SINGAPORE — Singaporeans should defer non-essential travel to Hong Kong, while those currently in the city are advised to take necessary precautions in wake of the large-scale protests there, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Friday (18 October).
In its latest travel advisory on the Chinese territory posted on its website, the MFA warned that the protests in Hong Kong have become increasingly unpredictable since June, and could take place with little or no notice as well as turn violent.
The ministry cited three upcoming protest activities that are reported to be happening across the city over the next few days, with road closures and traffic disruptions expected in affected areas.
A rally is set to happen at Edinburgh Place on Saturday evening.
A protest march is expected to be held from Salisbury Garden in Tsim Sha Tsui to West Kowloon High-Speed Rail Station on Sunday afternoon, but protesters are likely to spill into other areas, said the MFA.
Another rally, set to take place on Monday evening, will be held at Yuen Long Station.
The MFA advised Singaporeans in Hong Kong to “stay vigilant, monitor developments through the local news, and heed the instructions of the local authorities”.
Singaporeans should also avoid protests and large public gatherings, and stay in touch with their family and friends, it added.
They are also encouraged to e-register with the ministry so they can be contacted should the need arise. Those who require consular assistance can contact the Singapore Consulate-General in Hong Kong, or the 24-hour MFA Duty Office.
As of 6 August, over 15,000 Singaporeans are estimated to be residing in Hong Kong, with about one-fifth e-registered with the ministry.
In the past five months, Hong Kong has seen unprecedented protests sparked by an extradition bill that would have let people be sent from the territory to mainland China for trial. This has escalated into a broader backlash against the city government and its political masters in Beijing.
Last month, Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, withdrew the controversial extradition bill, one of the protesters' key requests.
But protesters say four others – an independent inquiry into police behaviour, a waiver for all people charged in the protests, removing the characterisation of the protests as "riots", and universal suffrage – must be addressed.
Many protesters have also called for Lam's resignation.
Early this month, Lam, invoked emergency laws for the first time in half a century to ban face masks, hoping to quell protests. However, the decision backfired and the city has since seen some of the most intense unrest to date.
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