For months, Hong Kong has seen mass protests that has only gotten uglier by the day. What started off as objections to a controversial bill to extradite suspected criminals to mainland China has evolved into a movement to vent anger at the government over issues like costs of living and wage disparity.
In its wake, protestors leave a trail of destruction, from vandalising public property to forcing the shutdown of the city’s airport. Many businesses were also shut following the violence. Until recently, the authorities had been rather restrained in containing the chaos. It is only of late that they had been more aggressive, including shooting a teenager student protestor.
There is no telling how long more the clashes between the people and the police will last on the streets of Hong Kong. While damaged property can be repaired or replaced, the impact on the economy and business confidence will take some time to recover.
As it is, retail businesses in Hong Kong had been hit hard by the prolonged violent protests. Tourist arrivals had also dipped while investors adopt a wait-and-see attitude. These only aggravate the economic well-being of Hong Kongers themselves.
As an entrepreneur, stability is key. Without stability, it’d be difficult to plan. In Malaysia, we are lucky that violence of such scale is unheard of. But it doesn’t mean that we should take things for granted because in the past, almost no one could imagine that Hong Kong could descend into such a mess too.