Exclusive: volcano’s interior in pictures for first time!

A quick visit to Macau over the weekend revealed the city to be preparing for one of its largely make-believe Legislative Council elections next Sunday. The South China Morning Post explains how the voting system makes Hong Kong’s look democratic. There are 14 directly elected seats, 12 easily rigged, indeed uncontested, functional constituency seats (two occupied by the chief executive’s family members) and seven simply appointed by the government. The campaign spending limit is HK$5 million (a multiple of Hong Kong’s per-voter), giving the wealthy a big head-start. The media are in practice at least semi-censored. Campaigning is permitted only during a two-week period. Banquets and other vote-buying techniques are common.

Even among Special Administrative Regions, Hong Kong is an outlier: Macau’s Basic Law makes no mention of universal suffrage as an ‘ultimate goal’ and its people have little tradition of civic activism.

Our guest model above right represents the Social Services and Education sector – but you could tell, anyway.

Then there’s this…

Only in Macau can you restore your sugar and lactobacillus levels with a Sprite and Yakult cocktail while watching a volcano and a Tang dynasty fortress being demolished. The so-lame-it’s-almost-interesting Fisherman’s Wharf theme park, awkwardly designed to give Sin City a dash of vice-free, family-oriented appeal, is coming to terms with the fact that it’s an unloved failure. The word is that a Japanese company is planning to move in and introduce pachinko – an activity usually associated with Yakuza-run gambling operations, which sounds perfectly in keeping with Macau’s historic levels of classiness.

Meanwhile, another example emerges of the Mainland’s corrupted, twisted and deviant values. The correct reaction to news that Tokyo will host the 2020 Olympic Games is to laugh and see this as long-overdue revenge for the invasion, rape, looting and beheadings the Japanese inflicted on millions of innocent people throughout Asia during the 1930s-40s. Instead, Xinhua sees the money-wasting orgy of runners, jumpers, divers, officials, media, tourists, ugly stadiums and dimwitted mascots as somehow desirable and enviable, and out of perverted spite insists that the mess will take place in Istanbul.

On the subject of waste, Hong Kong continues to grapple with the issue of municipal refuse. With the Mid-Autumn Festival approaching, the Big Lychee needs to find some way of disposing of this year’s estimated surplus of 39.8 million moon cakes. A group called Green Power are so worried that they even seem to suggest that people who want to insincerely flatter family and friends with pointless gifts use shark fins rather than the traditional paste-and-yolk laden pastries. With our landfills already bursting, who can doubt the seriousness of this problem? But I think I have an answer, which came to me half-asleep while an environmentalist was voicing his distress on the radio this morning: load the things into a giant rocket and blast them into the infinity of space. It is amazing the flashes of inventive brilliance that sometimes hit us just as we awaken.


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11 Responses to Exclusive: volcano’s interior in pictures for first time!

  1. The SCMP, the world’s most rubber (and sugar and palm oil) stamp newspaper, referred to the Macau “elections” as being for a rubber-stamp legislature. I was worried for a moment.

    Macau has already achieved the universal suffrage of its population. Does any collection of citizens suffer more from a truly disgustingly ruined city, the blazing manifestation of corruption run riot. All right – Nigeria. Pre-Castro Cuba but that is going back in time. What do you find of interest there?

    On the day that I mount my new Dahon P8 folding bicycle and probably disappear under a Citybus, thanks for giving me another reason for refusing mooncakes. I am being ecological.

    If there are any bits of me left under the bus, please send them to be made into hot dogs at Ocean Park. Recycle and use again.

  2. Goldenbear says:

    There used to be a small pachinko hall behind Yaohan, almost could have been described as quaint with how old the machines were in there. Part of the fun of doing it in Japan is getting the tokens or whatever, then finding the vendor down some side alley where you trade those in for yen, thus keeping it all classified as non-gambling. Don’t forget there are a lot of North Koreans involved in pachinko operations in Japan, supposed to be one of the few sources of hard cash for the regime back home.

  3. Real Scot Player says:

    How long before Timothy Fokwit goes public that he would like to see some of the Japanese Olympics events held in Honkers

    Within the week, I’d say

  4. Big Al says:

    Why reserve the the rocket only for mooncakes? At least these have some use, even past their sell-by dates (they taste the same when they’ve gone off as when they’re fresh). Unlike much of the Administration, whom I would like to see first in line for the one-way rocket trip …

  5. Gin Soaked Boy says:

    Moon cakes have such a high calorie content that endurance adventurers, dragging sledges to the Poles and the like, have adopted them as a ideal food source. Maybe we could send all the spare ones to them.

  6. Sir Crispin says:

    Has anyone seen what happens to all those orange trees after CNY?

    They get dumped, ceramic base and all, into the landfills. What a complete and needless waste.

  7. PCC says:

    Alas, the fate of the moon cakes & orange trees has not been keeping me awake nights. What is wrong with me?

  8. For all Macau’s faults, Bela, it has at least preserved and restored some sizable areas of its historic buildings, which is more than can be said for “developer-led” Hong Kong. It also has better Portuguese food than HK, and a couple of museums worth visiting.

  9. By thew way, why does your blog never appear in my RSS feed until a day late?

  10. PropertyDeveloper says:

    Sir Crispin, I rescued one of those dumped kumquat trees, and planted it on some waste ground. However, the Ag and Fisheries Dept told me foreign trees were not allowed, dug it up again and took it home.

    What I find attractive about Macau, although disappearing very fast, is the synthesis between East and West, so lacking in HK. Apparently a sizeable segment of the Macanese spoke Chinese at home, but, when they needed to write something down, used Portuguese.

  11. Adolf Shmitler says:

    Funny how the invasion, rape, looting and beheadings the Japanese committed once upon a time are on constant display whenever it suits the finger-wagging tribe; but the selfsame crimes being committed by the Communist Chinese over the last 60+ years without halt, and ongoing throughout Tibet and Xinjiang at this very moment don’t seem to be very high on anyone’s radar, least of all the fat expat crowd sucking from the Commie teet.

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