Civic Party lawmaker and pilot Jeremy Tam says he is concerned that more Hong Kong companies will become targets for China amid the ongoing protests here.
Tam resigned from Cathay Pacific on Tuesday in a bid to end what he described as a political storm surrounding the company, after the airline was asked by mainland authorities to clamp down on employees supporting the anti-extradition protests.
He said on Wednesday that hopefully Cathay Pacific’s operation will be back to normal in a few months.
“I think it’s not only Cathay, I think in Hong Kong the morale is certainly very low at the moment. It’s never been before,” he said. “But I strongly believe Hong Kong people and this company will come out strong.”
However, he warned that businesses in other sectors, including developers, may become the next target – especially those who own shopping malls that previously refused to let police in amid protests.
Tam told RTHK’s Janice Wong that pressure not only comes from mainland authorities, but also the press.
“I would say it’s probably not decided by a single element. It’s just like what happened to the aviation sector before. It started with the press putting a lot of tension on the aviation sector, then subsequently it’s from the government level. So they all link up to each other,” he said.
Two pilots and two ground staff had already been fired for their involvement in the protests, and the company's CEO Rupert Hogg and his deputy Peter Loo also resigned over events linked to the campaign.
Cathay Pacific on Tuesday also confirmed that a pilot who told passengers not to worry about a sit-in protest at the airport on July 26, and ended his announcement in Cantonese by saying “Hongkongers add oil, stay safe” was no longer on the staff. But the carrier did not say whether he was dismissed or had resigned.