A DBS Bank branch in Hong Kong was vandalised with vulgarities aimed at Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his family and the People’s Action Party (PAP).
The Straits Times reported on Fri (15 Nov) a spokesperson for the Singapore bank as saying that the graffiti was removed upon discovery yesterday.
Photos of the graffiti had first surfaced in a Facebook group called the Concerned Citizens Band Together For A Better Singapore. The post was shared over 850 times in a span of four hours, and currently has over 1,700 shares.
The episode of vandalism took place nearly a month after Mr Lee’s comments at the Forbes Global CEO Conference on 16 Oct.
Responding to questions from Forbes Media editor-in-chief Steve Forbes regarding Hong Kong, Mr Lee told around 500 global CEOs, tycoons, entrepreneurs and investors in a closing dialogue that the five main demands put forth by the anti-government protestors serve to “humiliate” the city’s administration.
“I don’t see any easy way forward because the demonstrators, they say they have five major demands, and not one can be compromised … But those are not demands which are meant to be a programme to solve Hong Kong’s problems.
“Those are demands which are intended to humiliate and bring down the government,” he opined.
Giving in to the five demands, Mr Lee added, will not likely pacify the deep-rooted issues tied to the “one country, two systems” framework.
The special administrative region has been rocked by seismic pro-democracy protests for over four months, which began as a rally against a controversial extradition Bill. While the Bill has now been fully withdrawn by Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the movement has expanded into rallying calls for freedom and democracy in Hong Kong.
The four other demands placed by the protesters from the Hong Kong government are the resignation of Carrie Lam as Chief Executive, an inquiry into police brutality during the protests, the release of those arrested during the course of the protests, and greater democratic freedoms.
Hong Kong shopping mall owned by Temasek-linked company suffers “extensive damage” by protesters
On Wed (13 Nov), a shopping mall in Hong Kong owned by Singapore-based Mapletree North Asia Commercial Trust Ltd, suffered “extensive damage” in another round of protests.
Bloomberg reported Mapletree, a Temasek Holdings-linked company, as saying that protestors had “smashed” glass panels at Festival Walk’s entrance, and that they had also “damaged the office lobby and balustrades on various levels” of the centre.
The shopping centre’s Christmas tree was also “torched” during the protests.
Mapletree North Asia Commercial’s fell 4.9 per cent to S$1.16 in early Singapore trade yesterday, which is the lowest in 10 months, according to Bloomberg.
Festival Walk is situated near the Kowloon Tong subway station. It houses over 200 retail stores and restaurants, including Apple, Marks & Spencer and Uniqlo.
Festival Walk was Mapletree’s first commercial property acquisition in Hong Kong, purchased for S$2.9 billion in 2011. As of Mar this year, Mapletree owns and manages S$55.7 billion of office, retail, logistics, industrial, residential and lodging properties, including four Singapore-listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) and six private equity real estate funds.
The incident at Festival Walk follows another violent clash between protesters and the police, which saw a student succumbing to fatal head injuries last Fri (8 Nov).
AFP reported that while the exact chronology leading to 22-year-old Alex Chow’s fall are “unclear and disputed”, his death is “the first student fatality during five months of demonstrations”.
Vigils were held the same night to mourn Chow’s passing, and to call upon new rounds of protests over last weekend.
Joshua Wong, a prominent civil rights activist of the Umbrella Movement, tweeted: “Today we mourn the loss of a freedom fighter in Hong Kong”.
Police have repeatedly denied any allegations of wrongdoing in relation to Chow’s death, AFP reported.
The lead officer in the case, Superintendent Ewing Wu, told reporters: “As for the allegations that police chased the deceased or that we pushed him and caused him to fall, the police hereby make a solemn statement again that nothing of the kind happened”.
Correction: The article had, at the time of publishing, mistakenly referred to “a DBS Bank branch in Singapore”. The detail has now been amended to read “a DBS Bank branch in Hong Kong”. The author apologises for the error.