See More on Facebook

Current affairs, Politics

Hong Kong set for more protest

Hong Kong gears up for more protests over extradition Bill as hundreds gather.


Written by

Updated: June 21, 2019

Protesters began streaming in towards the Hong Kong government headquarters early Friday (June 21) morning, joining others who had camped there overnight after the administration ignored a deadline the previous day to withdraw a controversial extradition Bill.

They have vowed to escalate matters on Friday and cut off access to the roads surrounding the government central offices in Tamar, Admiralty until their list of demands are met.

These include a complete withdrawal of the proposed law – plans for which have been indefinitely suspended – for the June 12 protests not to be categorised as a riot, for everyone arrested for rioting to be released, and for the police to be investigated for abuse of power during the protests.

By about 7.45am on Friday, hundreds of mostly young black-clad protesters had massed outside the Legislative Council (LegCo) building as more gathered.

Student Kenneth Lau, 16, said he was with friends and would “do whatever it takes” until Chief Executive Carrie Lam responds to protesters.

“Why is she keeping quiet? She needs to talk to us and properly explain why police treated students this way last week,” he said, referring to the police’ firing of rubber bullets and tear gas.

The government offices are closed on Friday, in anticipation of street rallies.

Protest organisers read out a letter from a supporter in Taiwan, who also sent over a box of snacks with notes of encouragement.

On social media and posters stuck on glass panels of buildings in the vicinity, the same message echoed – “We do not disperse if the Bill is not fully withdrawn”.

Given that the government has indefinitely suspended plans for the Bill, it will automatically lapse when the current Legislative Council’s four-year term ends in July 2020. But the protesters, who have held several massive rallies since June 9, remain insistent.

High school student Winnie Choi, 16, said on Thursday night that she would return to Tamar on Friday morning to show solidarity with the protesters.

“Although this may not result in any change or get Carrie Lam to have a dialogue with us, it’s better that we come over to see how we can be of help than staying at home and watching things unfold,” she said, referring to the embattled Hong Kong leader who has come under pressure to resign over the protests.

The divisive extradition Bill, mooted in February, was intended to allow Hong Kong to send fugitives to jurisdictions it does not have such agreements with, including mainland China.

But Hong Kongers’ distrust of the Chinese legal system fuelled fears that they could be targeted under this law without receiving a fair trial or human rights protection.

Mrs Lam, who has publicly apologised twice for her handling of the situation, had tried to allay such fears saying the proposed changes initiated by her, and not Beijing, were in line with international norms meant to prevent the city from becoming a haven for fugitives.

Secretary for Security John Lee had said that the proposed amendments were watered down twice and that the government, after listening to public feedback, had put in place additional safeguards.

But many did not accept these explanations and protest organisers say over a million people took to the streets on June 9. At the rally a week later, organisers said two million people marched to demonstrate their opposition to the Bill.

Tensions peaked on June 12 when the Bill was to be tabled for a second reading, with protesters surrounding the government complex to prevent lawmakers from entering.

Violent clashes broke out, with some protesters throwing bricks and metal poles at police officers, who retaliated with rubber bullets and tear gas.

More than 80 people were injured and 32 were arrested. Eight of those arrested were later freed unconditionally.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


About the Author: The Straits Times is Singapore's top-selling newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Current affairs, Politics

Haze: Ministry urges bosses to allow workers to work from home

The haze has affected Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. The Human Resources Ministry has recommended employers to implement flexible work policies during the ongoing haze period and allow workers to work from home. The ministry said the matter was raised at a Cabinet meeting Wednesday (Sept 18), where it is the responsibility of employers to ensure the safety and health of workers. “It is important for employers to carry out risk assessments, take appropriate measures and to determine the need to come to work to ensure risks can be minimised,” the ministry said in a statement Thursday (Sept 19). “Labour laws in Malaysia do not prohibit employers from specifying a place of em


