Former Ambassador-at-Large Bilahari Kausikan has continued criticising the protestors in Hong Kong who are against China extradition. In some of his latest comments, he described the protestors as “morons” who are near “the acme of stupidity.”
Last month, on 16 June, Mr Bilahari criticised the protesters and went so far as to say that Chinese President Xi Jinping must act if the protests continue. He wrote: “These HK people have lost all sense of reality. At some point Xi must act if this continues.”
The former diplomat speculated that the people in Hong Kong are “probably banking on” Mr Xi’s possible preference to let relations with the US stabilise before he deals with Hong Kong. Asserting that the demands of the protestors are “impossible” and that Mr Xi “cannot afford to look weak,” Mr Bilahari said: “If Xi’s hand is forced, it will not be pretty.”
“I am sure he would prefer to deal with HK after relations with the US stabilise and that is not going to happen anytime soon. The HK people are probably banking on just that.
“But what they want — which is essentially to separate HK from PRC domestic law in perpetuity — is impossible.
“And Xi cannot afford to look weak precisely because at least in the medium term, he has no good options on the trade and technology front with the US. If Xi’s hand is forced, it will not be pretty.”
Days later, on 21 June, the former diplomat asserted: “If this political trajectory continues, it will not end well for the protestors. While one can understand their frustrations, their actions are self-defeating.” He added:
“Beijing is understandably reluctant to act directly. It has other problems internal and external to deal with. But it cannot stand idly by forever…Xi Jinping and indeed every other CCP leader in Beijing just cannot afford to look weak forever.”
Last week, on 1 July, Mr Bilahari went so far as to use harsh words like “morons” to describe the protestors. Referring to the protestors’ attack on the Legislative Council Building, he wrote: “Almost the acme of stupidity (I say ‘almost’ only because these morons keep surpassing my expectations.).”
In a recent article he wrote for the SCMP, entitled “Harsh Truths for Hong Kong”, Mr Bilahari continued his criticism of the protestors. In the article, he asserted: “I do not know when the demonstrations will end. But I am quite certain about what they will achieve: Absolutely nothing!”
Criticising the people of Hong Kong, he added: “The Hong Kong people are used to thinking of themselves as the centre of their own universe, a delusion perhaps inherited from the British…But what the demonstrators have failed to understand is that Hong Kong is no longer unique.”
Asserting that achieving democracy should not be the goal for the people of Hong Kong, Mr Bilahari said: “What Hong Kong really needs is not more democracy but better governance. Good governance requires political representation, but the terms are not synonyms.”
He added that while Singaporeans sympathise with the Hong Kong protestors, he feels Singaporeans do not do so out of envy. Comparing the sympathy Singaporeans feel for the people of Hong Kong to the sympathy friends feel for friends who wish to take their own lives, Mr Bilahari harshly claimed:
“We watch what is unfolding in Hong Kong with sympathy. But it is the sympathy that one feels for a friend or relative so desperate as to contemplate suicide. This is not something most Singaporeans would care to emulate.”
Read his views in full HERE.