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Political Change in Macao (review)

Political Change in Macao (review) 146 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.1,2010 thesignoftheoppressedcreature,thesentimentsofaheartlessworld,andthesoul ofsoullessconditions.Itistheopium ofthepeople."3 EducatedandtheologicallytrainedclergyincontemporaryChinacontinuein theirrelentlessefforttocorrectthebizarreandamorphousnatureofpopular religionthatLianXiwritesabout.Moreimportantthansimplycorrectingmistakenandnarrowtheology,however,isthetask(suchasMarx's)ofaddressingthe socialconditionsofinjusticeinChinesesocietythatmadethesereligiousameliorations(likeopium)necessary.Christianitymustbeasgenerousandextravagant asthegraciousGodthatitpurportstobelievein,whoisforeverlovingand inclusive.Hemakesthesunriseonthegoodandevil,andtheraintofallonthe justandunjust.Inshort,Christiansandallpeopleofgoodwillneedtostruggle towardaworldwherenogroupsaremarginalizedoralienated,aworldinwhich allcanliveandgrow.Withtheincreasingdisparityworldwidebetweenrichand poorinthistimeofuncontrolledglobalcapitalism,LianXi'smeticulouseffortin identifyingpopularChristianityanditsriseinChinatodayhasuncoveredan importantaspectofunsharedwealthandunheededpainincontemporarylife. FranklinJ.Woo Franklin J. Woo (retired) was a chaplain and lecturer in religion, Chung Chi College, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1965­1976), and director of the China Program, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (1976­1993). NOTEs 1. PeterConn,Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography (NewYork:CambridgeUniversityPress, 1996),66. 2. ChristopherHughPatridge,Re-enchantment of the West: Alternative Spiritualites, Sacralization, Popular Culture and Occulture(London:T&TClarkInternational,2006).Inhis Reenchantment Without Supernaturalism: A Process Philosophy of Religion(Ithaca,NY:Cornell UniversityPress,2001),DavidRayGriffin'sattempttodoawaywithsupernaturalismmayfind littlereceptionamongreligiousbelieversofanytradition.Thereligiousquestseems fundamentallytobetowardsomeineffable,transcendental,superhuman(ifnotsupernatural) powerbeyondthelimitationsofhumanfrailty. 3. The Marx-Engels Reader, 2nded.,editedbyRobertC.Tucker.(NewYork:W.W.Norton& Co.,1978),54. © 2011 by University of Hawai`i Press SonnyShiu-HingLo.Political Change in Macao.RoutledgeContemporary ChinaSeries.London:Routledge,2008.xvi,166pp.Hardcover$160.00, isbn10:0-415-39577-1. Reviews 147 SovereigntyoverMacauwasreturnedtothePeople'sRepublicofChina(PRC)on December20,1999.LikeHongKong,MacaobecameaSpecialAdministrative Region(SAR)ofthePRC,guaranteedtoenjoyitsformercultural,economic,and politicalstatusforatleastfiftyyearsunderthe"onecountry,twosystems"formula. Inthisstudy,SonnyShiu-HingLoexaminesthedimensionsofpoliticalchangein thedecade(thebookwaspublishedin2008)sinceretrocession.Fromthestart, theauthorcharacterizesMacaoas"themostvibrantcasinocityintheworld" (p. xv). InthewaningyearsofPortugueserule,thecasinosbecameincreasinglya sourceofdiverseproblemsincludingpervasivecriminalcompetitionamongtriad groups.Thefirsttaskofthenewadministrationwastobringthissituationunder control.In2002,thegamingfranchisewasopeneduptocompetitivebids,which resultedintheselectionofthreegroups:theexistingconcessionofStanleyHoand twootherLasVegasoperations,WynnResorts,ownedbySteveWynn,andthe Venetiancasino,ownedbySheldonAdelson.Casinocapitalismisthe"driving engineofMacao'sentireeconomy"(p.xvi).Itspropermanagementhasbeen largelyresponsibleforthesuccessoftheMacauSpecialAdministrativeRegion [MSAR]administrationunderthestewardshipofchiefexecutiveEdmundHo. Chapter1,"MacaofromPortugueseruletolegitimacybuildingafter retrocession,"assessesthechangeoverfromPortugueseruleasaprocessof decolonizationandeffortstoestablishlegitimacyofthenewregime.Asidefrom thestabilizationofthecasinoindustry,thecenterpieceofEdmundHo'sprogram wasreformofthecivilservice,whichtheauthorregardsas"arevolutionarymove attemptingtotransformthecivilserviceculturefromtherigidityandinefficiency ofthePortugueseruletoflexibilityandefficiencyintheMSARera"(p.14).InHo's