By Paulo A. Azevedo
Founder and Publisher
The government will study the adoption of legislative measures to increase the regulation and transparency of public capital companies. So there will be greater monitoring by society, said Secretary for Economy and Finance Lionel Leong in the Legislative Assembly.
Better late than never. And it is hoped that the study will progress and not be lost in some limbo.
It goes without saying that over the years nobody wanted to know about this huge problem. For reasons that are easy to guess. For decades, many people have taken advantage of the lack of transparency that surrounds public capital companies.
It is not just ignorance of the amounts spent and the way they are spent. Contracts, awards, etc. It is the apparent impunity in the face of incompetent, irresponsible decision-making and other factors that could have criminal consequences.
Everything covered by the darkness of ignorance that has been promoted – at least by inertia – by political power, which should have as its main concern the protection of the assets of the community.
Lionel Leong now promises to put an end to this issue. We hope so. It will certainly weigh heavily in his favour. Let’s see. After all, this government’s term concludes within a year – and as yet nothing is known of the composition of the next.
Punish instead of educate
It is the weapon of the ignorant and the lazy. From governments that know that their citizens behave like cockroaches and that instead of educating them they simply impose restrictions and fines.
See for example the state of driving in Macau.
It is rare to find someone who knows what the traffic rules are. From taxi drivers to police. Starting with driving schools.
In Macau people drive on the right side of the road when it should be on the left; the stop signs are worth what they are worth, little or nothing; and the pedestrian walkways do not help pedestrians much. Probably because the latter also don’t know how to use them and don’t command the respect they should from drivers.
People drive badly in Macau and no one apparently wants to know. Instead of starting effective campaigns, more cameras and speed limits are put in place. As if a hit at 60 km an hour killed less than one at 80.
When the last director of the Traffic Affairs Bureau (DSAT) took office I met with him and suggested decent road campaigns. Not just ads on this or that bus.
I received a smile in response. Years have passed and I expect the smile continues – as big as the lack of dexterity of motorists and motorcyclists. Enormous as the lack of political will to ban buses that are made for China to travel in Macau, with the doors opening dangerously onto the streets instead of to the sidewalks – because on the Mainland you drive on the right side (which may explain why it has also begun to be more the case in the SAR).
And since we continue to be ashamed to invite international experts in planning – be it road, urban or other – Macau continues to go as it can, with the intelligentsia at its disposal, to the pace we are accustomed to. Slowly. With many mistakes and exploitation, silences and lack of supervision like the one surrounding the public capital companies. The same ones Lionel Leong has now vowed in the little parliament to fix. We’ll see. After a scientific study. If there is time and the next government is still interested in pursuing it.