A timely rap on the knuckles – Editorial

2020-03-25 04:56     Comment:0

Macau’s six gaming operators got a timely rap on the knuckles yesterday during Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng’s two-hour press conference about the government’s latest measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

It was the right occasion for the chief executive to remind the operators of their social responsibility as some of them were apparently disinclined to help the government secure more hotel rooms for the hundreds of returnees from overseas, most of them students, having to undergo a fortnight of medical observation. The government has so far arranged eight so-called “quarantine hotels” providing about 2,100 rooms. 

Ho also said that the casino operators’ social responsibility could be put in black and white when the new gaming concessions are granted by the government in a couple of years. The chief executive, known not to mince his words, also said that the gaming operators could do more and that he expected all of them to assume their responsibilities if the number of urgently needed quarantine hotel rooms turns out to be insufficient. 

Ho also hinted that some operators appeared to mistake social responsibility for publicity measures. 

The chief executive also called for tolerance and inclusiveness among Macau’s various communities during this trying period. He said his government’s aim was to ensure the local population’s safety and health. Quite rightly, he admitted that each community has its own viewpoints and interests – which is understandable due to their different cultural backgrounds. 

Let’s hope our vitally important gaming industry got the message. After all, we are all in the same boat and we should all be aware of the fact that the ongoing fight against the “devil virus” (as President Xi Jinping called it) won’t be plain sailing. But I remain optimistic that together all of us can overcome this challenge. Wuhan has shown us that it can be done. Of course, a lot blood, sweat, and tears have gone into the central city’s victory over the “common enemy of mankind”. 

– Harald Brüning 

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