rulingphilosophy,"democratization"meantadministrativemodernization throughbuildingbureaucraticcapacity,constrainedbylimitssetbyBeijing. Chapter2,"Thebureaucracyanditsreform,"profilestheMacaocivilservice usingseveralstatisticaltablesthatdescribelegalstatusofvariouscategories, occupationalcategories,educationallevels,recruitmentandlanguagecompetence, andsalaryranges.ThekeytothelegitimizationoftheHoregime,accordingtothe author,wastoelevatethemoraleandprofessionalismofcivilservants.Amongthe challengesfacingthebureaucracyarepublictransportation,urbanplanning,labor issues,housingmanagement,corruption,andeffectivecommunicationwiththe public.Bureaucraticperformanceintheseareasandothershasrevealed"a mismatchbetweenahighlycapableandstrongleadershipofEdmundHoandthe relativelyweakcapacityofthebureaucracytoimprovetheefficiencyand effectivenessofpublicservicedelivery"(p.33). "Politicalparticipationfromelectionstoprotests"isthesubjectofchapter3. ThesonofHoYin,thepowerfulchairmanofMacaoGeneralChamberof CommerceandtheliaisonwithBeijingduringPortugueserule,EdmundHo retainedthepatronageofBeijingandwaselectedchiefexecutiveoftheMSARin 148 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.1,2010 1999priortoretrocession.Howasreelectedtoasecondfive-yeartermin2004, clearlyenjoyingtheconfidenceofthePRC.(Thisbookwaspublishedin2008and, thus,doesnotincludetheendoftheHoregimein2009.) Legislativecouncilelectionsin2001and2005wereconsiderablymore contentiousthanthechiefexecutiveelections.Fromthe2005elections,the Legislativecouncilcomprisedtwelvedirectlyelected,tenindirectlyelected,and sevenappointedmembers,foratotaloftwenty-ninelegislators.Theelectoratehas graduallyexpandedsincethe1970s,withadramaticincreaseinvoterssincethe late1990s.ProdemocracygroupshavefoughtanuphillbattleagainsttheproBeijingandproestablishmentparties,areflection,accordingtotheauthor,of deeplyentrenchedpatron-clientilism.Growinglabormilitancyindependentofthe pro-BeijingFederationofTradeUnionsclimaxedinaviolentconfrontation betweenworkersandpoliceonMay1,2007.Thiseventmarkedawatershedin Macao'spoliticaldevelopmentwhenHo'slegitimacywaschallengedby prodemocracyforces,unemployedworkers,localcasinoforces,andevenPRC officialshopingtoimprovetheirpositioninthe2009chiefexecutiveelection.A constantrefraininMacaoisthelimitedcapacityofthebureaucracytomeetpublic expectations. Chapter4addresses"Casinopolitics,organizedcrime,andthepost-colonial state."Macaoisessentiallyacasinostatebasedoncasinocapitalism.Sixtypercent ofMacao'sgovernmentrevenueand35percentofitsGDPcomefromcasinotaxes. TheopeningupofthecasinofranchisetotheAmericanshadapowerful modernizingimpactonthecasinoindustry.Detailedconcessioncontractswere establishedandresort-stylecasinos,themes,andfamily-friendlytouristspotswere introduced.Organizedcrimeledbytriadgroupshadbecomesoblatantand uncontrollableinthelate1990sthatthePRCwasforcedtointervenetomaintain lawandorder,stationingaPeople'sLiberationArmygarrisoninMacaofollowing theretrocessioninDecember1999.Althoughthetriadswerenoteliminatedunder thenewadministration,theywerereducedtoalow-profilepresence. Inchapter5,"Thenewpoliticaleconomyofregionalintegration,rivalriesand coordination,"theauthoroffersafascinatingdiscussionofthedynamicsbetween thetwoSARs(HongKongandMacao)andShenzhenandZhuhai,thetwoSEZs (SpecialEconomicZones)inthePearlRiverDeltaregion.Majorissueshave surroundedpossibleeconomicand/orterritorialintegrationoftwoormoreofthe fourcities.Localenthusiasm,forinstance,foraHongKong-Shenzhenintegration raisedconcerninBeijingaboutchangingthe"onecountry,twosystems"formula into"onecountry,onesystem."Eachofthefouris,inturn,jealousoflosingits ownautonomy.Macaofears,forexample,thatoneormoreoftheotherswould establishtheirowngamingindustry.Thelong-proposedHongKong-MacaoZhuhaibridgebecameasourceofrivalrywhenShenzhensoughtanadditional extensiontotheSEZ.Anotherareaofcontentionwastheissueofcooperation(or competition)betweenthefiveregionalairports,includingGuangzhou. Reviews 149 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Political Change in Macao (review)

China Review International , Volume 17 (1) – Mar 1, 2010

