A plan, a plan, my kingdom for a plan. Relax Mr Tung, it's not your kingdom to wish away. But judging by the performance of our Chief Executive this week during his lack-of-policy speech, a plan would be a novel idea for the current administration, particularly in light of Tung's stark admission that the first 71/2 years of his administration were rife with mistakes. However, once again Mr Tung you are long on rhetoric but short on action because you, sir, lack a plan. And since there is no one around you who has any sense of foresight or vision, perhaps we should glance beyond our myopic shores. Let's hop on a high-speed ferry and take a trip one hour west to visit our Pearl River cousins in Macau. This really is a tiny place with a population of only 450,000. Why, it seems like there are at least 450,000 who work in the Hong Kong government, doesn't it? But while Macau may be small in numbers, it is big in ideas. You know all about the casinos and how the end of tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun's monopoly on the gaming industry has seen an influx of top-drawer gambling parlours. Still, this town is much more than blackjack tables and slot machines. They have facilities in Macau, state-of-the art sporting facilities to be more precise. Take a spin around this town and have a good look. By the time the 2005 East Asian Games arrive at the end of October, there will be a plethora of new venues in place. There is a nautical centre right next to the Macau Tower, a sparkling Olympic Aquatic Centre, the best shooting range in Asia and a number of new training and supporting venues. But the real jewels of the games will be the Macau East Asian Games Dome and the Macau Stadium and Pavilion. The stadium seats 15,489, a perfect number for the games and Macau. The dome will house three venues under one roof: a 7,000-seat arena, a 2,000-seat theatre and a sprawling exhibition and convention centre. The arena can be reconfigured to a capacity of 10,000 people for concerts and immediately becomes the best venue for shows in the whole of the Pearl River Delta. It will also be able to hold an Olympic-size ice rink making it the only such facility within an hour of downtown Hong Kong. So if you want to see Disney on Ice, forget Lantau. You need to come to Macau. Of course, Macau having a surfeit of facilities that would make most folks in Hong Kong drool is a recent development, a very recent development. 'It was pretty obvious that Macau was seriously lacking in good facilities, but not only for the sports community,' said Manuel Silverio, the chairman of the board of directors of the Macau East Asian Games Organising Committee. 'There was also a lack of facilities for the general public as well as the schools.' Silverio had a plan, a vision if you will. He has been involved in sports seemingly forever around here and did a stint with the Macau Sports Development Board. Some 15 years ago he decided to pursue the means for Macau to build up more than its casino sector. 'With the new airport coming in, there was a need to upgrade things,' said Silverio. It wasn't easy convincing the authorities, particularly since there have been three different administrations over the last 15 years, not to mention a change in sovereignty. But Silverio persisted and when they successfully bid for the East Asian Games it became the impetus for the massive construction. Still, there was opposition even within the community, particularly when the government earmarked $3.2 billion for the building projects. But instead of appointing a couple of bureaucrats to run a commission, they formed a private company and appointed a board of directors to run it, with Silverio named chairman. From his office window in Taipa, he can see virtually every facility being built. 'The most important thing is that all the venues are sustainable for Macau,' said Silverio. 'The community and the education sector will have unlimited use of them after the games end.' The question is; when do the games actually end? Next year they will host the Portuguese Speaking Nations Games and in 2007 Macau will be hosting the Asian Indoor Games. Throw in the Macau Grand Prix, the Macau Golf Open as well as a slew of new casinos and resorts and there seems to be a fair bit of shaking in this town of 450,000. They certainly get things done in Macau. 'We are lucky we can cut through so much of the bureaucracy and move forward and realise our plans fairly quickly here.' Yeah, I know. I shouldn't compare Macau to Hong Kong. After all, they don't even bother with the comparisons in Macau any more. 'If people are coming to Macau, they don't need to fly in to Zhuhai or Hong Kong,' said Silverio. 'They can fly into Macau. We can stand on our own with no problem.' See, it's not like Macau wants to embarrass you, Hong Kong. It's simply that they are embarrassing you.