Just look at the number of mistakes, illegalities, incompetence and irresponsibility with which this case was dealt with from the beginning. And who was involved.
The case of Viva Macau – as Macau Business magazine wrote to exhaustion – reveals what is wrong with the SAR Administration. Decisions are taken in default, even over commonsense, and no-one is blamed. It is absolutely revealing how even today there are officials in the Administration who, through sheer incompetence, force the public treasury to lose hundreds of millions of patacas.
Mistakes with no consequence, or Macau could risk keeping just a handful of decision makers from among the many hundreds who daily have the power to make a decision.
The Industrial Development and Marketing Fund (FDIC) should never have lent money to the privately held company Viva Macau. And never at such a late stage when even a child could see that the company no longer had a future. And the way it did it is inexplicable: apparently without paying attention to the need to safeguard the MOP212 million that it was decided to throw out of the window.
True, FDIC accepted the shareholder of Viva Macau – Eagle Airways Holdings – as a guarantor but then forgot to conduct due diligence into the guarantor liability, allowing the Hong Kong company to escape its responsibilities. If all this does not smell, why is it that so many other decisions nowadays do?
Many of our decision makers do not have the ability to decide. Others, as we have seen, make some reprehensible decisions that are not investigated by the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) just because it remains almost solely dependent upon anonymous complaints. Without the helping hand of those anonymous whistleblowers it is as if there was no corruption.
From time to time, the CCAC launches ‘case studies’ and recommendations about other errors made by the most varied departments of the government that get a couple of articles in the media and the usual phrase from the entities that were targeted along the lines of ‘We’re going to study the possible alteration of the procedures’.
And so goes the SAR. Viva Macau (Hurray Macau), the deceased and the one who survives so much error thanks to the revenues of an industry that the city pretends it does not exist.
*Director of MNA