Legislature seeks to exchange summer break for foreign labour bill

Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Isssue 789, Page 4
Word count: 342
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Legislative Assembly’s (AL) Third Standing Committee requested to extend the current term of the legislature by two months to October 15 in order to complete the legislative process of the bill concerning imported labour.

A plenary meeting to be held at 3pm today will see whether the resolution will be approved.

If passed, this year will see lawmakers, particularly those nine ones who are in the Third Standing Committee, have no summer break which usually takes place from August 16 to October 14 every year.

Coincidentally, since the fourth direct legislative election will be held on September 20, the prolonged term of the AL means that certain lawmakers will have to handle the work from the legislature and the election at the same time.

Inside the Third Standing Committee, Jose Coutinho, Angela Leong On Kei and Lee Chong Cheng hope to bid for another term and are running for this year’s direct legislative election.

Mr Coutinho had said last week that he planned to dedicate his time to the election campaign as soon as the current term of the Legislative Assembly came to an end on August 15.

According to the proposal, the SAR government failed to hand in the final draft of the bill outlining the principles for the employment of non-local labour and due to the complexity of the provisions, the Third Standing Committee was unable to complete the relevant analysis work within the normal operation period of the AL.

Hence, committee president Cheang Chi Keong requested AL president to prolong the deliberation period of the bill until September 29.

Since after the deliberation within the standing committee is over, the final draft of the bill will have to bring back to a plenary meeting for another discussion article-by-article in the second and final reading, the AL executive committee thus proposed to extend the current term of operation to October 15.

The extra two months time can only be used for work related to the bill concerning imported labour.

The resolution will be voted in an emergency process today.

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