To have or not to have art for everything to be different - Plataforma Media

To have or not to have art for everything to be different

It is very difficult to count all that China has lost in the last three years. But it was a lot, from the economic, social and political point of view; besides the retreat in its international affirmation.

It is easier today to realize that, in the short term, the only thing that serves the country, its leadership, and its people, is a drastic reversal of the Covid-zero policy – and every day there are clear signs of this awareness.

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By drag, Macau too will have to prioritize freedom of movement and economic recovery, without which the social contract that legitimizes the regime is at risk, both nationally and in the provinces, special regions… and autonomous regions.

Ho Iat Seng has a titanic challenge on his hands, with economic, social and political contours. It is true that he was the victim of many circumstances that overtook him; starting with the national paralysis and the attack on the parallel economy that multiplied the casinos’ revenues.

But it is also true that he has embarked on an isolationism without dialogue, which has dilapidated the aura of ambition and leadership ability that he projected when he came to power. The widespread disenchantment is all too obvious; whether in traditional or liberal sectors; whether among businessmen, workers, merchants, or civil servants…

On the one hand, the Executive could have done little or nothing about the national policy to combat the virus; understanding that it would have been unfeasible to have opened to the west by closing the national border. However, Ho Iat Seng made a mistake in political perception, in thinking that the crisis would be the indestructible shield that would protect his leadership image.

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The more difficult the circumstance was, the more the Macao SAR needed drive and hope; a leadership of outreach; a personal and institutional ability to include – rather than exclude.

The truth is that today it is hard to find anyone who does not complain of a Palace closed in on itself, giving the impression that it could do nothing – or say nothing – until the winds from the North blew in its favor.

A strategy that injures the margins of autonomy, but above all its own personal authority. In this context, many people came to understand that it is better to pass messages to the People’s Palace than to talk to Praia Grande.

Then, the Chief – and his hard core – was unable to project the hope that he would be able to offset the heavy hand that fell on the junket model, because he adopted neither a discourse nor a credible practice of economic diversification.

Read also: Hong Kong and Macau Respond Silently to Mainland China’s ‘White Paper Revolution’

The strategy of forcing casinos to drive a path leading to the end of their business model is a short-term illusion that will have an unavoidable bill, both in revenue production and job creation.

As for the reform of the Civil Service, structuring public investments, strategic vision for Hengqin and for the Lusophone platform, attracting foreign investment and know-how… little or nothing has been done.

In fact, many steps have been taken backwards, especially in the design of a multicultural city, dedicated to building bridges.

It is understandable that patriotism and love for the motherland are the political axes of fashion. But even in this narrative it is necessary to fulfill the design that the Homeland made for the Autonomous Region. And that is miles away from what we see around here being done – and not done.

Finally, the winds from the North are now lashing out at the “abuses” and “incompetence” of local powers, accused of not having interpreted the central issue properly. With the world turned upside down, Ho Iat Seng will now have two years to prove that he has the art and ingenuity to be the very one who can make everything different.

Also read: Macau concessionaires with fewer workers and lower salaries

On the one hand, convincing his local support base, at this point very weakened.

On the other, serving the future mandate of heaven, which across the country faces the dilemma of deciding how to change everything while maintaining the legitimacy of the leadership.

And there are many people who are at serious risk of paying dearly for this bill.

*Executive Director of PLATAFORMA

Este artigo está disponível em: Português 繁體中文

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