Home | Opinion | Editorial | High anxiety

High anxiety

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font
image Paulo Coutinho

1. As I stated last week, ideas and plans are popping up from within the mainstream to radical forums to cope with some of the most pressing problems affecting Macau; high-density housing being on top of the agenda. And it seems mainstream forums (Legislative Assembly) are providing more radical ideas than the labeled radicals (activists).
Yet again, I have to call upon legislator Song Pek Kei whose radicalism is polluting the polluted air we breathe - which apparently she doesn’t want to share much.
Let’s believe, as she says, she is not racist. Fine. The problem, Ms Song, is that in politics what you are is not as important as what you look like.
Although Song may not profess racism as an ideology, she sure looks like she supports it by implying foreigners are at the heart of the high-density problem in the city and they should move out. Non-resident workers (NRW) fill public spaces and occupy houses thus contributing to rent inflation, Song stated in the Assembly, while elaborating on her pioneering idea that NRWs should move out to Zhuhai and commute to work in Macau.
The fact that Song herself is a second-generation immigrant (fluent in English and Portuguese) and all the while voicing anti-immigrant slogans is not necessarily surprising.
This type of xenophobic discourse from established immigrants towards newcomers is more common than not around the world. The former simply don’t want to share their newly acquired privileges and wealth based on the principle that resources, money, jobs are always limited. Even in the land of the pataca where, as the saying goes, money grows on trees.
Not only immigrants are at stake and are to commute.
Residents too.
And that leads us to the rhetorical question Jason Chao posed to our readers yesterday: What is the true motivation behind developing Hengqin? Says he, “It looks like they are suggesting that Macau citizens could consider living outside Macau. It removes the responsibility of providing enough housing units in Macau.” I think this (conspiracy) theory is based on the “high limits” gaming strategy. One raises the table limit to get rid of skinny pockets and give room to a more financially endowed clientele. Applied to local residents, the strategy is plain and simple: Macau is (to be) for rich people. All the others should commute.
The question is: who are ‘they’? ‘They’ are the power, the establishment.
And they - like Mel Brooks’ character in his “High Anxiety” 70s movie - are all just afraid of heights. The problem with anxiety is that, when this illness is severe, “the road to recovery may be longer and more complex the longer a condition remains entrenched.
They know action needs to be taken, just not what it should be. Errors, like we have seen these last 2 weeks, will be made.
2. Speaking of recovery. The Macau government has apparently recovered from the aftershocks of the China-Philippines diplomatic row and announced a MOP5 million donation to the typhoon-affected areas in the neighboring country.
Good to hear that, because in these cases it is truly better late than never. But it looks like it comes as a reaction to criticism or instructions from higher places, something that is indicative of a lack of leadership and vision. Chief’s weakness? 

Tagged as:

No tags for this article
  • Email to a friend Email to a friend
  • Print version Print version

Subscribe to comments feed Comments (0 posted)

total: | displaying:

Post your comment

Please enter the code you see in the image:


Responsible Right of Expression — In the interest of freedom of expression, coupled with a true sense of responsibility to encourage community dialogue, the Macau Daily Times offers its readers the opportunity to express their opinions on new-related matters through this website. All opinions are welcome. However, we reserve the right to remove comments that are deemed to be obscene, or are merely insults written under the cloak of anonymity. MDT