Tycoon Li Ka-shing has urged reconciliation between the government and the protesters to help bring an end to Hong Kong’s months-long social unrest, suggesting that both sides need to be more tolerant of each other.
Young people should look at the big picture of the society as a whole, while government leaders, on their part, can “have mercy” on young people, Li said.
Hong Kong’s richest man made the remarks in Tai Po during an event at the Tsz Shan Monastery which he had helped open in 2015 with generous financial support.
In a video footage circulated online, Li was seen telling a small crowd that he hopes Hong Kong can be peaceful, noting that the city is facing its biggest challenge since World War II.
If the unrest continues, the result will not be good, Li said, adding that he is very concerned about the situation.
The tycoon said he hopes Hongkongers will be able to weather the current storm. Young people should consider the big picture of Hong Kong, while political leaders should work toward providing an opportunity for the youth, the senior advisor of CK Hutchison Holdings and CK Asset Holdings said.
Li made the comments while speaking to participants of a religious gathering at the monastery, where a thousand Buddhists assembled to pray for Hong Kong.
A spokesman for the monastery said Li had said that he could accept neither the escalation of violence seen recently in society nor its impact on the rule of law.
The legendary businessman believes that everyone should treat others as they would themselves, in order to allow co-existence in society.
Mutual understanding is necessary so that Hong Kong can get through the difficult times, Li said, adding that hopes all parties will work toward the benefit of all for the sake of the city.
When asked about Li’s comments, Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that she would not comment on individual remarks.
Lam reiterated that rule of law is an important core value of Hong Kong.
The government insists that acts that are against the rule of law should not receive recognition and support, she said, reiterating the principle of dealing with illegal acts in accordance with the law.
Lam, however, agreed that the government can do more in relation to youth policies, saying that the most important channel is directly listening to young people’s voices.
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