The Good Shepherd Centre led by Sister Juliana Devoy and the Vital Voices Global Partnership held a one-day conference titled “Business Leadership to End Human Trafficking & Modern Day Slavery” at MGM Macau this week. The conference attended by a hundred people exposed an international perspective on modern day slavery and also touched on the current situation in Macau. Although the (known) numbers seem to be low here we have to admit that it is an issue and a great deal is covered by layers and layers of “velvet curtains.” The global stats are staggering: an estimated 36 million slaves where 76% of them are involved in forced labor and 24% in the sex industry – 66% of these illicit activities occur in Asia! The Good Shepherd Centre has continuously strived to provide safe homes for girls who have been trafficked from the mainland. Sister Juliana quoted Mother Teresa in her opening speech: “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” After her dramatic role in the domestic violence bill, the Good Shepherd has game.
Li Gang, director of the Liaison Office, recently said measures were in place to monitor gov’t officials who head for Macau to gamble. “Because of measures taken by Macau’s gambling industry, if such officials go gambling, they will be discovered,” Li Gang told the Beijing News. Tough words from he who is being regarded as the “shadow-governor” of the MSAR due to his sometimes borderline interfering comments on Macau affairs. And this week Mr Li reinforced his “cabinet”, bringing on board some of his long-time allies like Zheng Zhentao, from Shaoguan, in Guangdong, which is a huge prefecture level city. Clearly regional integration and much more openness to people’s wishes, Guangdong style, is on the smoggy horizon.
The Transport Bureau (DSAT) chief, Wong Wan, will leave his post in May. Mr Wong has served as DSAT head since the bureau’s creation in 2008. According to Secretary Rosário he leaves for personal reasons. Mr Rosário stated that he would soon make a decision on the matter, stressing that he was pleased with Wong’s performance. Well, we all know that that is a bit of spin. Mr Wong was under fire given the immense traffic troubles Macau has been facing precisely over the period of his tenure. Mr Wong and DSAT have failed to solve major transportation issues from packed buses and dreadful traffic jams to taxi drivers’ abhorrent behavior and Reolian’s bankruptcy in 2013. More recently, Macau streets have been hit by a string of fatal accidents, and although he can’t be exclusively blamed for the bad driving, traffic is under his watch. To his credit, though, another controversial decision resulted in a significant decrease in serious accidents on the Sai Van bridge: the creation of a motorbikes-only lane.[UPDATED]