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Sunday, September 15th, 2019

Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan’s Oral Reply to Parliamentary Questions, 6 August 2019

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by August 6, 2019 Politics

QUESTION

Mr Saktiandi Supaat: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs in light of the volatile situation in Hong Kong (a) what is the Ministry’s advice to Singaporeans who are working on the island; and (b) how many Singaporeans in Hong Kong are currently registered with the Ministry.

REPLY

Minister: Mr Speaker, the protests in Hong Kong commenced in early June 2019. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised Singaporeans to avoid areas where protests are expected to take place. Singaporeans must be mindful that protests even if they are meant to be peaceful may sometimes turn violent with little or no notice. Singaporeans who are residing in or visiting Hong Kong should take the necessary precautions, stay vigilant, observe local laws and monitor developments through the local media and regular updates from the Singapore Consulate-General in Hong Kong.

2 We estimate that there are over 15,000 Singaporeans residing in Hong Kong. We keep close touch with the Singapore community there through our Singapore Consulate-General. Singaporeans in Hong Kong who require consular assistance at any time should get in touch with us. We continue to urge all Singaporeans who travel overseas to eRegister with us. Whenever they travel, Singaporeans should have comprehensive travel insurance.

SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTIONS

Mr Saktiandi Supaat: [Would like to thank the Minister for answering the question. I’ve got two supplementary questions.] Has there been any instances of Singaporeans being affected so far in the separate incidents over the past month or so?

2 Second question about the registrations – those registered with the Ministry in Hong Kong – does it include students on scholarships there, and in other educational institutions there as well, in particular, because a lot of the demonstrators domestically actually emanated from the educational institutions there as well. Thank you.

REPLY

Minister: So far we are not aware of any Singaporeans who have been directly affected or injured. Of 3000 Singaporeans who have eRegistered – it is usually about one-fifth of those who are there – we do not keep track of their activities. The purpose of eRegistration is simply to enable us to be able to reach out to them if we need to provide updated information, or for them to seek assistance from MFA.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of Singapore

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