You betcha HK's losses are Macau's gains

City Talk | Susan Liang 16 Aug 2019

Macau chief executive Fernando Chui Sai-on may not look like a dynamic leader politically, not yet anyway, but he has got laws passed in the right order.

In Macau, the National Security Bill was approved and came into force in 2009 without any major opposition. And so far no one has yet been charged under the law yet.

Chui will step down on December 20 after a 10-year term, but the light-rail system and a public hospital remains incomplete.

And public prosecutors have recently issued a freezing order on 40 properties valued at hundreds of millions of patacas held in the names of former public works director Jaime Carion, his relatives and associates.

But the bird is suspected to have flown to either Portugal or Brazil.

Before the "riots" in Hong Kong caused by the now suspended extradition bill, I understand that originally Hong Kong, Macau and China planned only to deal with extraditions of sentenced convicts like Joseph Lau Luen-hung and Steven Lo Kit-sing in discussions that took place on February 26 in Beijing.

How they ended with Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor's campaign for an extradition bill remains a mystery to me and everyone else, from residents to expatriates.

It also caused alarm in various chambers of commerce.

Lam also tried to rush the bill through in order apparently in order to facilitate the extradition of Chan Tong-kai, who had murdered his girlfriend Poon Hiu-wing in Taiwan, before his expected release from prison in October.

However, any such extradition attempt would have failed any way, since Taiwan is refusing to be treated as a province of China.

The public would regard any independent inquiry into how the administration makes its decisions as interesting and important, and not just its findings on alleged police brutality or alleged violence on the part of protesters.

For now, Macau will, having seen the havoc in Hong Kong, be cautious.

Macau currently only has extradition treaties with three countries: Portugal, Mongolia and Nigeria.

Personally, I think Hong Kong should first tackle passage of the national security law first, which every country has, in line with Article 23 of the Basic Law.

Every weekend these days Macau is full of tourists as well as Hongkongers like me who want to get away from the protests.

Besides, there are endless things to do and see in Macau so those who are stressed out and want to avoid trauma should take a break and go there.

They have a trampoline park in Studio City, musicals in Broadway Theatre, art exhibitions at Wynn Macau and Wynn Palace, pedal boats on Nam Van Lake, and panda bears in a park.

A friend of mine has rented out his apartment in Hong Kong to go live in Macau more cheaply.

As for me, I go to Macau every weekend and relax at Macallan Bar in Galaxy Hotel, where I get a 71-percent discount for my drinks during happy hour on production of my ID card, the rate of discount being determined by your age.

This is to tempt seniors to drink at the bar, so my advice is to get out of the crossfire between police and protesters and get on the billion-dollar bridge to Macau and watch the action on TV instead.

I hope Lam's policy speech in October will include a more practical solution for housing and land problems instead of draining our financial resources and the environment with her artificial dream island.

Susan Liang is a lawyer who likes to speak her mind on issues that concern the man on the street

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