Transportation Obstacles

Paulo A. Azevedo

Founder & Publisher

La Palisse. The termination of the contract purchasing additional carriages of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) will help the Macau SAR Government save at least MOP800 million in carriage maintenance fees. Better late then never.

But the head of the Office for Transport Infrastructure (GIT), Ho Cheong Kei, is probably not including in the savings the amount Macau will probably need to pay for breach of contract since Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is entitled to receive MOP380 million. Let’s see how much that compensation clause will be. 

And you noticed that I say Macau will pay, right? Because in the end it is always Macau, not the government or the Chief Executive. The bad decisions are always costly but it’s fine because it is not out of their pockets. And they even get upset with people who criticize such poor decisions, the money splashed around without reason. Clearly a revolution of mentalities is needed but I fear it is too late for that.  

The system rewards the vultures and crushes those who dare think they have the right to indignation. 

It took them years to listen. Buying all those carriages when LRT was (and is) delayed more than a decade made absolutely no sense. Unless, of course, someone – perish the thought – was to gain from the deal.  Why only now? GIT does not explain. Which, for once, makes sense.  

Speaking of transportation . . . 

The criticism has been deafening: nevertheless, people with public responsibilities continue not to give a damn. Not the Transport Bureau, DSSOPT, and definitely not that company called Forehap Parking Management. 

When a private company basically has the police working for them, gets a monopoly – some great businesses continue to flourish in Macau – and sees the government agreeing to raising parking fees fivefold the minimum you would expect is to have a service for the city and all its citizens and users.  

Starting from the basics: c-o-m-m-u-n-i-c-a-t-i-o-n. 

To Forehap – and definitely to some members of the Executive Council, the Legislative Assembly and a small part of the traditional sector that forgot some ancestors entered Macau illegally in search of refuge and begging for help from a foreign government – nothing but Chinese should be the lingua franca. 

Which is why Forehap, apparently, only communicates in Chinese, no matter how many times its parking meters stop working or face other problems. 

Calling their hotline (2875 7925) is more than surreal if someone doesn’t speak Chinese. Forget the Portuguese, that minority language the Basic Law also considers official until 2049. If the government disrespects in this regard, on a daily basis, the city’s mini-constitution, why would a private company respect it? But at least English, right? And here comes the obvious. English because Macau wants to be a world centre of tourism and leisure . . . blah, blah, blah… 


Let’s just do land deals, manipulate some public tenders and forget everyone else because foreigners – no matter what the ID says – should always be grateful to be here and should keep their mouths shut. 

Go ahead, Forehap, make my day. Definitely you’re in a city that deserves your services.