MFA advises Singaporeans in Hong Kong to take precautions as city prepares for weekend protests

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised Singaporeans to defer travelling to Hong Kong for now, if it is not required.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised Singaporeans to defer travelling to Hong Kong for now, if it is not required.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans should defer non-essential travel to Hong Kong while those already in the city are advised to take precautions in the wake of large-scale protests there, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Friday (Sept 6).

In a travel advisory posted on its website, MFA said that since June, the protests in Hong Kong have become increasingly unpredictable. The ministry also warned that they can take place with little or no notice, and could turn violent.

MFA cited three upcoming protests over the next few days: one at Chater Garden in Central on Friday evening; general protests on Saturday afternoon that could affect public transportation services and road access to and from Hong Kong International Airport; and another at Chater Garden in Central on Sunday afternoon that threatens to spill over to areas near the United States Consulate-General.

Given the situation, the ministry advised Singaporeans to defer travelling to Hong Kong for now, if it is not required.

Those who are already in the city are advised to take precautions to ensure their personal safety.

MFA advised Singaporeans there "to stay vigilant, monitor developments through the local news, and heed the instructions of the local authorities".

Singaporeans should avoid the protests and large public gatherings, while maintaining contact with family and friends so their safety is known, it added.

The protests that have spanned five months were sparked after the Hong Kong government mooted a controversial extradition Bill that would allow the authorities to extradite people to jurisdictions which Hong Kong has no formal extradition agreements with, including mainland China.

But the protests have since morphed into a broader movement seeking universal suffrage and an independent probe into alleged police brutality.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam's withdrawal of the extradition Bill on Wednesday, which she had hoped would help ease months of unrest, has so far failed to appease some activists.

MFA encouraged Singaporeans in Hong Kong to eRegister (https://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/) with the ministry so they can be contacted should the need arise.