Jack Black

jb01-echo  The government has appointed Echo Chan to replace Rita Santos as deputy secretary-general of Forum Macau, the Official Gazette announced this week. It’s a clear promotion for Ms Chan who has served as executive director of the Macau Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), and as president of the Guangdong-Macau Traditional Chinese Medicine Technology Industrial Park and Macau Investment and Development. Having in mind her long experience in international trade, Echo Chan seems to be a good choice to take trade cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking countries to the next level. And, yes, Ms Chan is (also) fluent in Portuguese.

jb02-echoCNY week visitors went up 3 pct overall and 5-6 pct originating from the mainland. These fluctuations met MGTO estimates, according to Helena de Senna Fernandes, head of the tourism department. Although the crowds make life impossible around town for most of us this time of the year, the fact of the matter is that slightly over one million visitors is a blessing to local businesses, more so when they are each spending less. Ms Senna Fernandes said that the government is working hard to provide a better environment for tourists and at the same time minimize the impact on residents and that the 24×7 new border checkpoints helped “mainland visitors to come in different time slots.” We have to say that conditions downtown improved a bit compared to last year; this time tourists were not treated like “cattle”, if only they would abolish the whistle. It’s very annoying and also uncivilized.

jb03-echoJason Chao and Sulu Sou departed from the founding-fathers of the pro-democracy association ANM, apparently for good. They called the old ANM a “fan club” of veteran lawmakers Ng Kuok Cheong and Au Kam San and criticized the archaic funding methods of the association. Mssrs Chao and Sou may be right about the need to modernize the way the pro-democrats fund and position themselves in the political arena. The young activists want the association to be seen more as a political movement, with constant intervention in current affairs outside the Legislative Assembly. There is nothing wrong with an altercation, especially in a group of pro-democracy advocates. But seen from outside, the dissension may be opportune for the detractors of democratic reforms. A clear split.

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