Rear Window | Courtesy call

Severo Portela

Now it is completely official. TUI acknowledged the easy to tally 400-vote small-circle method to select the new Chief Executive. 392 of the 400 happened to cast their votes for the solo runner Ho Iat Seng, giving Chui Sai On’s replacement an almost unanimous label. And that is about all the discomfort civil society has been feeling as the small-circle ballot takes place, while resenting not being allowed any sort of political development. Now it seems totally irrelevant to propose the mere expansion of the selection committee by a hundred or two.

The freezing of the MSAR´s political development towards universal suffrage, now more than ever, given the heated exogeneous environment of the civic and political unrest across the Pearl River Delta, seems excessively cautious, worse, undeserving of a wise, law-abiding, Basic Law-loving population which is longing only to play by the rules written down in the Basic Law.

For once, we should say, the unorthodox grace period – indeed, more like a deferral term – the CE-elect faces from the ballots until being sworn into office on December 20th can be a blessing to Ho Iat Seng. Ho is given additional time to assess the true zeitgeist in the MSAR, not the outlook fabricated by those unorthodox consultation methods: replacing the tailoring with hearing directly from the community.

Secondly, Ho is given the time and space to watch as a CE-elect, free from duty, as the Hong Kong crisis unrolls step by step, and how its soft ripples reach quiet Macau. If we may resort to colorful typhoon lingo as metaphoric aid, we would say that all goes well in Macau whenever tropical storms like “Podul” blow heading to Vietnam, leaving MSAR unscathed. No harm intended, of course.

Besides the grace period, which we characterize as a deferral, Ho Iat Seng enjoys a de facto political hiatus, in which he can address issues less formally, meet persons of interest in that persona of the soon-to-be, while drafting the grand lines of his program. As an example of the benefits of that exchange, we believe the meeting with the Sulu Sou democrats stands out as a model of interaction…albeit in the realm of the good intentions and future deeds.

Anyway, Macau democrats (NMA) played their role, openly abiding by the real politik of accepting Beijing’s role as first and foremost in the development of the SAR political profile, but – and a big but – the first step must be initiated by the MSAR government. Bona Fide hopes from the New Macau Association are for the next CE to hasten the reports to Beijing in order to have a roadmap for the reform of the political system.

Rushing to fulfil their part, NMA, through lawmaker Sulu Sou is asking the government to respect the results of the online poll on universal suffrage. A few thousand voters were for universal suffrage by 93.9%. How many in the small-circle committee would vouch for universal suffrage?!

To shorten the argument, SAR is ripe to understand that today the local democrats do not and will not address things not related to Macau and which are not under the purview of the Basic Law. We do not call upon liberals to question Chinese sovereignty or China’s political system. The matter is a given for the Macau Special Administrative Region as it is the Basic Law.

Our final notes go to the rude alleged breach of the law which police officials had to undertake to avoid a hypothetic demonstration of support of Hong Kong. That is to say, is it that the Police construe the reading of the constitutional law and political evaluation before engaging in law enforcement?

Then there is the Singaporean outburst to collectively diminish Macau’s people as submissive, spineless, or worse, what could be worse? And, then some late summer readings on bitter transformative satires one can find in Alberto Moravia “The Conformist” (Il Conformista) and a play by Ionesco”. Civil Society degrades under hegemonic pressure.

Severo Portela

Categories Opinion