Hong Kong restaurant owner under investigation for allegedly organising event in Singapore regarding HK protests

A Hong Kong businessman is being investigated by the Singapore police after he allegedly organised an event for people to come forward and share their thoughts on the recent Hong Kong protests.

Alex Yeung, founder of the Wah Kee chain of restaurants and a YouTube star, took to his Facebook to publicise the event, which was held on 11 October.

Writing in Mandarin, Mr Yeung invited people of Chinese ethnicity living in Singapore to be part of the gathering so they can share their views on the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

The post captioned, “Welcome those living in Singapore to express their views on the violent incidents in Hong Kong. Special mention to Mr Chen, a Hongkonger staying in Singapore.

However, Mr Yeung has removed this post from his Facebook page and is no longer visible to the public.

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said on Thursday (7 November) – about a month after the event – that they were alerted of the event involving Mr Yeung on the day of the gathering.

“On 11 October 2019, the Police were alerted to an incident involving Alex Yeung, a Hong Kong resident, who allegedly organised a gathering for interested persons to share their views on the current protests in Hong Kong,” the police said.

The SPF also noted that the event, which was initially supposed to be held at Kimoto Gastro Bar at The Sail @ Marina Bay, later shifted to the public area in the vicinity of The Promontory at Marina Boulevard.

It also stated that the businessman’s passport has been impounded and he is assisting the police with the ongoing investigation.

“He is, however, neither arrested not in Police custody, and is free to go about his activities within Singapore,” the SPF said in a Facebook post.

Separately, the police also reminded the “public that organising or participating in a public assembly without a Police permit in Singapore is illegal and constitutes an offence under the Public Order Act”.

It added, “The Police will not grant any permit for assemblies that advocate political causes of other countries. Foreigners visiting or living in Singapore should abide by our laws”.

Mr Yeung’s YouTube channel called Wah Kee Positive Energy has about 150,000 subscribers, and he is staunch supporter of the Hong Kong police and even accused that young students had been paid to attend anti-government protests.

On his channels, people can view him talking about his views about the violence in the Hong Kong protests, as well as his respect for the city’s police force in making Hong Kong what used to be one of the safest areas in the world.

In a video posted on Monday (4 November), the Hong Kong citizen explained his reason of being in Singapore from 10 to 12 October.

Speaking in Cantonese, he said, “Doing business in Hong Kong is tough, so I came to Singapore to see if I may set up a restaurant here and arranged to meet some people… make some investment here to set up a company.”

If that’s not all, he also mentioned about purchasing a “second home” or property in the Republic since the security in Hong Kong is not the greatest.

“Business is bad and every month, my company is losing money. I have never thought of breaking any law here or getting involved in politics. I am not a politician, I am just a businessman. I am here to look for business opportunities. It is that simple. This has to be very clear,” he stressed and repeated this point a number of times in the video.

In response to the gathering, Mr Yeung said that he went for it “out of courtesy” when invited.

“To be polite to the people who wanted to take pictures with me, I obliged,” he said. He added that he informed the group that he was not going to comment about politics and these “fans” unfortunately were the same people who reported about him to the authorities.

“While in Singapore, I have never thought of arranging with people to meet or organise gatherings. But because I was not careful, a group of people from Hong Kong who are in Singapore have complained about me. We should respect the laws of every country… I have no intention to break laws here,” he expressed.

In another video uploaded by Mr Yeung, he noted that he is ready to go behind bars and operations of his restaurant chain may be affected.

In addition, he also asked his supporters not be sad and talked about speaking up on the “violent student protesters” in Hong Kong “gets worse”.