Right Side of Markets
The new security law — imposed in the wake of anti-China protests that convulsed Hong Kong for months last year — targets subversion, sedition, terrorism and foreign collusion.
Advocates argue Singapore has prospered with equally tough legislation covering offenses ranging from sedition to contempt. It is illegal to hold a demonstration without police permission in the city-state, except in the corner of one downtown park.
While these stringent laws have been criticized by rights groups, they have been largely tolerated domestically and escaped global scrutiny.
“Singapore has always made a point of cultivating and staying on the right side of the global markets and the Americans in particular,” Michael Barr, an expert on the country at Australia’s Flinders University, told AFP.
In Hong Kong however, many people have reacted to China’s security law with anger and dismay.
And there has been widespread criticism from Western nations that say Beijing is stripping away the territory’s cherished freedoms. A number of countries have suspended their extradition treaties with Hong Kong, citing concerns about the legislation.
“Beijing has pushed the Americans to cut Hong Kong off from markets,” Barr said.