Sleepy watchdogs

By: Paulo A. Azevedo

Founder and publisher

For one reason or another, nobody wanted to know. No-one wanted to ask awkward questions. No legislator has asked the former Secretary for Economy and Finance or the Chief Executive to go to the Legislative Assembly to answer matters related to the loan.

The responsibility for the loan is not from company A or B. They just ask. Who lends is who has to weigh the risks. Is this noise now being made because of a subject which has absorbed almost a decade and which was known? What are people expecting now?

The government may well say that the case is not closed, that it is going to look for ways to get the money back, but we all know they’re empty words. The loan was made irresponsibly and irregularly. Possibly with indications that could have led to a criminal indictment but almost a decade later and either I am mistaken or, as always, the case will have no legal solution.

For the next ‘anomaly’ do the homework and act immediately to punish those responsible for their actions. Do not wait an eternity before everyone pretends to be worried about the mismanagement of public resources. Even for political hypocrisy there should be limits. 

Generous offers

The Secretary for Transport and Public Works has just authorised Tin Fat Gestão e Investimento, Limitada – the holder of a 2,709-square metre land concession in Taipa where the Golden Crown China Hotel is located – to increase the hotel size. It will grow by reducing some 611 square metres of its parking area.

This news is not of great importance. What is amazing – just one of those thousands of billionaire business deals that have been conducted in Macau, understandably without explanation – was the 25-year lease concession in 2004, without public tender, and another in 2007 which permitted today a bigger hotel, allegedly with Conference and Exhibition Centre. I say allegedly because I never saw any conference or exhibition there. But it’s probably me, who doesn’t pay much attention to what’s going on in town.

Like Viva Macau and so many other examples of questionable decisions, much information was published then. But I guess something important must happen – like the proximity of the campaign period – to start digging up the dirt.

Smile, you’re on candid camera

It must be because of this new era of social media, where people spend their lunches and dinners taking photos of their food and associated junk to share online. Good moments, bad moments, silly situations, everything is shared. The cameras are here to stay, everywhere, on every corner of the city, on police uniforms and on the helmets of motorbike riders.

Now video cameras will be installed in special cell units located in Coloane Prison and the Juvenile Correctional Institute. To increase the efficiency of surveillance, they say. And where exactly does this fit into the rights of the inmate to his/her privacy? Surely it is not because of lack of manpower, otherwise the correctional services need not have try to fire all those Nepalese guards.

Is any study conducted by genuine experts (the ones with real knowledge) before some decisions are made?

What about the installation of video cameras in taxi cabs in Macau? Some legislators defend it and for once the government seems to be on the other side.

Privacy, people. You don’t succeed in dealing with some thugs disguised as professional taxi drivers by thinking that installing a camera will solve the problem, do you? And where is the Office for Personal Data Protection during all of this? What a circus!