Mak Soi Kun: officials need self upgrade

Friday, February 12, 2010
Issue 940, Page 2
Word count: 435
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Lawmaker Mak Soi Kun is calling for self improvement among government officials, who he deems are unable to answer lawmakers’ enquiries most of the time.

He made the comment on the sidelines of the opening of his first lawmaker’s office in Mong Ha yesterday.

“Government officials’ responses to our interpellations were not exactly what we were asking about. Many other lawmakers have raised such concern and therefore the government has to establish the accountability system as soon as possible,” Mak told reporters.

The decision of Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen to sack Orieta Lau Ioc Ip, the lawmaker said, was a “good message” to the public that officials must have to shoulder responsibility for their wrongdoings.

The officials’ answers gave “no content, no figures and did not face our questions”, he pointed out, “it’s just a paper document, it’s useless”.

However, Mak said the worst situation is when the officials adopt the “three No policy – “no response, no explanation and no contact”.

“Lawmakers are only to monitor the government but have no power to punish the government for not doing something,” he added.

The lawmaker believed that the only solution is to enhance officials’ overall quality, as he said their experiences and skills can no longer solve present problems in society.

“The economy has developed and social demands are becoming more diversified and complicated nowadays. The officials don’t keep upgrading themselves but use the old mindsets to look at problems, so how would they be able to answer our questions?” Mak said.

On the other hand, the lawmaker is also urging the government to help enhance the business environment of small enterprises, which he said account for around 90 percent of the local companies.

“The government policies cannot go on favoring foreign investors only. If small enterprises can do business well here, foreign companies will then have more confidence to invest in Macau,” he said.

“We cannot only look at GDP in a broad sense but residents are unable to share the fruits of economic growth, it will certainly hinder the development of Macau,” he added.

Although the lawmaker’s office was only set up yesterday, he has been handling cases and collecting public opinions since he was elected September last year.

“Our team goes to fresh food markets and places where blue-collar workers gather every week in order to listen to civilians’ opinions. We also meet with professionals and experts regularly to make scientific decisions and also reflect their voices to the government,” Mak said.

He added that the office will allow “more direct and convenient communications” with local people.

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