More election candidates wanted

Friday, May 22, 2009
Issue 709, Page 1 & 3
Word count: 433
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Federation of Neighbourhood Associations (UGAMM) is hoping to see more candidates run for the Chief Executive Election and said that it does not yet have anyone in mind who may become Edmund Ho Hau Wah’s successor.

To date, the former social affairs and culture secretary Chui Sai On is the only one standing for the election being set on July 26.

According to UGAMM vice-chairman Vong Io Kao, it is “always better to have a choice available.”

Mr Vong, representing the social service sector, is also one of the 300 members of the Chief Executive Election Committee.

He told the Macau Daily Times over the phone yesterday that if Chui was to become Macau’s next leader, he should now further enhance his understanding in the civil service structure and functions so that in the future he would be more “handy” in the policy-making process and promoting his visions for governance.

Yet, he added that he hoped to see more than one election candidate up on the stage for the committee members to choose.

Meanwhile, the UGAMM vice-chairman said that they favour a civil servant to succeed Edmund Ho Hau Wah.

As such, the successor will be more familiar with the government administrative operation and structure, which Mr Vong said will contribute to a “more solid foundation for the future governance team”.

In addition, he told the MDTimes that the next chief executive must have “integrity, the capacity to rule and to lead as well as be forward-looking”.

“A leader should meet his or her people’s demands, be willing to listen to their opinions, and bring harmony and stability to society and the economy,” Mr Vong added.

As part of the “One country, two systems” policy, the Chinese central government allows the Macau SAR to be ruled by its own people after the handover in 1999.

However, Mr Vong said that the concept is not as simple as just finding a Macau citizen to lead the territory, but more importantly is about “whether the whole population has the confidence and ability to dominate themselves well.

“The chief executive, in contrast, is a representative figure responsible to lead the governance and the team,” he added.

When asked about how Mr Ho has performed over the last decade, Mr Vong said the UGAMM recognised his success but also pointed out that there is room for improvement.

“We’ve to admit that no one could be perfect. Mr Ho did contribute significantly to Macau’s blooming economy, but at the same time there are some livelihood issues such as housing and unemployment that haven’t been solved,” he added.

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