SJM executive-cum-lawmaker Angela Leong On Kei called yesterday for the establishment of a community for casino workers, saying her plan would allow them to spend more time with their families.
According to The Macau Post Daily, Leong made the appeal yesterday on the sidelines of a ceremony in Kam Pek Community Centre to donate training shoes to mentally handicapped people who exercise regularly.
She made the remark while commenting on yesterday’s news report by the Chinese-language newspaper Macao Daily News that casino workers often complain that as a result of irregular working schedules, their family ties become strained because of spending too little time together.
Leong insisted that she has been urging the government to look into her idea of establishing a gaming workers’ community ever since she became a legislator, but bemoaned the fact that her appeals have so far fallen on deaf ears.
“… I have been calling on the government to create a community for casino workers for the past eight to 10 years but the government has ignored [the calls],” said Leong. “I hope that… you [journalists] will report what I have been calling for, be it in the legislature’s plenary sessions or during the chief executive’s question-and-answer sessions.”
She argued that if a community was set up for the casino workers, they could spend more time with their families and hang out with other workers as a way to expand their social circle, adding that basic community services should be there to serve the casino workers and their families.
Leong became visibly upset when reporters asked her about the idea of setting up crèches for casino workers’ children, saying the government still has not given her company any land so that it could build any.
“We have been calling for the government to give us [land] but it has not! How are we going to do it [providing crèches for casino workers’ children]?” asked Leong, raising her voice, “… Are we going to set up a crèche in a casino?”
She further argued that casino workers deserve such benefits as they work in an industry that generates much revenue for the city.
According to the Statistics and Census Bureau (DSEC), Macau’s gaming industry employed 85,000 people in November, accounting for about 23 percent of the city’s total workforce.(macaunews)