Key official list draws extreme supporters, opponents

Thursday, December 3, 2009
Issue 885, Page 3
Word count: 711
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A University of Macau (UM) survey found that some Macau residents’ satisfaction level with Fernando Chui Sai On’s principal official list was just slightly above the passing score. But the researcher dismissed the conclusion that the list is not generally welcomed by the public as he said the value was pulled down by a small group of extreme scores.

A total 882 Macau residents aged over 18 were interviewed on phone for the survey conducted by the UM between November 27 and 29 regarding their opinions on the 2009 Policy Summary delivered by Edmund Ho Hau Wah late last month.

Academic manager of the Centre for Macau Studies Dr. Lin Guangzhi, and assistant professor and coordinator of the Department of Government and Public Administration Dr. Eilo Yu Wing Yat gave a press conference yesterday to announce the findings.

Although nearly 70 percent of the respondents gave a score between five and eight when they were asked to rate the key official list for the third-term SAR government, 7.6 percent chose the full mark of 10 and at the same time 6.4 percent was reported for having given the lowest score of zero.

Therefore, Dr. Yu said it showed that the next government should pay more efforts to strengthen communications with society in a hope to ease the discontent among a certain group of people and also prevent the division between two opposing extremes from growing big in society.

“It’s normal that each measure and appointment made by the government must not be able to meet every one’s wish… But Mr Chui really failed to explain why such appointment was made which might have intensified people’s dissatisfaction,” Dr. Yu said.

In addition, the survey found that the respondents believed “to improve transparency in the government, to help disadvantaged groups and also housing” should be given the top priorities in the next government.

Economic diversification, integrity construction, healthcare and education were aspects that would also deserve more attention in the future.

However, in comparison the respondents attached slightly less importance to the development of a democratic political system and an administrative reform.

On the other hand, when it came to the comments on the incumbent Edmund Ho Hau Wah’s government, a majority of the respondents said they were happy with the government’s performance during the past year, with an average value of 6.91.

The residents gave the highest scores (all above six) to the measures for relieving livelihood problems, public security, economy as well as administrative efficiency. Yet, integrity construction and legal reforms only scored 5.03 and 5.24 respectively on a 10-point scale.

When the findings were analyzed based on the backgrounds of the respondents, it was found that those at a young age, with higher education qualifications and working in the administrative and professional services usually gave a lower rate to the government’s performance.

Dr. Yu said that it is necessary for the SAR government to continuously upgrade its service quality and performance following the economic development in Macau and the increase in people’s education levels.

Meanwhile, 20.5 percent of the respondents said that the policies implemented this year could respond to their needs, 34.3 percent said “half-half”, while 45.2 percent said their needs were not being answered.

The findings also noted that among the 882 respondents, around 30 percent said they were not aware of the policy summary.

More than 90 percent of the respondents hoped that the cash handout scheme, bus concession scheme and electricity allowance for residential units could be continued next year. Among the 78 percent respondents who supported the introduction of the non-mandatory central provident system, nearly 92 percent also supported the government to inject 10,000 patacas as start-up capital into each personal account.

Yet, 12.3 percent of the respondents showed no knowledge of this new social security system, and it is suggested that the government should further introduce the scheme to the public.

Most of the respondents recognised the development after the 1999 handover in Macau and agreed that the implementation of ‘one country, two systems’ policy was successful. Nearly 72 percent of them said they felt proud of being a Macau citizen.

In addition, while some 60 percent of the respondents were optimistic about Macau’s future, another 40 percent were found to have certain concerns.

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