By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
The New Macau Association staged a spontaneous sit-in in front of the Legislative Assembly building last night to express their discontent on the eve of the final voting of the national security bill at 3pm today.
About 15 local democracy advocates and residents including lawmaker-cum-democrat Ng Kuok Cheong and Au Kam San began the peaceful protest outside the front door of the Assembly building at 8pm.
They lit up candles in the dark which they said was to hope that the light could “help them face the future [under the enforcement of the security law]”. .
The Public Security Police were sent to demand the protesters to change the venue of the sit-in to another area arranged by police. However, the group refused to leave, citing the law gave them the right to stage a protest outside of the Legislative Assembly.
The democratic association asserted that a balance must have to be attained between defending national security and individual rights, in order to prevent power abuse and giving police authorities “too much power to justify their actions”.
It also urged local residents to safeguard their basic freedoms and strive to establish “a diversified and mature civil society as well as a democratic political system”.
The democrats also said that both the government and the Assembly standing committee ignored their suggestions to revise some definition and wording in the bill, which were called to preserve freedom of expression, freedom of association and other kinds of human right in Macau.