Macau (MNA) – A provisional protection zone within the scope of the heritage classification procedure of the shipyards in Lai Chi Wun in Coloane was defined by the Macau SAR Government on Wednesday.
According to a dispatch in the Official Gazette, Secretary for the Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chong Veng ordered the delimitation of the zone, of which a map has been published in the appendix (picture).
Speaking to MNA, the President of the Lai Chi Wun Villagers Association, David Pinto Marques, said he was pleased with the decision, remarking that the zone defined in the dispatch covered a “large area, including the former cement factory,” while representing “the natural boundary historically defined for the zone.”
Asked about the reasons motivating the MSAR Government to use the term ‘provisional’ in referring to the shipyards’ protection zone, Mr. Pinto Marques said that it could be a measure to allow time for assessing the situation fully – “to touch the water and see,” so to speak.
In declarations to media during an event today held to mark the kicking-off of the Year of Gastronomy in the city, the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam Chon Weng, claimed he believes the project for the safeguarding of the shipyards could be “put to public consultation still in January.”
Regarding the recent information provided to MNA by Macao Tourism Government Office (MGTO) that the Macau SAR Government is still considering relocating the Wine Museum facilities to the former power plant located in the roundabout of Lai Chi Wun, at Rua dos Navegantes, the president of the association said that the option “makes sense” taking into consideration a “walking tour map of the area” which historically follows that path.
He added that the eventual opening of the museum on the suggested site would undoubtedly increase human traffic in the area, which is not currently “popular.”
Reconstruction efforts recognised
The dispatch was published the same day a ceremony was held in the village to acknowledge a group of people and entities that supported the reconstruction of the area struck by the passage of Typhoon Hato on August 23, 2017.
A representative of the Association, in charge of daily matters on the ground, Loi Sai Mui (pictured), received construction workers, Sands China, a casino corporation, and members of Dragone, the technical team with the House of Dancing Water – a show at City of Dreams (Melco Resorts & Entertainment) – which had volunteered to help repair the village.
In addition to the material damage caused to households, a shipyard structure was completely destroyed by the violent winds and storm that assaulted the city nearly five months ago.
Mr. Pinto Marques said assistance was provided to conduct repair of the interior and exterior of houses, including the reconstruction of walls and roofs.
He highlighted that the villagers counted on the support of the private initiative as it resulted in “faster” action than support from the public sector, which has “not touched the private areas, but mostly roads and common areas.”
Although the government did not take long to act on “the cleaning and disinfecting of the zone” in the aftermath of the typhoon, the president pointed out that “the overall reaction was a bit slow,” although conceding that he could understand.
“It was the whole city which suffered,” said Mr. Pinto Marques.
(updates add fifth paragraph with declarations from the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture about the safeguarding of the shipyards)