One of Hong Kong’s richest women has made the pro-Beijing business sector’s case against the city’s anti-government protests on the international stage, telling a United Nations meeting in Geneva that she had been threatened not to speak out.
Addressing the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday, Pansy Ho Chiu-king, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Federation of Women and daughter of Macau casino kingpin Stanley Ho Hung-sun, said protest supporters had tried to silence her.
“By speaking out here at the council, I am aggressively chastised by these self-proclaimed freedom fighters who hide behind face masks and anonymous accounts online,” Ho said.
“Vicious threats and provocative remarks have been used to incite harassment and defame me, my family and my businesses in an attempt to silence me in presenting a different perspective of the truth.”
She described Hong Kong pupils as being “indoctrinated” with “police hatred” and into organising mass school strikes, adding: “We will not tolerate child exploitation and we call for the international community to reprimand those organisers and influencers.”
Pansy Ho is the major shareholder in MGM China, which controls one of Macau’s six casino licences, and was ranked 16th on the Forbes list of Hong Kong’s 50 richest people last year, with an estimated fortune of US$4.8 billion. She is the second richest woman in Hong Kong, according to Forbes.
She is also executive chairwoman and managing director of Shun Tak Holdings, the listed property, transport, hospitality and investment conglomerate founded by her father.
Formed in 2006, the Geneva-based council has faced criticism for allowing countries with questionable human rights records to join.
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US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the council last year, with then ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley calling it a “hypocritical and self-serving organisation” that displayed “unending hostility towards Israel”.
Wednesday was not the first time the council heard arguments about Hong Kong’s ongoing protests. In July, pro-democracy Hong Kong singer-songwriter Denise Ho Wan-sze called on the body to terminate China's membership and convene an urgent session to protect Hongkongers, prompting two interruptions by a delegate from Beijing.