Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Praising Macau Over Hong Kong

Li Gang praises Macau for adhering to "one country, two systems"
In the run-up to the 15th anniversary of Macau's handover back to China on December 20, Chinese government officials are praising the former Portuguese colony as a role model for basic, law, fully adhering to the principle of "one country, two systems".

Last week it was Li Fei, deputy secretary general of the National People's Congress Standing Committee who said this, and yesterday it was Li Gang, Beijing's liaison office director for Macau.

Li also urged the SAR not to rely so much on gambling and diversify its entertainment offerings to visitors.

"The whole community adheres to, supports, learns and promotes Basic Law," Li said. He added Macau was a place where "anyone who says the Basic Law is not good will be [as despised as] a rat on the street"... People in Macau thank the central government and thank the Basic Law."

Macau CE Fernando Chui was re-elected without challenge
Talk about putting words in people's mouths...

But also the platitudes are a strong hint that Beijing is not happy with Hong Kong's Occupy/Umbrella Movement, where civil disobedience is being played out (though they will be cleared out tomorrow morning).

Is this China's way of praising the younger brother for being obedient to shame the older rebellious one?

If you ask the protesters, especially the younger ones, they really don't care.

And it is ironic that Beijing is praising a small city that makes the vast majority of its revenues from one of the vices communists despise.

Also, this year has been one of the rowdiest to date with a number of protests in Macau over wages and in particular people's dissatisfaction with Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on's leadership.

Protests this May forced Chui to do a U-turn on his proposal
In May he had tried to pass a bill in the legislature that would give former chief executives a stipend of 70 percent of their monthly salary as long as they were unemployed. It would also grant them immunity from criminal charges.

Retired ministers would get a one-off payment of up to 30 percent of their monthly wage for every year of service.

But a massive protest, the largest since the handover in 1999 forced Chui to scrap the idea two days after he proposed it.

So it seems both Chui and Hong Kong's Leung Chun-ying are just as oblivious to reality in their hometowns, though Macau hasn't staged an Occupy protest yet...

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