HONG KONG • Hong Kong’s richest tycoon Li Ka Shing defended a national security law drafted by Beijing, in his first comment on the proposal that has triggered fresh protests in the city.
The founder of CK Hutchison Holdings was among several billionaires based in the city who rallied behind the draft rule in statements to local newspapers this week.
“It is within each and every nation’s sovereign right to address its national security concerns,” Mr Li, 91, said in a text message sent by his representatives yesterday.
“We probably need not over-interpret it. Hopefully the proposed new law can allay concerns the central government has in Hong Kong and give rise to a positive outlook from there.”
Mr Li also called on the Hong Kong government to maintain international trust and strengthen its citizens’ faith in the “one country, two systems” principle.
His elder son Victor Li on Tuesday expressed hope that the new law could help Hong Kong stabilise and recover from its social unrest.
A net worth of about US$25 billion (S$35.4 billion) makes the senior Mr Li Hong Kong’s richest person, and the seventh wealthiest in Asia, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Hong Kong’s largest property developers also signalled support for the proposed law in comments to pro-Beijing newspapers Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Pao this week. Sun Hung Kai Properties chairman Raymond Kwok and New World Development chairman Henry Cheng both said the law can create a safe and stable environment for investment and businesses. Henderson Land Development chairman Peter Lee said the legislation can protect Hong Kong’s long-term peace and order.