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146 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.1,2010 thesignoftheoppressedcreature,thesentimentsofaheartlessworld,andthesoul ofsoullessconditions.Itistheopium ofthepeople."3 EducatedandtheologicallytrainedclergyincontemporaryChinacontinuein theirrelentlessefforttocorrectthebizarreandamorphousnatureofpopular religionthatLianXiwritesabout.Moreimportantthansimplycorrectingmistakenandnarrowtheology,however,isthetask(suchasMarx's)ofaddressingthe socialconditionsofinjusticeinChinesesocietythatmadethesereligiousameliorations(likeopium)necessary.Christianitymustbeasgenerousandextravagant asthegraciousGodthatitpurportstobelievein,whoisforeverlovingand inclusive.Hemakesthesunriseonthegoodandevil,andtheraintofallonthe justandunjust.Inshort,Christiansandallpeopleofgoodwillneedtostruggle towardaworldwherenogroupsaremarginalizedoralienated,aworldinwhich allcanliveandgrow.Withtheincreasingdisparityworldwidebetweenrichand poorinthistimeofuncontrolledglobalcapitalism,LianXi'smeticulouseffortin identifyingpopularChristianityanditsriseinChinatodayhasuncoveredan importantaspectofunsharedwealthandunheededpainincontemporarylife. FranklinJ.Woo Franklin J. Woo (retired) was a chaplain and lecturer in religion, Chung Chi College, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1965­1976), and director of the China Program, the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (1976­1993). NOTEs 1. PeterConn,Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography (NewYork:CambridgeUniversityPress, 1996),66. 2. ChristopherHughPatridge,Re-enchantment of the West: Alternative Spiritualites, Sacralization, Popular Culture and Occulture(London:T&TClarkInternational,2006).Inhis Reenchantment Without Supernaturalism: A Process Philosophy of Religion(Ithaca,NY:Cornell UniversityPress,2001),DavidRayGriffin'sattempttodoawaywithsupernaturalismmayfind littlereceptionamongreligiousbelieversofanytradition.Thereligiousquestseems fundamentallytobetowardsomeineffable,transcendental,superhuman(ifnotsupernatural) powerbeyondthelimitationsofhumanfrailty. 3. The Marx-Engels Reader, 2nded.,editedbyRobertC.Tucker.(NewYork:W.W.Norton& Co.,1978),54. © 2011 by University of Hawai`i Press SonnyShiu-HingLo.Political Change in Macao.RoutledgeContemporary ChinaSeries.London:Routledge,2008.xvi,166pp.Hardcover$160.00, isbn10:0-415-39577-1. Reviews 147 SovereigntyoverMacauwasreturnedtothePeople'sRepublicofChina(PRC)on December20,1999.LikeHongKong,MacaobecameaSpecialAdministrative Region(SAR)ofthePRC,guaranteedtoenjoyitsformercultural,economic,and politicalstatusforatleastfiftyyearsunderthe"onecountry,twosystems"formula. Inthisstudy,SonnyShiu-HingLoexaminesthedimensionsofpoliticalchangein thedecade(thebookwaspublishedin2008)sinceretrocession.Fromthestart, theauthorcharacterizesMacaoas"themostvibrantcasinocityintheworld" (p. xv). InthewaningyearsofPortugueserule,thecasinosbecameincreasinglya sourceofdiverseproblemsincludingpervasivecriminalcompetitionamongtriad groups.Thefirsttaskofthenewadministrationwastobringthissituationunder control.In2002,thegamingfranchisewasopeneduptocompetitivebids,which resultedintheselectionofthreegroups:theexistingconcessionofStanleyHoand twootherLasVegasoperations,WynnResorts,ownedbySteveWynn,andthe Venetiancasino,ownedbySheldonAdelson.Casinocapitalismisthe"driving engineofMacao'sentireeconomy"(p.xvi).Itspropermanagementhasbeen largelyresponsibleforthesuccessoftheMacauSpecialAdministrativeRegion [MSAR]administrationunderthestewardshipofchiefexecutiveEdmundHo. Chapter1,"MacaofromPortugueseruletolegitimacybuildingafter retrocession,"assessesthechangeoverfromPortugueseruleasaprocessof decolonizationandeffortstoestablishlegitimacyofthenewregime.Asidefrom thestabilizationofthecasinoindustry,thecenterpieceofEdmundHo'sprogram wasreformofthecivilservice,whichtheauthorregardsas"arevolutionarymove attemptingtotransformthecivilserviceculturefromtherigidityandinefficiency ofthePortugueseruletoflexibilityandefficiencyintheMSARera"(p.14).InHo's