Civil servants want a fellow worker to become Ho’s successor

Thursday, December 18, 2008
Issue 561, Page 5
Word count: 351
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The survey conducted by the Macau Civil Servants Association (ATFPM) showed that a majority of the 500 interviewees wished the next Chief Executive would come from a public administration background.

According to president of the ATFPM council, Jose Pereira Coutinho yesterday at a press conference, about 500 members comprising both civil servants and non civil servants were interviewed about what they believed would be the “fundamental criteria” for the new Chief Executive in 2009.

Of them, Coutinho said 95 percent deemed Macau’s next leader should also be a public servant who had a “strong public administrative background”.

Coutinho also said that the ATFPM wanted the successor of Edmund Ho Hau Wah would have at least 10 years of experience serving for the government, be familiar with both the operation and structure of public administration, establish active dialogues with civil servants as well as possess strong legal knowledge.

The president stressed that the criteria were set out with a hope for “a change” in 2009 which he said had not been realised in the past nine years.

Civil servants in Macau, according to Coutinho, were having “low morale” due to “job instability, the failure of the provident fund system which gives no security to their retirement lives, and also the salaries which have been significantly lagging behind the rising living standards”.

Although Coutinho did not point out any of his preferred candidates, he told the media within the current civil servants structure there were “absolutely a large number of people who can fulfil the criteria”.

Coutinho, who is also a lawmaker in Macau, admitted that he was within the proposed criteria, but added that he was not intended to run for the election next year.

“I certainly do not have any desire to hold any government position in a foreseeable future as my current jobs are already giving me enough satisfaction,” he said.

The ATFPM council chief also said that he hoped Mr Ho would hear their voices and deliver the message to the central government when meeting with the Chinese president and premier in Beijing tomorrow for an annual duty visit.

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