By The Star
September 20, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

After 19 yrs, polio back in PH

The anti-vaxxer movement has done it again. The Philippines is in the midst of a polio epidemic 19 years after it was declared polio-free, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced on Thursday. Polio is a crippling and at times fatal infectious disease. (See In the Know.) Duque said a single confirmed case signaled an epidemic in a once polio-free country. He said a 3-year-old girl from Lanao del Sur was diagnosed with a vaccine-derived polio virus type 2. The Department of Health (DOH) is awaiting confirmation of a suspected case of acute flaccid paralysis (AFP). Rabindra Abeyasinghe, country representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), noted that the type 2 polio virus had not been in circulation for many years and was certified eliminated in the Philippines. Metro Manila, Davao “[S]o the vaccination program that the DOH and other co


By Philippine Daily Inquirer
September 20, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

Over 2 million students affected as haze reaches critical levels in Malaysia

Over 2,000 schools have been closed as a result. Close to two million students in over 2,000 schools will be affected by school closures in several states this week, following the worsening haze condition. A total of 2,459 schools in Selangor, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Kedah, Perak, Negri Sembilan and Sarawak are scheduled to be closed, following the Air Pollutant Index (API) exceeding 200 in these areas on Wednesday (Sept 18). The school closure affects a total of 1,732,842 students, said the Education Ministry in its latest statement on Wednesday night (Sept 18). The schools in Kedah, Perak, Negri Sembilan and Sarawak will only be closed on Thursday (Sept 19), whereas those in Selangor, Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Penang will be closed on Thursday (Sept 19) and Friday (Sept 20). Selangor has the most number of schools closed at 939, and also the largest number of students involv


By The Star
September 19, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

India bans e-cigarettes

The decision has been met with criticism and charges of favouritism. The Union Cabinet’s move on Wednesday clearing an ordinance for banning production, import, distribution and sale of electronic cigarettes and proposing a jail term and fine for its violators evoked mixed reactions among a section of Delhi doctors and other stakeholders. The Centre’s decision was slammed by trade bodies and certain stakeholders related to e-cigarettes, who reportedly alleged that it was a “draconian” move taken hastily in the interest of the conventional cigarette industry. They also charged that the government was depriving people of a safer alternative to smoking. Dr Gyandeep Mangal, senior consultant in Respiratory Medicine, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute, said, “We are glad with the ban on e-cigarettes by Union Cabinet as these are as harmful as regular cigarettes. It is true that e-cigarette doesn


By The Statesman
September 19, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

Rohingyas in Voter List: EC staffers, fraud ring behind it

Electoral fraud sees Rohingya on voting list. A nexus of brokers and some dishonest staffers of the Election Commission’s Chattogram office provides forged national identity cards to Rohingyas, an EC investigation team has found. Three members of the syndicate were arrested on Monday. An EC laptop, used in the forgery, was recovered from their possession, EC Deputy Director (NID) Iqbal Hossain, head of the three-member team, told The Daily Star yesterday. The arrestees are Jainal Abedin, 35, office assistant of Double Mooring Election Office under the Chattogram EC office, Bijoy Das, 23, a driver, and his sister Sima Das alias Sumaiya Jahan, 26, said Mohammad Mohsin, officer-in-charge of Kotwali Police Station. Yesterday, Double Mooring Thana Election Officer Pallabi Chakma filed a case against five people, including the three, with the police station under the Digital Security Act, the OC said


By Daily Star
September 18, 2019

Current affairs, Politics

Japan officially removed from South Korea’s whitelist

Seoul has threatened the move for weeks. South Korea excluded Japan from its export controls whitelist Wednesday in retaliation for Tokyo’s earlier decision to remove Seoul from its list of favored trade partners, as bilateral relations have slumped to the lowest levels since normalizing diplomatic ties in 1965. “The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy has published the revision of the nation’s trade controls on strategic items in an official gazette and it took effect from Wednesday,” said the ministry spokesperson through a statement. Since the Aug. 12 announcement by Industry Minister Sung Yun-mo that Korea would drop Japan as a preferred trading partner, the ministry has completed the necessary administrative steps, such as soliciting opinions from the public and submitting the revised rules to the Office of Legislation for review. “We have received opinions from the public throu


By The Korea Herald
September 18, 2019