A letter to our Chief Executive-designate

Thursday, September 10, 2009
Issue 815, Page 2
Word count: 552
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Dear Chief Executive-designate

Fernando Chui Sai On,

Hello, hope this letter finds you well. I’m writing to you because I guess every Macau resident is keen to know how you have been and about your work in your new office.

Macau people did not see or hear any news about you in the past month, ever since you came back from Beijing meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao in mid-August.

It seems that our third Chief Executive has been keeping a comparatively low profile after the election in late July. You must be working hard right now to prepare for the new government, but as a civilian I would like to get more regular updates from your office, or just to see you appear in public and say a few words about what you are up to or how your new office’s operation goes.

The incumbent government had only disclosed that you and your cabinet are currently crafting the 2010 Policy Address based on the opinions collected during the July election campaign. And that’s it. I would like to know more details though.

I feel the Macau citizens have high expectations on Mr Chui and are looking forward to seeing a more transparent government, which will also take the initiative to communicate with people and give prompt responses to public opinions. We truly do not want to see our opinions falling on deaf ears anymore.

I learned from the newspapers that your office in Nam Van was open to the media on September 2. In addition to reporters, I bet most of the local people expected that it would be a chance to learn about the recent situation of our next Chief Executive. But it turned out that we were wrong. I was disappointed and at the same time wondered why you did not show up during the media visit.

In case you did not realise, the people of Macau are missing you, our next leader. Sadly it seems like you were avoiding public appearance.

Or perhaps you are afraid of the media? But I don’t think it is very likely because Macau reporters seldom pose very tough questions.

Nevertheless, we have to admit that media play a very crucial role in society and they are the ones who are responsible to deliver the government’s messages to the public and vice versa.

Even if for some reasons you don’t do it now, I hope that once you assume duty you can establish a close contact with the media, meeting them more often or taking their questions when attending public events.

It should not be a difficult task, as long as you acknowledge and respect citizens’ right to know.

Perhaps there is something Mr Chui could learn from your counterpart Donald Tsang Yam Kuen. The Hong Kong Chief Executive is also preparing for the policy address to be announced in October. It is interesting to note that the media were one of the groups he met to collect opinions from and the meeting was also held in the early days of the consultation period.

To me, it shows that Mr Tsang recognises the importance of the media and values their suggestions and opinions. And I think to a certain extent this is what transparency means.

Yours sincerely,

Natalie Leung

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