domingo, 12 de julho de 2009


Macau's next leader vows to encourage competition in gaming

Fox Yi Hu
South China Morning Post
July 12, 2009

The future leader of Macau vowed yesterday to regulate the city's gambling business better and diversify the economic base.

Fernando Chui Sai-on, who will officially replace Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah in December, also said he would consider reviving an investment immigration scheme that was suspended two years ago.

He revealed details of his policy platform at a forum attended by most of the 300-member Election Committee who will formally elect him.

"We should better regulate the operation of gaming businesses and set up a fair mechanism for competition," he told members of the committee, who were invited to question him on his policies.

Gaming mogul Stanley Ho Hung-sun, an Election Committee member and one of Dr Chui's key supporters, responded favourably to the comments and asked the casinos to stop "fierce fights".

Mr Ho said: "There's such a big pie, enough for everyone to share. Why do we need to fight it out to make everyone lose money?"

He said a casino industry chamber would be launched on July 28 and it would smooth out the relationship among the six licensed gaming firms in Macau. Mr Ho floated the idea as early as two years ago.

Dr Chui said Macau should diversify its economy and learn from Hong Kong in boosting its conference and exhibition industry.

Asked about competition between Hong Kong and Macau, he said Macau's fledgling conference and exhibition industry was still too green to pose any threat to Hong Kong.

"Hong Kong's conference and exhibition industry is streets ahead of ours," he said.

"We can learn from Hong Kong but are far from being able to compete with it."

Dr Chui said Macau might revive an immigration scheme but with changes to the requirements for applicants.

The former investment immigration scheme, which was suspended in 2007, might be widened to cover people with the knowledge and skills needed by Macau, according Dr Chui.

"There should be a scheme to bring in talent which does not just look at whether people have money. There should be criteria including education."

Dr Chui took the opportunity to dismiss concerns over a potential conflict of interest, given his family's background in business.

A deal involving a company linked to Dr Chui's elder brother, Chui Sai-cheong, had stirred up controversy in Macau. Mr Chui's firm acquired a 100,000 square metre government-owned site on Taipa island at a price said to be below its market value.

Dr Chui said his family members always followed Macau laws.

"My family has been living in Macau for six generations ... They do things in accordance with the laws," he said. "If you have doubts about them, they'll be happy to answer your questions."

But Dr Chui declined to take questions from reporters on the sidelines of the meeting.

Dr Chui said he had always been careful to avoid any conflict of interest as Macau's culture minister.

"If I get elected, I will absolutely not let power corrupt my mind," he said.

Key points

  • Regulate the casino industry to avoid excessive competition.
  • Build 19,000 public housing flats by 2012.
  • Consider resuming the investment migrant
    scheme with slight changes.
  • Develop the conference and exhibition

Sem comentários: