Linking to a news article that describes how Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has become a social media hero in mainland China following his recent remarks on the Hong Kong protests, US Senator Rick Scott has publicly criticised PM Lee for siding with “Communist China” and “shaming the brave people of Hong Kong.”
Last month, PM Lee said that Singapore would be “finished” if Hong Kong-style protests took place in his country. Speaking at the NTUC National Delegates’ Conference, he said:
“If it happens to us, like what’s happening elsewhere, we will suffer the same consequences as the other [places], only worse because we are that much more vulnerable.
“It would become impossible to govern Singapore, to make and carry out difficult decisions, or to plan for the long-term good of the nation…Confidence in Singapore would be destroyed. I think Singapore would be finished.”
Chinese state-owned publication Global Times newspaper picked up PM Lee’s remarks and posted a clip of PM Lee’s speech on its Twitter page, which quickly went viral with Chinese social media users praising the Singapore PM’s approach to governance.
The mainstream media in China also covered PM Lee’s comments at the Forbes Global CEO Conference, where he said that the Hong Kong protesters’ demands were intended to “humiliate” the city’s administration and that acceding to the demands was unlikely to solve the deep-seated issues in the region.
The protesters have demanded an inquiry into alleged police brutality; withdrawal of the China extradition bill; full amnesty for those who were arrested during the protests; the retraction of the classification of protesters as “rioters”; and full universal suffrage in Hong Kong.
Asserting that solving Hong Kong’s deep-seated social issues require political courage, 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.”
US Senator Rick Scott has since lambasted the Singapore head of government for siding with China and “shaming” the Hong Kong protesters. In a tweet published on Friday (15 Nov), the senate representative for the state of Florida wrote:
“Singapore’s Prime Minister is so concerned with his deals with Communist China that he is shaming the brave people of Hong Kong for fighting for their human rights. This is shameful! The global community should stand together against human rights violator President Xi.”
This is not the only time the Republican politician has expressed support for the Hong Kong protesters. A vocal critic of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the senator said in a subsequent tweet: “What’s happening in Hong Kong is not an abuse of Democracy, it’s Democracy in action! The people of HK are teaching the CCP what Democracy looks like.”