公务员的模范。

2013年,SARs疫情爆发10周年后,她邀请一些受害家庭到政务司司长官邸。出于对这些家庭的保护,这一消息并未公诸媒体。这就是典型的林郑,低调出色地完成工作,有条不紊,总是在意对方的感受。

曾担任民政事务总署署长的李丽娟写道:“一旦发生大的灾难,对公共服务来说,提供短期救助获得褒奖较为容易,但我知道,要长期对受害者保持关怀,需要付出多少心血。SARs经历显示,林郑不仅有头脑还热心,还有应对目前和未来挑战的领导力和同情心。”

林郑以从不浪费时间聊天而出名,因此一些人可能觉得她「高傲、冷漠」。不过,另一位前同事曾写道:“事实上,从她的很多想法来看,不仅头脑清晰还乐于助人,尤其是对弱势社群。无论人们出身如何卑微,林郑都会用心、尽力帮助他们。

她有过很多颇具挑战的职业经历:在社会福利署时她引入了整体补助金(Block Grant,,一些人不欢迎该政策);在发展局时,当她针对新界非法建筑采取行动时,遭到示威和侮辱咒骂;作为政务司司长,她挺身而出为他人的政策失误承受责备。参加与占中学生的电视辩论中,看到她承受许多无端的指责,我自己都备感心痛。

尽管她外表冷静,总是一副处在工作状态的样子,但林郑其实有着柔软的一面。她总是为亲近的朋友腾出时间,对朋友们关心、慷慨、周到。一位同事回忆说:“我们所认识的林郑只是一个普通、随和、幽默的朋友。”

公众或许不知,林郑也默默支持着性别平等事业,并不断改善香港女性的处境,这一议题十分贴近我心。

她对香港传奇人物杜叶锡恩的感情显示出她富有人情的一面。2013年,在我家为杜叶锡恩100岁生日庆祝时,林郑做了精彩发言,赞赏老人为香港付出的终身努力。已故的杜女士当时备受感动,后来还常常提起。

她为人慷慨。当朋友和同事患病或失去家人时,她总能记得并表达关怀。她和丈夫及两个儿子关系融洽。我知道,如果我有任何个人问题,林郑都会帮我。

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