LAST WEEK IN HONG KONG – A WITHDRAWN BILL, A DISGRACED PROFESSOR AND A RECESSION

Written by Terence Tan

Extradition bill withdrawn 

21 weeks into the protest, one of the protestors’ five demands has been met. In a second reading of Hong Kong’s controversial Extradition Bill in the Legislative Council, the Hong Kong government officially withdrew the controversial Extradition Bill. This came a month after Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam announced plans to formally withdraw the Bill. Coincidentally, the Bill was read on the same day Chan Tong-kai, the murder suspect whose inability to be extradited to Taiwan triggered the proposal of the Bill, was released.

 

CityU students lash back at Singaporean Professor

Meanwhile at City University of Hong Kong (CityU), Singaporean Assistant Professor Tan Yong Chin’s office was vandalised and spray-painted with pro-democracy slogans, such as “white terror” and “Hongkongers rebel”. He circulated an email to warn his marketing students to avoid making any political announcements or statements in their presentations, or they’ll risk getting zero marks. This came after Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong’s comments about the “one country, two systems” policy that China and Hong Kong should consider in their bilateral relations.

CityU’s student union has expressed disapproval towards Tan’s email reiterating that CityU’s assessment regulations and principles will be strictly observed, and that Tan must remove his “zero marks” policy. The university has since issued a statement saying that it was not aware of Tan’s email and will look into the matter.

 

Cost of the protests

The protest is unlikely to end any time soon. Its most direct result is unsurprisingly an economic one: a technical recession. From a 50% fall in tourists’ receipts to the shut down of prime shopping malls and family-run businesses for months, experts have agreed that it would be extremely difficult for Hong Kong to reach full-year economic growth of 0 to 1%. Experts believe that it is very likely that Hong Kong’s full-year economic growth will be negative. While it is confirmed that the recession has occurred, the advance estimates for the third quarter will be announced by the government on Thursday.

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