Bizcuits | Ready, set… abort fire

Leanda Lee

I am in the middle of a malaise of post-holiday blues. The inertia is taking its toll on any focus and drive that I had in last year. 2016 ground to a halt, productivity extinguished and hasn’t got crackling in 2017. I know it’s only been a week but there’s no spark, no fire in the belly. Where is that something to enkindle energy and ignite my soul?

I blame this snuffing out and smothering on the detained New Year’s fireworks. That powerful Macau extravaganza energises us into the new year but alas, not this year, and I remain in that limbo land of the ashes of the old and yet to be committed to resolutions of the new.

What happened to those fireworks? Really, what happened? Incredibly, residents have been requested by MGTO to offer their understanding in such time of disappointment – a quest made rather challenging when scant explanation is but all that is offered.

The blame for the cancellation of the fireworks seems to have been placed with the Guangzhou supplier. Did they get the “New Year” order confused? Did the Gregorian get replaced with an ETA of 27th January? How can an organisation with such a long history of globally celebrated events that include the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai Expo – if reports are to be believed – have their reputation sullied by this apparently simple error of delivery?

Any event of such magnitude is usually painstakingly organised. Arrangements for New Year’s celebrations throughout the world are often commenced a year in advance, with logistics and suppliers well under control, contingency plans in place, invitations issued to VIPs, and peripheral entertainment, restaurants and hotels booked, not to mention the arrangements for champagne-popping parties on private balconies within view. It is not just about the MOP2.2 million fireworks themselves but the flow-on effect to suppliers, visitors and residents alike who look forward to this heralding of the New Year.

As is common in the SAR, when clear explanations are not forthcoming, people make up their own: it’s been suggested that the cancellation was to save money for and build up to an improved big bang for the more significant Chinese New Year, or to ensure 2017 commences smoke-free, and further, if the volume of commentary about the utilisation and obligations regarding payment under the supply and service contract is any indication, there is also implied shenanigans to do with where the money will eventually end up. When a credible account is lacking, trust will diminish. Where there’s smoke there’s fire, so to speak. Not a great way to commence a bright new year.

For me, leaving these holidays behind and creeping towards another year of endeavour, whilst the emails have piled up and the to-do list has expanded, the brain has ceased and seized – some may say deceased, certainly diseased. The holiday hangover is more difficult to brush off this time. Maybe it’s because the normal festivities that mark the period were made incomplete, diminished, of lesser value, and I’ve not been told why.

Enough of cultural self-indulgence; it’s time to move on, or to get with the program. Perhaps it will all work out and activity will be kick-started later this month when the real New Year will be greeted with due festive energy. I hope they get the ETA right this time.

Categories Opinion