Space conquest science has been developing new tools to forecast weather with more accuracy, thus giving humanity a better chance to minimize damage and spare lives. However, meteorological phenomena like the South China Sea typhoon season continues to be hard to handle… more so in times of climate change. The idea of linear and cumulative development is challenged, opening to new variables, demanding new equations. And so, we introduce the metaphor.
Four to six typhoons are expected to come within 800 km of Macau, of which one is at high risk of being a super typhoon. Macau people hope that the civil protection measures the government has been putting in place to minimize the consequences of a typhoon landing in the MSAR will be enough to avoid a disaster like Hato; although the fabled Inner Harbor levy still is a working hypothesis.
Macau will do fine with no levy to contain floods, perhaps. But we believe it will do better without that article 25 of the civil protection law on obstruction of public safety, order and peace under sudden public incidents. The Secretary for Security may have corrected the wording of the rumor crime, a grace welcomed by some journalists, but the great number of local reporters in the Macau (Chinese) Journalists Association is eager to scrap the article. This is climate change.
The dialectics of leniency vs moderation we mentioned in this column a fortnight ago cannot convince the media that the law is almost innocuous to press freedom. Why insist on the 25th… if the criminal code already fits the crime?
Even though local press organizations are becoming aware of the negativity of the proposal, the New Macau Association started a campaign to gather signatures against the 25th rumor crime as a threat to media, new media and social media. NMA does not go along with the fable of bad people raising petty questions to smear the good law. On one side we have the idea of sunshine journalism, on the other side we have the idea that the regulatory environment has horror vacui.
After typhoon season, we meet the dead calm season, or the Chief Executive selection. One of the images of Asian authority politics which always amazes foreigners is when an official or an official-in-waiting visits a hierarchically lower department or outpost. TV footage available shows the outside official lecturing the inside official.
It was supposed to be the other way around. The same thought comes to mind, putting the authoritarian code aside, that when we learn that the leading runner to the post of CE, Ho Iat Seng, informed media that besides reaching out to all 400 members of the election committee, he would also “meet” local organizations. One would guess, and guess wrongly, he was to tell local organizations about his ideas to lead MSAR, if not his thoughts on general politics. Ho Iat Seng is about to obtain “comments and suggestions” he will use to compile his “manifesto”.
What is his manifesto about, we do not know yet and we will have to wait for the review of eligibility on July 23rd and the subsequent, quote, campaign period, that will begin on August 10, the high typhoon season. There will be a symposium, organized by the Electoral Affairs Committee, on HIS platform.
If candidates can manage to run and not speak about the selection procedure and politics, the Electoral Affairs Committee plans to release a short video about the election – repeat – election.
Finally, a note on an amazing SCMP piece on “How Hongkongers herbal soup shakedown in Beijing helps explain why local businessmen fear extradition to the mainland.” Felix Chung said legislators tried to have bribery removed from the extradition bill – a complaints system known as dajiaren – as well as forgery.