The focus on Hong Kong people and money moving to Singapore misses the point — there is an outflow of talent and funds from the territory to centers all over the world, said Ho Ching (何晶), head of the Singaporean investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte.
“Being obsessed with the movement of some money and people to Singapore — and ignoring the movement of people and money elsewhere to USA, Canada, Australia, UK, especially for their professional talents — just misses the point,” said Ho, who is married to Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (李顯龍).
Hong Kong has been wracked by more than four months of social unrest, sparked by a proposed extradition law.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) last month withdrew the bill, but protesters have expanded their demands to include direct elections for the chief executive post.
“Hong Kongers can best serve themselves by looking deep within themselves to decide what role they wish to play in and for China,” Ho said in a post on her Facebook page, with a link to a Bloomberg News report published on the South China Morning Post’s Web site.
“Only when they can play a relevant role in and for China, would Hong Kong also find its role in the world too,” she wrote.
Ho said the example of Singapore — which has municipal elections for people to look after their own districts, followed by self-government in all but defense and foreign affairs — could hold lessons for Hong Kong in terms of political pathways.
Lee on Oct. 16 said that the protesters are making unrealistic demands in an effort to take down the Hong Kong government.
Hong Kong might report negative economic growth for the full year because of the ongoing unrest, Hong Kong Financial Secretary Paul Chan (陳茂波) yesterday said in a blog post.
The protests’ “blow to our economy is comprehensive,” he said, citing falling visitor arrivals, with the decline turning into an “emergency” in August and last month, and dropping hotel occupancy rates.