It was reported that a US senator on Fri (15 Nov) condemned Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for allegedly prioritizing his economic and political deals with Beijing at the expense of “human rights” in Hong Kong.
Rick Scott, a representative of the State of Florida, wrote in a tweet, “Singapore’s Prime Minister is so concerned with his deals with Communist China that he is shaming the brave people of #HongKong for fighting for their human rights.”
“This is shameful! The global community should stand together against human rights violator President Xi,” said Senator Scott, who is a known vocal critic of China.
The Senator’s comments came after PM Lee told about 500 global CEOs, tycoons, entrepreneurs and investors at the Forbes Global CEO Conference last month that the five demands put forth by the Hong Kong anti-government protestors serve to “humiliate” the city’s administration.
Responding to questions from Forbes Media editor-in-chief Steve Forbes regarding the Hong Kong crisis, PM Lee said, “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 said.
PM Lee’s comments on the current unrest in Hong Kong have also triggered displeasure among some of the pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong.
A DBS Bank branch in Hong Kong was recently vandalised with vulgarities aimed at PM Lee, his family and the People’s Action Party (PAP). Apparently, the graffiti was removed very quickly by the bank staff upon its discovery.
Festival Walk, a shopping mall in Hong Kong owned by Temasek-linked Mapletree, has also suffered “extensive damage” last week during a protest. Bloomberg reported that protestors had “smashed” glass panels at the mall’s entrance, and that they had also “damaged the office lobby and balustrades on various levels” of the centre.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump has described the protests in Hong Kong as “riots” that China would have to deal with itself, suggesting the US would stay out of the biggest political crisis seen in Hong Kong in decades.
President Trump said this in Ohio in August during a campaign event when he was asked if he was concerned by media reports that Beijing might intervene in Hong Kong. He said the city had experienced “riots for a long period of time”.
“And I don’t know what China’s attitude is. Somebody said that at some point they’re going to want to stop that. But that’s between Hong Kong and that’s between China,” he said. “Hong Kong is a part of China, they’ll have to deal with that themselves.”