OPINION-Loose thoughts

The reputation of this period as the silly season has always been a bit undeserved. Things keep happening; things always keep happening. What also happens is that we need to switch off, pay attention to something else, or nothing at all. Likewise, media outlets feel that pressure, not least because staff favors this season to take a break away from it all. 

Unfortunately, as far as we, Macau residents (or, at least, most of us), are concerned, the period got a fancy new name – staycation. For many, in fact, “at-home-cation.” So, as things keep happening, as usual, we are somehow bound to pay more attention to them, which is unusual. Still, the mood of authors, this one included, is also under the season’s spell. A few loose thoughts can come together, and no more.

Pick, for instance, the sempiternal topic of the Light Rail. Readers may remember that issues popped up when the company published the 2019 accounts (or whatever passed as such.) 

In particular, among other things, it was not clear from where the declared profits could come. The company just operated for free less than three weeks at the end of the year. One of our legislators duly filed a written request for clarification. The government reply came back a couple of days ago. Should this be a “normal” silly season, we might not have noticed. As things stand, we could not avoid noticing. 

Admittedly, we hoped to learn something new, even exciting: how to make profits without revenues. The answer was – no need to hold your breath or roll the drums – somewhat of an anticlimax. If full sense we can make from the media reports, the answer was that the declared profit is, in fact, a benefit that “should not be understood a profit” (QED?). 

Let us put aside that accounting norms define well enough what a profit is and how it should be determined. Further, let us ignore that there are mandatory rules concerning the publication of financial results by companies. Ignore also, for another moment, that the CE published, on the first day of his mandate, specific legislation aiming to make the results and operations of companies such as this one more transparent and accountable. 

Leave all that aside; the answer to this riddle is straightforward. Publish the accounts and other relevant information according to the applicable laws. Nothing could be easier.