Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, who founded the popular Apple Daily newspaper and is an outspoken pro-democracy activist, said that the enactment of the new security law meant that “Hong Kong is dead”.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Lai said: “It’s worse than the worst scenario imagined. Hong Kong is totally subdued, totally under control.”
Lai predicted that many of his fellow pro-democracy activists would be scared into submission by the law, where anyone suspected of taking part in subversive, secessionist or terrorist activities, as well as colluding with foreign forces to intervene in the city’s affairs, could face a maximum punishment of life imprisonment. In some cases, mainland China will assume jurisdiction and suspects could be sent there for trial.
“We will have to see how many of us are left in the fighting camp,” he said. “This is going to be a very different society. I don’t think Hong Kong people, who are used to freedom and rule of law, will be able to adjust.”
Lai predicted many people would leave but said he had no intention of moving abroad for safety.
“I cannot (leave). If I leave, not only do I disgrace myself, I’d discredit Apple Daily, I’d undermine the solidarity of the democratic movement.”