Rear Window | Dead calm

Severo Portela

Macau is drifting again on a completely still, dead calm sea of an apparent no pasa nada general mood… apparent indeed. That is to say things are steadily piling up unexplained, or rather over explained in order to keep people unaware of the big picture. No wonder Macau is ripe with rumor; residents feel and fear the water is about to reach boiling point – some do believe the kettle is whistling – in a way they feel compelled to resort to the local version of the three monkeys: can and cannot!

Being impossible to convey all the relevant issues, we should start at the top with the Chief Executive of the Macau Special Administrative Region. Chui Sai On is about to greet the MSAR anniversary calm and secure in his own political performance: he cannot ignore the hushed chorus of those announcing his departure on health grounds, but he can be sure he did, or rather did not do, what he was supposed to.

Let us consider the CE has to leave for an early retirement. Chui Sai On has in place a heterogeneous team of policy secretaries, meaning in this particular situation that some of them are pertinent to that done or to be done, and some of them seem more in keeping with that which was not or is not to be done.

Lionel Leong and Wong Sio Chak are the indisputable doers of the government five. The Secretary for Finance and Economy managed not to be submersed under the weight of the gaming brief, a portfolio of very variable geometry, and took a stroll to take care of the double Economic Co-operation and Regional Integration. As to Secretary Wong Sio Chak, he is the one Secretary to have a true-blue program for the years following the CE’s second and final term.

The rank of non-doers in this approche – and note here that there is no relationship intended with the capabilities of the policy secretaries – goes to the Secretary for Transport and Public Works and Secretary Sonia Chan. The 4th secretary, Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam, seems to be in an intermediate role between the doers and non-doers. On one hand, he is the Secretary Chui Sai On calls to defuse or deflate any spiky situation; on the other hand, Alexis Tam seems to be in charge of keeping residents of the different sectors preventively happy. 

Secretary for Public Works and Transportation, Raimundo Rosário, was the recipient of an infamous portfolio bogged down with all kinds of hurdles. Just for reference is the Light Rail Transit kept in virtual status of big sleep, a Land Law that radically changed its paradigm, and an Urban Regulation fired upon by all kinds of Urban planners, being the more recent of the three circle approche. Dante over our heads!

Finally, the Secretary for Administration and Justice managed to add the non-doer constraint to a propensity to be involved in difficult issues. The revision of the electoral law was born crooked per virtue of its rational, coming from the realm of preventive measures or preparedness to storms; an allusion more adequate to the typhoon season than the controversy of the oath in Hong Kong Legco. The stuff is hot as we can see… as the stuff spills to Long Hair and three other democratic members of the Legislative Council. This is a nightmare… this is automatically a waiver of parliamentary immunity.

To close a bad week for Secretary for Administration and Justice, she candidly admitted to calling the Prosecutor General, currently on trial, to put a kind word in for a relative; we see this is one way of helping Ho Chio Meng to question the indictment.

P.S. For those addicted to courtroom drama, and holidays to entertain, we can recommend some movies, Esquire’s choice: To Kill a Mocking Bird; A Time to Kill; JFK; The People vs Larry Flint. Your columnist prefers My Cousin Vinny; Bananas; A Fish Called Wanda.

Categories Opinion