Jack Black

  jackblack01Carlos Marreiros continues to show that he is the greatest promoter of the idea of transforming the São Lázaro district into a creative industries center. This week Albergue SCM opened a Mio Pang Fei exhibition, one of the many events organized by the institution that Marreiros heads. Both an artist and a promoter, the Macanese architect is also involved in designing several buildings in Macau and Hengqin. This week he revealed details of a project to expand the St Francis Barracks, where the Secretariat for Security is based. The project brief is to maintain the 17th Century structure but to add sorely needed space for workers. Also this week, Marreiros voiced a vote of confidence in the dynamics of the new government, an “incursion” into hard politics that may signal a comeback of the renowned architect to the power game.

jackblack02Jason Chao announced this week his involvement in the founding of (yet) another group that refers to itself as “UMac Watchdog.” The tireless activist-cum-journalist said that the goal of the group is to exert external pressure on the University of Macau administration, and to monitor the university to ensure it protects the public interest. Chao explained it was formed as a result of the recent controversies surrounding UMac. They include the university’s alleged attempts to hide or to downplay various scandals, ranging from complaints of sexual harassment to the alleged suppression of academic freedom, as well as Rector Zhao Wei’s alleged disrespect of the media. Despite the merits of the initiative, this replication of Chao may have dubious effects.

jackblack03Macau, which has driven profits for Wynn Resorts since 2006, caused a steep decline in the company’s fourth-quarter earnings, and its local operation’s revenue for the year 2014 shrank more than the sector overall. Even though Chairman Steve Wynn claimed the results “didn’t surprise anybody” it’s obvious that “the smooth operator” is the most hurt by the VIP/anti-corruption crackdown. If this presents no surprise to Wynn, well, China may do: “China remains a big question mark,” Wynn said. “We have more questions than answers.” Maybe that’s why Steve spoke so enthusiastically about his projects in the US, and of the investments of Asian operators, such as Genting and Melco Crown, on the Vegas Strip. Has “the Macau boy” got the Macau blues?

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