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Umbrella Movement youth act like “spoiled brats” – Jim Thompson, founder of Crown Worldwide

Mr Thompson had some harsh words for Hong Kong's young democracy supporters.

Jim Thompson doesn’t hold back on Umbrella protesters, university students.


Jim Thompson is not one to mix words and he played it straight at the new Consulate General of Ireland in Hong Kong, with tough talk for Umbrella protesters and university students.

During the Q&A session at an event co-hosted by the Consulate General of Ireland and the Irish Chamber, Mr Thompson was asked how he viewed the Umbrella Movement that shook Hong Kong last year. He did not have many kind words for Hong Kong’s youth.

“First of all, I think they’re acting like spoiled brats.” he said. “I think of when I arrived here. people lived in tin shacks, they stole electricity and water just to survive, and those were the grandparents of a lot of these kids. They’re now in university, wanting a lot handed to them. That’s one side of it. “

“I started with a thousand bucks, and nothing else. No experience or whatever. Maybe my case is unusual but if you really want to make something of your life, you start out that way and you work your way up.”

Mr Thompson also had some harsh words on the events happening in the Universities and in LegCo. “Honestly, I see these kids doing things in Universities, sort of a rebellion, I don’t have much patience for that. They’re there to get an education, not to manage Hong Kong,” he said. “I’m not so happy with the way LegCo runs, I think it’s starting to stall the development of Hong Kong. When the Brits were here they made things happen, and now it’s a debating society, and a lot of this stuff gets held.”

James E. Thompson is the Chairman and Founder of the Crown Worldwide Group of Companies. He is 75 this year and has a net worth over USD 1.27 billion according to Forbes.com. After establishing his company in Japan in 1963, he moved to Hong Kong in 1978 where he currently resides. Mr. Thompson was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star in 2003 by the Hong Kong Government. During that same year, Mr Thompson, as the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce, was initiated and co-organised the massive Harbourfest concert festival. The event resulted in massive cost overruns, and both the Government and AmCham were heavily criticised. Mr Thompson has been part of many Government committees and councils.

Michael Wong

Michael Wong has a background in journalism in Canada and Hong Kong, including stints in print and radio media. He has worked with Metro Radio and CKMS Radio. He also has experience in PR and operations management with Franklin Templeton Investments and community based organisations in Hong Kong, Canada and mainland China. He majored in Political Science and Economics and minored in International Relations at the prestigious University of British Columbia after graduating from St. Paul's College, Hong Kong.

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