Ex-Star boss calls HK protesters rioters, foreign backed

Former Star Media Group CEO Wong Chun Wai. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Former Star Media Group CEO Wong Chun Wai claims that foreign forces are behind the violent protest in Hong Kong that has plunged the city into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

In an interview with pro-Beijing media outlet China Daily, Wong said it was certain that foreign powers were “encouraging” the protest to go on, which has so far seen two deaths.

Now The Star’s editorial adviser, he pointed to activist Joshua Wong’s meetings with leaders from the United States to back his claim.

“He could not possibly make a phone call and say, ‘Hello! Is this the White House? Is this the House of Congress? Can I come over now?’

“That’s not going to happen. How is he able to go to America just like that?,” he said in the interview recorded earlier this month.

Wong said that someone had to organise and pay for Joshua’s trip.

“Who is Joshua Wong anyway? These are legitimate questions people are asking.”

Wong went on to say that all protests were financed and wondered who was financing the one in Hong Kong.

He also labelled the protesters as rioters as they had “set fire to the streets” and attempted to set policemen on fire, as well as destroy and vandalise shops.

He questioned how the protesters would not see themselves as rioters despite such acts.

“Now, you tell me what’s rioting. Explain to me what is rioting. If it is not rioting, what is it?” he said, adding that there was a “great confusion” with those involved in the protest.

Wong, who stepped down as The Star’s group CEO and managing director in January, said while people had rights, they should do it “the correct way”.

The Hong Kong unrest was ignited by a now-scrapped proposal to allow extraditions to the mainland but has since snowballed into a wider movement pushing for democracy and police accountability after Beijing and Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam took a hard line.