Hotel closes doors amid dispute
Sophie Yu and Danny Mok
Macau New Century Hotel yesterday stopped accepting new guests following an assault against a shareholder amid a dispute between equity owners.
The hotel on Taipa Island closed its doors at about 2pm yesterday and barred anyone from entering, although its Greek Mythology casino remained open.
More than 200 guests were initially affected, although the hotel later allowed entry to those with room keys.
At a press conference following the incident, a representative of Ng Man-sun, the injured shareholder, said the hotel closed its doors because 'certain unidentified persons' had been staying there for a long time. The representative also said the closure was caused by a 'change in shareholding due to a dispute between shareholders'.
Ng, 65, also known as Ng Wai and 'Market' Wai, claims to own 49.9 per cent of the Greek Mythology casino through Hong Kong-listed Macau casino operator Amax.
Ng is Amax's biggest shareholder with a 24 per cent stake.
The veteran gaming operator was dining in a restaurant on June 24 with an unidentified woman in her 30s when six men rushed in and assaulted the couple with hammers and sticks.
Ng suffered severe injuries to his arms and legs.
His representative said she did not rule out the possibility that the attack might be linked to an argument between Ng and former lover Chen Meihuan (who claims to own 80 per cent of the hotel).
The attack on Ng, who was previously involved in disputes over company ownership, is reminiscent of the kind of triad warfare that plagued the former Portuguese colony in the 1990s.
Staff of the hotel said they did not know whether it was closed. The reception desk declined to accept reservations. At the hotel yesterday afternoon, several security guards stood at the entrance refusing entry to anyone who was not a guest.
About a dozen people from Hong Kong and the mainland complained that they had paid for their rooms, but were barred from entry.
'Now I really don't know what's going on,' a woman said. 'I sat here from 1pm and now it's 3.30pm. All my luggage is inside.'
The affected guests were later allowed to retrieve their luggage and other accommodation was arranged for some.
The hotel said about 300 guests with advance bookings for 100 rooms were affected. It would stop accepting new guests, but those who had already checked in would not be affected.
Macau's tourism office said it was concerned, but was waiting for more information from the hotel. Hong Kong's Travel Industry council said no one sought help yesterday.