Photo/IllutrationHong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s husband, Lam Siu-por, second from left, does not clap when the patriotic Chinese song “Ode to the Motherland’’ is played at a party marking the 20th anniversary of the handover of Macau on Dec. 19. (From footage of China Central Television)

HONG KONG--The husband of Carrie Lam, the Hong Kong chief executive, did not clap along with a patriotic Chinese song during a ceremony, drawing online comments that he has joined the pro-democracy protest movement.

Lam Siu-por, a Hong Kong native and mathematician with British nationality, kept his hands crossed in front as the song, “Ode to the Motherland,’’ was played at a Dec. 19 party to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the handover of Macau.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was in attendance at the event held in the former Portuguese territory.

The scene, broadcast via China Central Television (CCTV), showed the other attendees, including Carrie Lam, clapping their hands in unison and singing the song while her husband stood still in the front line.

Pro-democracy advocates on the internet viewed Lam Siu-por’s actions at the event as a silent protest against the Chinese government.

Many compared him with the young protesters who have faced the brunt of police crackdowns in Hong Kong, calling him a “brave fighter on the front line.”