rulingphilosophy,"democratization"meantadministrativemodernization throughbuildingbureaucraticcapacity,constrainedbylimitssetbyBeijing. Chapter2,"Thebureaucracyanditsreform,"profilestheMacaocivilservice usingseveralstatisticaltablesthatdescribelegalstatusofvariouscategories, occupationalcategories,educationallevels,recruitmentandlanguagecompetence, andsalaryranges.ThekeytothelegitimizationoftheHoregime,accordingtothe author,wastoelevatethemoraleandprofessionalismofcivilservants.Amongthe challengesfacingthebureaucracyarepublictransportation,urbanplanning,labor issues,housingmanagement,corruption,andeffectivecommunicationwiththe public.Bureaucraticperformanceintheseareasandothershasrevealed"a mismatchbetweenahighlycapableandstrongleadershipofEdmundHoandthe relativelyweakcapacityofthebureaucracytoimprovetheefficiencyand effectivenessofpublicservicedelivery"(p.33). "Politicalparticipationfromelectionstoprotests"isthesubjectofchapter3. ThesonofHoYin,thepowerfulchairmanofMacaoGeneralChamberof CommerceandtheliaisonwithBeijingduringPortugueserule,EdmundHo retainedthepatronageofBeijingandwaselectedchiefexecutiveoftheMSARin 148 ChinaReviewInternational:Vol.17,No.1,2010 1999priortoretrocession.Howasreelectedtoasecondfive-yeartermin2004, clearlyenjoyingtheconfidenceofthePRC.(Thisbookwaspublishedin2008and, thus,doesnotincludetheendoftheHoregimein2009.) Legislativecouncilelectionsin2001and2005wereconsiderablymore contentiousthanthechiefexecutiveelections.Fromthe2005elections,the Legislativecouncilcomprisedtwelvedirectlyelected,tenindirectlyelected,and sevenappointedmembers,foratotaloftwenty-ninelegislators.Theelectoratehas graduallyexpandedsincethe1970s,withadramaticincreaseinvoterssincethe late1990s.ProdemocracygroupshavefoughtanuphillbattleagainsttheproBeijingandproestablishmentparties,areflection,accordingtotheauthor,of deeplyentrenchedpatron-clientilism.Growinglabormilitancyindependentofthe pro-BeijingFederationofTradeUnionsclimaxedinaviolentconfrontation betweenworkersandpoliceonMay1,2007.Thiseventmarkedawatershedin Macao'spoliticaldevelopmentwhenHo'slegitimacywaschallengedby prodemocracyforces,unemployedworkers,localcasinoforces,andevenPRC officialshopingtoimprovetheirpositioninthe2009chiefexecutiveelection.A constantrefraininMacaoisthelimitedcapacityofthebureaucracytomeetpublic expectations. Chapter4addresses"Casinopolitics,organizedcrime,andthepost-colonial state."Macaoisessentiallyacasinostatebasedoncasinocapitalism.Sixtypercent ofMacao'sgovernmentrevenueand35percentofitsGDPcomefromcasinotaxes. TheopeningupofthecasinofranchisetotheAmericanshadapowerful modernizingimpactonthecasinoindustry.Detailedconcessioncontractswere establishedandresort-stylecasinos,themes,andfamily-friendlytouristspotswere introduced.Organizedcrimeledbytriadgroupshadbecomesoblatantand uncontrollableinthelate1990sthatthePRCwasforcedtointervenetomaintain lawandorder,stationingaPeople'sLiberationArmygarrisoninMacaofollowing theretrocessioninDecember1999.Althoughthetriadswerenoteliminatedunder thenewadministration,theywerereducedtoalow-profilepresence. Inchapter5,"Thenewpoliticaleconomyofregionalintegration,rivalriesand coordination,"theauthoroffersafascinatingdiscussionofthedynamicsbetween thetwoSARs(HongKongandMacao)andShenzhenandZhuhai,thetwoSEZs (SpecialEconomicZones)inthePearlRiverDeltaregion.Majorissueshave surroundedpossibleeconomicand/orterritorialintegrationoftwoormoreofthe fourcities.Localenthusiasm,forinstance,foraHongKong-Shenzhenintegration raisedconcerninBeijingaboutchangingthe"onecountry,twosystems"formula into"onecountry,onesystem."Eachofthefouris,inturn,jealousoflosingits ownautonomy.Macaofears,forexample,thatoneormoreoftheotherswould establishtheirowngamingindustry.Thelong-proposedHongKong-MacaoZhuhaibridgebecameasourceofrivalrywhenShenzhensoughtanadditional extensiontotheSEZ.Anotherareaofcontentionwastheissueofcooperation(or competition)betweenthefiveregionalairports,includingGuangzhou. Reviews 149

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China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Mar 1, 2010

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