Ten months after safety measures to control the spread of COVID-19 were implemented in the city, Macao Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng said during his 2021 Policy Address in November that full economic recovery would only become possible after a vaccine is available. In the same address, he shared the government’s plans to ensure the wellbeing of the population as well as how the city proposes to diversify its industry. You can read about all about these initiatives from the address over the following pages.
We also break down the new draft Urban Master Plan that was released in early September. We speak to experts on how they see the plan and the changes it proposes over the next 20 years, from infrastructure schemes to the increase of housing developments across the city. One of the highlights of the plan is the decision to extend the Light Rapid Transit (LRT) between the Taipa Maritime Terminal to the Border Gate the main entry point for visitors from mainland China – minimising the time spent by tourists commuting to Macao’s entertainment hotspots. With the gradual increase of tourists returning to the city, Macao’s creative scene is also buzzing.
This year has changed so much in our lives, from the way we work to the way we live. So, also, we spoke to many of Macao’s artists, including theatre company directors and actors, as well as talented young musicians. These people have persisted in following their passions during this uncertain year. Even after shows or concerts have been cancelled, audience numbers have shrunk and budgets have been cut, these artists have persevered and found ways to bring their passions to the stage. And with tourists returning and parts of the economy slowly reviving, the artists of Macao can now perform for bigger audiences once again.
Due to the pandemic and the desire to look back at better times, 2020 has become a year of nostalgia across the world. A study published this year by the journal ‘Frontiers’ suggests that nostalgia can actually help to combat feelings of loneliness and can be a coping mechanism during times of duress, subconsciously taking us to a ‘safe’ place where we were once happy and felt loved. Perhaps this is why the recent ‘Nostalgia of Macao: Exhibition of Nostalgic Toys in Remembrance of the Innocence of Childhood’ felt so special this year. More than 1,000 toys, some dating back 100 years, were shared by the Macao Antique Collectors’ Association. In case you missed it, we cover this exhibition and interview the collectors behind it.
This is our last issue of Macao Magazine in 2020. But with a two-decade plan for the city set in motion by the local government and the fact we’ve been COVID-19 free for months, we in Macao are in a privileged position. There is no lack of local entertainment, restaurant openings or ways to socialise as we approach the end of a difficult year. Most importantly, we are safe. That’s worth celebrating.
*Photo by Cheong Chi Fong