21 February 2019
Li Ka-shing said he understands the students' passion, but everyone must obey the law. Photo: TVB
Li Ka-shing said he understands the students' passion, but everyone must obey the law. Photo: TVB

Li Ka-shing urges students to go home

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing on Wednesday urged the Occupy protesters to go home, saying that everyone should obey the law.

In an emailed statement, the Cheung Kong (Holdings) Ltd. (00001.HK) chairman said the “one country, two systems” policy has guaranteed the Hong Kong people’s way of living after the 1997 handover.

Allowing political reform to go forward is a way to ensure that such guarantee will remain unchanged for the remainder of the 50-year post-handover period, Li said.

“We understand the passion of the students. But everyone should obey to the law,” Li said. “Hong Kong police have been upholding the law. It will be the most upsetting thing for Hong Kong if the rule of law collapses.” 

“Don’t let today’s passion become tomorrow’s regret,” he added.

Meanwhile, a “highly respectable” middleman is helping relaunch the dialogue between student activists and government officials, RTHK reported, citing a senior government official.

Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Raymond Tam Chi-yuen said the government “has been liaising with the Federation of Students through a middleman” for a direct dialogue on universal suffrage in the 2017 chief executive election.

“Hopefully the dialogue will be forthcoming,” Tam told reporters before a Legislative Council meeting. The middleman has been arranged by Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, he added.

“Dialogue will happen only if both sides have the will to do so. We will respect their [students] views,” he said.

Separately, former civil service secretary Joseph Wong Wing-ping and about a dozen scholars issued a joint statement urging government to resume talks with the students and submit “supplementary reports” to the National People’s Congress.

Wong accused Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying of being “irresponsible” for shelving the dialogue and shifting all the political issues to the police, making the standoff “even worse”.

“The government should show their sincerity with action, and the chief executive should submit a supplementary report including the June 22 vote and the Occupy Central movement right now,” he said.

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