Rear Window | The Fifth Dimension

Severo Portela

The truth is…until former Chief Executive Edmund Ho gave his cryptic reading on the selection of the candidate to replace Chui Sai On at the helm of the Macau Special Administrative Region…almost nobody dared to question that Ho Iat Seng would be the solo runner to the top job, even to the extent of discarding the idea of a sympathy candidate put in place to help the future incumbent shine politically.

With recourse to the fat lady singing, the apparent trust Ho Hau Wah placed in the wisdom of the people – being just those sitting in the 400-strong small-circle selection committee – seemed to have worked as a signal against the status of the CE selection as a unidimensional fait accompli. It thus gives room for a solid alternative to the president of the Legislative Assembly. And that signal (with hesitation, we add) seems to come from a divided opinion on what is needed in a Chief Executive for the next political cycle. Of course, we are not including anyone who does not meet the patriotic criteria, since they would not make the cut.

The new CE is supposed to perform in a complex landscape of soft integration into the PRD, and with special responsibilities to the MSAR’s role in the Greater Bay Area and as a cooperative platform to the Portuguese Speaking world, all the while presiding over the renewal of its undisputed core business.

The question may be simplified to who would you chose to carry the MSAR? A pragmatist like Lionel Leong who makes the most of the national guidelines and overcomes any hurdle within the political framework of “One Country, Two Systems” and within the legislative outlook of the Basic Law? Or a voluntarist like HIS [Ho Iat Seng] who is apparently ready to cultivate the political situation and the regulatory environment in order to perform?

An old soundtrack of 5th Dimension and its “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” comes to mind in an exorcision of the spooky words of the legal mind Luo Weijian and former member of the Macau Basic Law Committee Ieong Wan Chang.

Luo, a UM law professor, says that Macau’s prosperity “stems” from the city`s concept of Loving the Country, Loving the People of Macau. He also thinks that Hong Kong does an inferior job. For example, in not accepting the Central Government’s overall jurisdiction in the SAR, and cites it as the main reason that the strength of Love the Country, Love HK still does not have a dominating position. The same concept (legal, philosophical, scientific, common sense?) explains the success of the executive-led model of Macau. The government’s right to make legislative proposals and the exclusive right to propose budgets are being exercised “through the cooperation between the government and the Love the Country, Love Macau strength within the Legislative Assembly”.

I admit to not grasping this so-called concept, much less its application. But the usual 3-dimensional space comes to mind, like the relativistic “time” being the 4th, and the Fifth Dimension being a theory that unifies everything. Our wonder and inability to grasp continues as we read Ieong Wan Chang’s statement that the fifth CE election will be held and based on the experience of previous elections “we are absolutely confident in this one”… despite, Ieong quotes, that during some of the previous elections “the election committee was not created lawfully, which is a big violation of the constitution”.

A final note to defy the readership to engage in some mind games: could the concept of Love as above mentioned be a substitute for the environmental disgrace and the incapacity to vote in a labor law, made mandatory by the 27th article of the Basic Law and international conventions to which MSAR is party. Legislator Pereira Coutinho is taking to the floor for the … what is it? 10th time in a row?

Categories Opinion