Being a chief executive

Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Issue 1032, Page 2
Word count: 672
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

We like to compare Macau with Hong Kong very often and in many different aspects. And if that’s the case, we should try to look at Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam Kuen and Macau’s Fernando Chui Sai On. I’m not going to compare these two people, because I don’t know them personally. But I find it funny to see how Donald Tsang is having, seemingly, a much harder job, which I see is quite not the same for Fernando Chui, also a chief executive of a Special Administrative Region.

I was watching TVB news on Sunday night and the first news was about Donald Tsang and the top officials visiting different places in Hong Kong to promote his 2012 electoral reform package. Yet, the publicity blitz didn’t go well due to a crush of protesters, pan-democratic supporters and reporters. Then, I saw Donald Tsang spoke on stage at a shopping centre, where he chanted the campaign slogan “Act Now” (literally means “weigh anchor” in Chinese, signifying the need to set sail towards universal suffrage) while putting his hand up in the air. Yet, protesters and furious passers-by shouted outside of the cordoned off area and on escalators, and some chanted “All Wrong” – which, in Chinese characters, is similar to those for “Act Now”.

Being accused of “selling out” the people of Hong Kong, Donald Tsang finally acted and hit back at protesters, blaming them for obstructing the reform and saying they were in the minority. And he also urged his supporters to counter their chanting with applause.

It was, really, hilarious.

I was picturing Fernando Chui chanting “Act Now” and asking supporters to applaud. It would be great to see him and other key officials visit different areas across Macau to distribute leaflets and promote an electoral reform proposal, if any, to the public.

Okay, let’s go back to the reality. If Macau was to launch a similar kind of electoral reform, would we see the same number of people comes out to condemn Chui and the same strong reactions towards the proposal?

Some people of Macau, mainly the young generation, have been criticising the “harmonious culture” in the territory. Not that they don’t like harmony in our society, but they dislike how (some of) the local media and the government “excessively polish” negative news on the grounds of “maintaining harmony” in Macau. I see potential in this group of young adults who could become a concern for our government in the future. I’m not saying Macau wants to see more demonstrations or protests, I just believe it’s not a bad thing for the youth to stand up and voice their concerns, but of course it has to be in a peaceful and rational way.

It’s quite pathetic to see how small or weak the opposition voices are in Macau. A society needs them to improve and develop healthily. Some say the opposition camp in Hong Kong is too radical, and to which I hold a neutral position. Macau and Hong Kong don’t have to be the same in everything (and certainly it’s not possible and not appropriate) and so I don’t mean that Macau needs to have an opposition camp as big as that in Hong Kong. Seriously I don’t want to see Fernando Chui hit back at protestors in the same way as like what Donald Tsang has done. The war of words between Donald Tsang and the opponents is quite a joke, and certainly isn’t helping to ease the tension.

I was wondering perhaps Donald Tsang shouldn’t have bothered to do all this, because Hong Kong citizens can’t vote for the reform proposal anyway. And I’m being sarcastic here…

By the way, the panda naming contest is to be launched today. Some people have suggested on an Internet forum that the pair should be named “Wah Wah” and “On On”, showing that both the chief executives and the giant pandas are sent by the central government that Macau people can’t say no. Funny, but so true.

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