The possible decision to postpone the new round of bidding for gaming concessions is up to the government, SJM Managing Director and Chief Administrative Officer Angela Leong On Kei said on Sunday after a speaker at a seminar suggested a postponement.
Leong made the comments while speaking to reporters prior to the 16th Annual SJM Scholarship Award Ceremony held in Grand Lisboa.
Macau Junket Association President Lam Kai Kong said at Sunday’s seminar organised by the University of Macau Alumni Association on Sunday that as the gaming revenue would still not look good before the bidding process scheduled for 2022, he suggested the government extend the current gaming operators’ concessions until it was the right time to start the bid.
Asked by a reporter if SJM supports this view, Leong said that it all depended on the government.
“Everyone is entitled to have an opinion, but as a concessionaire, we’ll follow what the government decides to do,” Leong said.
Asked whether the postponement was what SJM also hoped for, Leong said, “Each person or each enterprise should head towards where there is hope.”
Leong added that being “born and bred” in Macao, her company was confident it would get a new concession in the next bidding round.
As for her company’s anticipation of the upcoming 1 October National Day Golden Week that normally sees masses of mainland tourists spending their holiday in Macao, Leong said it would bring vitality to Macao since the city has been idle for so many months because of the epidemic, but she doubted it would result in any big changes.
In addition, Leong said that construction of the Grand Lisboa Palace in Cotai had been completed and was currently awaiting the government inspection for the final approval.
The SJM Scholarship Awards Ceremony this year saw the gaming operator handing out new scholarships to 10 students of Year 2020 and renewal of scholarships of 27 students. Each student will receive MOP 20,000 for the new academic year, with two outstanding students in the past academic year receiving an additional MOP 5,000 as an encouragement award.
In a pre-recorded video played at the ceremony, SJM Chairman of the Board of Directors Daisy Ho Chiu-fung said that the current adversity would only make people more united and lead people to learn more about the significance of gratitude and cherishing, calling on students to face the pandemic with empathy and optimism, and release more positive energy to society.
In another pre-recorded video, SJM Director Ambrose So Shu Fai said that adversity was man’s highest institution of higher learning
“Amidst such challenges, how to develop self-discipline and self-improvement is of critical importance,” So said before ending his message with a Chinese saying – “A noble person strives for self-improvement”.
In a thank-you speech on behalf of this year’s awardees, student Leung Hoi Ching said that the scholarship was an encouragement for them and very precious especially during the pandemic, adding that because of the outbreak of COVID-19, they had adopted new mindsets which gave them the opportunity to review themselves and set goals for the future.
“We have learnt to be a responsible person, and are constantly improving ourselves to become stronger,” Leung said.