PM LEE’S COMMENTS ON HK PROTESTS: PRAISE FROM CHINA, ANGER FROM HONG KONG

Written by Joseph Ong

Lee’s Comments 

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s comments on the Hong Kong protests appear to be causing quite a stir. Speaking at a dialogue at the Forbes Global CEO conference, Mr Lee said that the protesters’ five major demands are not “meant to solve Hong Kong’s problems”. Rather, they are “intended to humiliate and bring down the government.” He added that there was “no easy way forward” and called for “wisdom and restraint” from both sides. 

Additionally, in implementing the “one country, two systems” policy, he advised that China must not only think of one country, but remember the two systems. Whereas Hong Kong must not only think of two systems, but remember that this is one country. While seemingly neutral, Mr Lee’s comments have drawn both praise and anger from the Mainland Chinese and Hong Kong protestors respectively. 

 

A Social Media Hero in China 

A video of Mr Lee saying that Singapore would be “finished” if hit by Hong Kong style protests has gone viral on social media in China, prompting widespread support from Chinese netizens. Alluding to the protests, Mr Lee remarked that if not careful, “deep social angst” could take root in Singapore and make it “impossible to govern Singapore” or to “plan for the long-term good of the nation”. Chinese netizens felt that his words supported their views that the protestors had gone too far, and applauded Singapore’s government for their hardline approach to governance and “strong ability to control and rule”. 

 

Slammed in Hong Kong 

On the other hand, Hong Kong protestors felt that Mr Lee was dismissive of their demands, and took to social media to vent their anger.  

Source: @RiRika_1221_128

Translation: “This wastrel is still so proud even after causing Singapore to become a Chinese Communist Party-controlled dictatorship.”

Additionally, a screenshot reportedly from a Hong Kong protest chat group was widely circulated on Twitter. It contained threats to destroy the Singapore banks and infrastructure. 

Source: Reddit (edited to censor profanities)

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