Eminent businesswoman criticizes HK civil service

By Chen Qingqing and Bai Yunyi Source:Global Times Published: 2019/11/3 23:53:40

Prominent businesswoman criticizes civil service

Annie Wu Suk-ching in an exclusive interview with the Global Times on Saturday Photo: Chen Qingqing/GT

The Hong Kong civil service needs to reflect on its lack of ability to manage the current crisis, as some civil servants showed up in recent protests that have been heavily weighing on the city's future, said Annie Wu Suk-ching, an influential Hong Kong businesswoman. 

Some civil servants "do not know how to handle crisis, they don't have the ability or experience in dealing with it," Wu told the Global Times in an exclusive interview during the 6th China Inbound-Outbound Forum 2019 held in Beijing over the weekend. 

Wu, an advisor to the Hong Kong Federation of Women (HKFW), gave a speech at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in September, harshly criticizing the violence and mob-like activities conducted by Hong Kong rioters, who are often referred to as "peaceful protesters" by Western media. 

Due to her political stance, many shops and stores owned or franchised by Maxim's Catering have been vandalized by rioters during recent protests, as Wu is also the daughter of James Tak Wu, founder of Maxim's Catering. 

"Some government employees, who claimed that they are politically neutral, only care about their own jobs. Some even take part in anti-government protests, which has become a major problem," she said. 

An employee of the Chief Secretary for Administration was arrested on Thursday during a clash in Mong Kok, where rioters set fires, damaged public property and blocked roads, according to local media reports. This was not the first time that civil servants have taken part in rioting activities. 

An employee from Hong Kong's Immigration Department, and a Customs employee have reportedly been arrested for participating in protests. 

"It's now up to the Hong Kong Police Force to end the violence and chaotic situation, but the ability of the police is also limited," Wu said. 

Months of anti-government protests, which have become increasingly violent, have been heavily weighing on the city's prospects, taking a toll on sectors such as tourism, retail and services. Its latest economic data showed that GDP in the third quarter shrank by 2.9 percent year-on-year, dragging Hong Kong into recession.

With brainwashed young demonstrators working against the interests of their motherland, Hong Kong will experience downward economic pressure for at least three years due to the ongoing riots, Wu warned. 

Radical protesters time and again illegally occupied streets, vandalized stores and shops, attacked police officers with offensive weapons such as Molotov cocktails and bricks, forcing many businesses to cease operations in the city. "The fourth quarter's economic performance will be even worse, as will the outlook for early 2020," she said. 

There have been growing fears over Hong Kong's security situation, scaring away foreign investors, she added. "When the economic condition deteriorates, it will take a long time to recover." 

Talking about her experience in speaking out against violence in Geneva, Wu harshly criticized many Western politicians for not having objective views on Hong Kong, and only caring about their own political futures. 

"They are defaming Hong Kong and attacking the mainland so they can gain more votes in elections," she said, noting that Western media, along with some local Hong Kong press, have been smearing the city and distorting narratives in their reporting on the matter.

"The government has never looked into the problem of educating young people, [understanding] national identity, and respecting the country," Wu said, noting that with economic problems, young people have been brainwashed by social media to be anti-government, anti-establishment and anti-China. 

She noted that this is not an easy problem to solve, adding "I think we lost two generations of young people now." 

Newspaper headline: Riots threaten to put HK into recession

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