Our Desk | Best can still be bad

Julie Zhu

Recently, a male principle official from the local government said that Macau is the top city based on the social welfare resources the government provides to children with special needs.

As an individual among the world’s more than seven billion people, I just happen to have one opinion among the potential seven billion interpretations of his statement.

I wonder if he means that Macau is doing a good job or if the job being done to provide help to children with special needs is the best. Maybe he is simply implying that Macau is doing enough for children with special needs… or perhaps he thinks that the Macau government is doing, thus far, the best in terms of the scale of resources deployed to help children with special needs.

No matter what meaning there is behind his words, I assume that he was trying to say that the Macau government is giving a lot to children with special needs.

In my opinion, no matter what, he is wrong.

Being the best does not automatically mean you are good. You can be the best rat among 200 rats, but will still be defeated when facing a cat, even if it is just a weak, slow cat.

Being the best in an exam does not mean you are good. Everyone might have failed and you alone scored 50/100, yet that only means you passed, not that you are good.

What’s more, he was also wrong in the way he bragged about the number of resources allocated by the local government to children with special needs or, as a matter of fact, to any child. He was simply talking from his position, as someone within the civil service. He was, in other words, wearing the demanders’ shoes.

No matter how many programs exist for special children in Macau, these programs, subsidies, treatments, and aids are only curing symptoms, not eliminating what caused the disadvantage in the first place. 

What is the purpose of helping a child with special needs? For me, the answer is to make sure they have as much equality and as much as opportunity as everyone else, regardless whether they are able to seize the opportunities or not.

I have seen and heard about stories of Macau people with special conditions being employed.

However, due to the small number of these cases/stories, I am still surprised whenever I hear about new accounts of someone with special needs striving for his or her own survival in the job market while performing in a “good” or “competitive” job.

I understand this does not happen solely in Macau.

However, should we simply accept this reality? Or should some places start to change that, therefore becoming leading characters and role models?

Macau can definitely become such a place, especially when taking into consideration how wealthy the territory is.

If we consistently help children with special needs, we naturally end up bestowing better survival skills on them, but later on, when they go out, the competition for survival will literally kill them.

If children get help while the rest of the society remains the same, how can the future of these children receive equal treatment?

Is the Macau government doing its best to give children with special needs a future of equality?

Categories Opinion