Rear Window | Coming of age

Severo Portela

At first glance, we would not dare to say that MSAR was clearly roaring its engines and taking the fast lane to race towards its 20th anniversary in 2019. Given, and allow us the exaggeration, the continuity of the government sectorial policies better known by its Portuguese acronym, LAG.

But if we look deeper into that apparent inertia, whose motto could be addressed as frivolous dejá vu, change, gradual change, has been happening. If not quietly, perhaps unnoticed or not noticed enough! To not save us the obligation of proving the above, we ought to point to the slow retouching of the judicial realm. Definitely, persistently and more than that sparsely, MSAR has been picking areas for the application of redundancy procedures. Despite the evidence, MSAR can backtrack when dealing with the protection (so they say) of conflicting rights. Apparently that is and was the case with the Civil Protection Law.

Keeping away, for the time being, from the evaluation of change itself as good, bad or anything in between, we would rather look to the big picture concerning the MSAR. That is, at 20 the MSAR will no longer be able to play the history card, claim inexperience, or cry when sailing in uncharted waters.

China is opening all its doors to Macau and is providing all the tools necessary for the MSAR to move towards its 20th anniversary and the years to follow. It is a chart of guidelines, not a roadmap, which is for people of Macau to draw.

Speaking at a reception hosted by the Macau government to celebrate the establishment of the SAR on Dec. 20, Chui Sai On delivered a not-so-usual important speech, indeed, echoing not only the general call to participate in the national reform strategy and introduction of new opening-up policies, but also underlining the imperative principle of “serving the country´s needs, delivering Macau´s strengths.”

That is to say the Chief Executive, we understand, was saying it is not enough to deliver a speech, Macau itself has to deliver. MSAR has to follow the charter Xi Jiping disclosed when he received the MSAR delegation in November in Beijing, under the designation of the four aspirations for Macau. Chui reiterated the “four aspirations”: to play a more active role in the nation´s reform and opening up process, to diligently integrate its development with the country´s overall progress, to make greater contributions to the country´s governance system, and to facilitate people-to-people exchanges at an international level.

At this point, what is open to commentary, analysis or mere reading, is the apparent contradiction between Xi’s evaluation, as delivered by the CE, when he says the region is both trusted and valued by the mainland’s top official and the quality and quantity of the workload designated for the four aspirations. How should we take it? Are there things to do, or things to keep on doing?

Chui did not elaborate on the four aspirations or the final year of his second and final term in government, other than mentioning the electoral process coming soon. Something like the process will be handled according to the law. We say that is the question… no bona or mala fide intended!

Categories Opinion