The economy is growing at double digits. Company profits at record highs. Property prices smashing new records. Demand for workers is so high, the workers have to be imported from China. Yet people are unhappy and protesting on the streets.
What are these people complaining about anyway? Cost of living? They have to accept that their city is a globalised one and things are priced based on global demand and supply. There is this nice theory in International Economics called Factor Price Equalisation Theorem. Macau is an open economy. Its payment to factors - wages, rents etc - are set by international price. So why are these people protesting against price increases when they are getting what they deserve in a globalised market place. Obviously they haven't attended economics 101 and cannot see that all this is just a natural consequence of globalisation.
They are complaining that workers from China keep their wages down. This again is an absurd accusation against their govt. As we know in Singapore wages are set by international price based on marginal return. If wages are allowed to inflate, businesses will move to China. Like in Singapore office rentals, govt services, utilities, transport etc can inflate but wage inflation is a no-no.....they too have to import Chinese labor to prevent this wage inflation.
Looks like the Macau people cannot make it in their globalised city. Singapore is following Macau's foot-steps in the building of casinos and keeping the economy open in a globalised world. Singaporeans understand globalisation much better then these protestors in Macau thanks to our media that has explained thoroughly all its wonderful benefits. As long as Singaporeans work harder, longer and take all the prices increases in good spirit, our esteemed govt can embrace globalisation for the good of the ordinary citizens.
MACAU'S casinos are the richest in the world - the 23 casinos in the city made a whopping US$6.87billion ($10.1b) last year, more than Las Vegas casinos did.
More than 1,000 people protested that day. -- -->Pictures: AFP, REUTERS -->
But not everyone in the territory is benefiting and that has sparked discontent among its residents, reported the International Herald Tribune.
'The government tells us the casino boom is bringing wealth to Macau,' said Jose Pereira Coutinho, a deputy in the Legislative Assembly.
'That is not true, because this wealth is only for a few.
'It is not helping people who are suffering.'
For the first time on 1 Oct, China's National Day, hundreds protested in the streets.
Their grievances ranged from harsh new penalties for illegal parking of motorcycles, to government corruption and the use of illegal labour.
There was also a protest in May and another demonstration is expected at the end of the year, during the anniversary of Macau's handover to China.
A protester in Macau on 1 Oct, China's National Day.
Many Macanese complain about workers from China who are keeping wages down.
They are also unhappy about the rising cost of living, especially the rents in working-class areas.
Those who benefit most from gambling are the 45,000 people working in casinos - their average earnings rose almost 15 per cent in the past year.
But for others, opportunities and incomes have worsened.
Many earn less than a quarter of the wages of a casino card dealer.
Said political science lecturer Eilo Yu: 'The society is developing in Macau and starting to mobilise... In the long run, people will keep on challenging the government.'