Forum: HK-style protests should never happen in Singapore

People queue for buses in the Sheung Shui area in Hong Kong on Oct 5, 2019.
People queue for buses in the Sheung Shui area in Hong Kong on Oct 5, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

The Sunday Times reports on the unrest in Hong Kong provide much food for thought (A city pays the price for protests; A family divided, a mum in anguish; This is not the Hong Kong I know, says MTR veteran; How govt supporter became front-line protester; Protests take toll on mental, emotional health, all on Oct 6).

It is true that the months-long protests have adversely affected the mental and emotional health of Hong Kongers.

Seemingly, the ongoing anti-government unrest will continue unabated, and it is difficult to predict or know the aftermath of such a horrendous situation.

There is no denying that the protests have taken a toll on business investments as well as tourism, with many people likely to give Hong Kong a miss during the year-end festive holidays.

The current situation in Hong Kong has set me thinking about Singapore, and how we would cope if we were to fall into such a sorry state of affairs.

As a Pioneer Generation member, I experienced much inconvenience and hardship in the 1950s, when school lessons were disrupted due to violent riots organised by the Hock Lee bus workers and involving Chinese middle school students.

Cars were burned during the riots, which resulted in loss of lives and destruction of public property. Normal life was brought to a virtual standstill in the city.

Singaporeans have come a long way since then, and we can count our blessings that we have enjoyed peace and harmony over the years.

More importantly, we need not resort to staging public protests to manifest our feelings. Rather, we should act within our democratic process even if we do not agree with the Government.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 10, 2019, with the headline 'HK-style protests should never happen in Singapore'. Print Edition | Subscribe