Business tycoon Allan Zeman presented a rosy picture of Hong Kong’s future in an interview with Chinese state media, emphasizing that the city will “only change for the better” amid a sweeping election overhaul and the ongoing suppression of opposition voices.

Zeman, best known as the “founder of Lan Kwai Fong” for his role in developing the entertainment district, made the comments in a China Daily for an article published Tuesday.

From protest to pandemic, “[Hong Kong] totally is able to reinvent itself and that’s always been the beauty of Hong Kong,” Zeman said.

The entrepreneur added that the financial hub would strengthen with “patriots administering” the city.

A prominent member of several government circles and an economic adviser to Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Zeman has many a times voiced his disapproval of radical protests.

Last year, Zeman laughed off the emigration wave sparked by Beijing’s passing of the national security law, which cemented fears among many that the city’s civic freedoms are fast declining.

“I’ve seen this movie before,” the tycoon said, adding that many Hong Kong families who left the city after the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown and before the handover to mainland China—both events that triggered emigration—ended up returning to Hong Kong, disappointed with their experience overseas.

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