Hong Kong’s real estate billionaires have broken silence to show support for the government and call for an end to the massive protest, which has severely hurt the local economy and businesses.
Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong. [File Photo: VCG]
Swire Pacific, one of Hong Kong’s richest family-owned businesses, condemned “illegal activities and violent behavior” and threw its support behind Hong Kong’s government in a statement on Tuesday.
“Swire Pacific is deeply concerned by the ongoing violence and disruption impacting Hong Kong,” the company said, offering its full support to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the city’s police “in their efforts to restore law and order.”
Merlin Swire, CEO of Swire Pacific, is also the largest shareholder in Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s flagship airline that has become a high profile victim of the chaos. Swire expressed its full support for the carrier’s “strict implementation” of new restrictions on the airline.
The statement came as hundreds of protesters crowded into Hong Kong’s international airport, disrupting flights for the second day in a row, causing huge loss for the airport.
Cathay has canceled more than 270 flights over the last two days. Shares in the carrier have fallen nearly 14 percent this month.
A Cathay Pacific Airways Boeing 777-300ER (B-KQE) wide-body jet airliner airborne after take-off. [File Photo: IC]
Property leaders urge protesters to ease off
Sun Hung Kai Properties, controlled by Asia’s third-richest family, the Kwoks, also appealed demonstrators to stop the violence on Tuesday.
The company voiced support for Hong Kong’s government and Lam, calling for the restoration of social order.
Peter Woo, the largest shareholder and former chairman of developer Wheelock & Co., called on protesters to ease off, in a statement published in the Hong Kong Economic Journal.
Woo said: “It’s time to think it over… Opposition to the extradition bill was the ‘big tree’ of this movement. But this one, big appeal was accepted by the government on July 9. So the tree has already fallen.”
Some people are using the issue to “purposely stir up trouble,” he added.