HONG KONG - Hong Kong said Friday it will contribute US$5.16 million (S$6.4 million) to a fund that can be used to help the typhoon-stricken Philippines, after drawing fire for sticking to a deadline on sanctions against Manila over a 2010 hostage crisis.
The city's legislative body voted for the injection of HK$40 million (US$5.16 million) into an existing disaster relief fund, boosting its total amount to HK$49 million, which aid groups can then apply for, the government said in a statement late Friday.
"We really want to provide the needed aid to victims affected very significantly by this major typhoon," the territory's chief secretary Carrie Lam said earlier this week.
Hong Kong is insisting that the Philippines offer a formal apology over the 2010 hijacking of a tour bus in Manila by a former police officer which left eight Hong Kongers dead and seven injured.
Its refusal to drop the threat despite the devastating impact of typhoon Haiyan, which has killed thousands and devastated entire coastal communities, has drawn strong criticism from some Hong Kongers and the city's Filipino migrant workers.
"The situation is still the same," a government spokeswoman told AFP on Friday.
Aid for the Philippines has been pouring in from around the world following the disaster, and Hong Kong's stance drew anger from citizens who expressed themselves on bulletin boards and social media.
"This is totally disgusting behaviour... Hong Kong is losing its way," says one person posting on the South China Morning post's website.
"Shame, shame, shame, Hong Kong," said another user.