HONG KONG — Jackie Chan’s Tweets about the Manila bus hijacking have drawn a barrage of Internet attacks in his native Hong Kong, which lost eight residents in the tragedy.
An armed former police officer seeking reinstatement commandeered a bus carrying a Hong Kong tour guide and 20 tourists in the Philippine capital on Monday. He released several children and elderly hostages early on, but later opened fire on the remaining hostages after a daylong standoff with police, killing eight before being shot by a police sniper.
Outraged Hong Kongers have criticized the Philippine government for acting too slowly.
But Chan, Hong Kong’s most famous celebrity, has taken a more diplomatic tack, suggesting in comments through his Twitter account that the Philippine police faced a tough dilemma.
“If they killed the guy sooner, they will say why not negotiate first? If they negotiate first, they ask why not kill the guy sooner? So sad,” the veteran action star wrote on Wednesday.
He also urged Hong Kongers not to direct their anger at Filipinos living in Hong Kong. Tens of thousands of Filipinos work as live-in domestic helpers for Hong Kong families.
The comments did not go down well with his compatriots. Facebook users quickly set up three groups called “Jackie Chan doesn’t represent me” and drew a slew of sharply worded attacks.
“Shut up! Hong Kong people don’t need you. You side with outsiders and not your own. You will face karmic retribution for your disrespect for the victims,” Iris Yau said.
“He just doesn’t understand the pain of Hong Kong people,” Violet Wing wrote.
Edward Tang, a publicist for Chan, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Chan has a history of making controversial comments.
He caused an uproar last year by saying at a business forum it may not be good for authoritarian China to become a free society, saying freedoms in democratic Taiwan and Hong Kong — which enjoys some free elections — made those societies “chaotic.”