Sham and shame of the blameless game

The statements by legislator Chan Chak Mo – chair of one of the Legislative Assembly (AL) committees – on the exclusion of domestic workers and workers with disabilities from the minimum wage proposal are nothing short of shameful.

To say that four thousand patacas (US$500) a month is sufficient, depending upon lifestyle, beggars belief.

Businessman and legislator Chan – who readily drops 10,000 patacas (US$1,250) for a meal – succinctly expresses the contempt of Macau’s ‘elites’ for those struggling to merely subsist.

That some of these ‘elites’ are still represented in the AL, riding high on an autocratic wave that favours them for the worst of reasons, says something about all of us.

He is neither the first nor will he be the last, legislator to shower such derogatory scorn upon the defenceless and poorly represented. And yet we should acknowledge some merit.

Chan Chak Mo believes what he says and says it without a tinge of irony. Of course, he does so in the full knowledge that the majority of the local population does not care much about the less well off, either, especially if they are non-resident workers. The majority turn their faces and pretend that the issue of those helping generate their wealth they enjoy is of little importance. No compassion, debatable values.

The time when the parents and grandparents of the now-resident swam the Channel of the Ducks to escape the hardships endured on the other side of the border to remake their lives here has conveniently been erased from the collective memory. Why are those who earn only four thousand patacas excluded from a law that should apply to everyone?

Shame on those of short memory – shame on all of us.