HK’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam warns against businesses going on strike over bill to allow extraditions to mainland China

12-Jun-2019 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong’s leader has urged schools, businesses and unions to think twice before going on strike in protest against her extradition bill, saying it would put the future of young people on the line.

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor made the appeal a day after more than 100 restaurants, stores and businesses vowed to shut up shop for a day to allow workers to join the demonstration planned outside the legislature on Wednesday, when the unpopular bill resumes its second reading.

Student leaders at various universities on Tuesday were set to announce their plan for a school boycott, after Sunday’s historic march, which organisers said drew over 1 million people.

Lam has refused to budge on the plan which, if passed, would allow the transfer of fugitives to jurisdictions which the city lacks an extradition deal with, including mainland China. Critics have said it would leave Hongkongers at risk of unfair prosecution on the mainland, where they say fair trials are not guaranteed.

 (South China Morning Post)

(South China Morning Post)

The chief executive called on all sides to think carefully before a strike.

“I hope schools, parents, organisations, businesses and unions consider things thoroughly before advocating any radical actions,” she said. “What good would it do to Hong Kong society… and our young people?”

Lam pointed to the late-night eruption of violence after the Sunday march, where police said they arrested 19 people for unlawful assembly. Officers said another 358 protesters, mostly aged below 25, faced possible arrest for taking part in the clashes.

No civilised society would like to see young people placed on the front line of clashes triggered by policy debates, Lam said, adding that legal consequences could jeopardise their futures.

“It is something I would not want to see as the city’s leader and a mother of two,” Lam added.

She insisted on Tuesday that her government was doing responsible work to push the bill ahead, and she would continue trying to allay public fears.

Liberal Party lawmaker Felix Chung Kwok-pan said the planned strike would not harm the government’s position and could just hit businesses in the pocket.

“I can’t see any actual outcomes from the strike action,” he told a radio show on Tuesday morning. “It will not affect the government but could hurt your own interests.”



Category: Hong Kong

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