Monday, 26 May 2014

Earth Calling Macanese Officials

Young Macanese crossing their arms in protest against the retirement bill
If you think Hong Kong's government is completely out of touch with reality, take a look at Macau's -- which is on another planet.

Yesterday some 20,000 Macanese hit the streets to protest against a bill that would have given generous retirement packages to the city's outgoing chief executive and top officials.

The bill proposed that when Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on steps down, he should receive 70 percent of his 270,000 pataca monthly salary until he gets a new job. He would also be granted immunity from criminal charges during his time in office.

Meanwhile retiring top officials would receive a one-off payment, with those having a civil service background receiving 14 percent of their salary times how many months they served. Non-civil servants would receive 30 percent.

In addition to this, outgoing top officials would get 70 percent of their monthly salaries as they are banned from taking up any private sector jobs for at least a year after leaving office.

Some 20,000 people took to the streets to voice their opinion
No wonder tens of thousands of people turned out and it's actually surprising there weren't more -- or maybe they had to work in the hotels and casinos?

Nevertheless the government has listened and is considering pushing back the bill to the sub-committee for further scrutiny as it was expected to pass in the legislature today.

"I support the bill, but I agree that there is room for improvement," said pro-establishment lawmaker Chan Meng-kam. "Macau residents have been holding different views towards the bill and as a lawmaker, I have the responsibility to call on the legislature to study it again," said Chan.

Quite hilarious that Chan admits he supports the bill but feels obligated to have it looked over after constituents complain...

We understand that Macau is rolling in the dough and has so much of it that the government gives out annual handouts to every resident. That's fine. But for top officials to ingratiate themselves with even more money than they would need post-retirement?

It's downright outrageous. More obscene is giving the chief executive immunity from prosecution. What has he done? Saved the world?

We expect the bill to be either shelved or severely toned down. Public money could be better spent for affordable housing for those who are priced out of the market in Macau. And what about granting more work visas to foreigners so that small and medium-sized companies can function?

And we thought the Hong Kong government was inept!

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