Lawmakers’ comments on the Policy Address

Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Issue 965, Page 3
Word count: 465
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Ho Ion Sang is concerned about the building of a highly transparent and efficient government. He said he will take on a “wait and see” approach to observe how the SAR government is going to implement related measures.

Since the government is planning to set up a policy research centre directly under the Chief Executive, Ho said its duties and authorities have to be made clear in order to prevent from overlapping with the Sustainable Development Strategy Research Centre and the think tank of the Executive Council. Only by doing so, the lawmaker said the centre will be able to benefit Macau’s development in a long-term.

Kwan Tsui Hang agreed with Fernando Chui Sai On’s idea to gradually shift the cash handout and healthcare voucher schemes to the central saving system. She said that the short-term livelihood measures are a form of “wealth sharing” when the government reported surplus, but as a long-term Macau should solve the problem of retirement protection for local people.

Kwan also said that a widespread discussion and consensus in society are necessary before such plan is implemented.

Ng Kuok Cheong, one of the three pro-democracy lawmakers in Macau, said he is mainly concerned about democratic development, protection of employment opportunities for local people and the construction of public housing.

He said he was not very happy with the content regarding public housing in the Policy Address, but believed that there is a chance for him to “follow-up” the issue later, as the Chief Executive has said in a meeting with the pro-democracy lawmakers last week that a waiting period would be necessary for public housing applicants.

Ng believed that if public housing applications could be opened regularly and a formal waiting period was introduced, the accommodation problem in Macau should be gradually solved.

He also said that Fernando Chui Sai On had repeatedly mentioned about the implementation of works relating to a democratic political system, and hence he hoped that a comprehensive public consultation can be initiated within this year.

Yet, the lawmaker didn’t think that there was enough concern from the government about how to tackle illegal workers and better protect local people’s jobs.

José Pereira Coutinho, president of the Macau Civil Servants Association, said there was “no surprise” in the Policy Address. He was dissatisfied with the Chief Executive for not introducing a rise in civil servants’ allowances.

Although the blueprint emphasized on the creation of a “sunshine government”, Coutinho said it failed to mention about the setting up of a principal government official accountability system and thus he is worried about the occurrence of corruption in the government.

Angela Leong On Kei agreed that Macau needs to limit the growth of the gaming industry. She deemed that the policy blueprint has already covered all the policy areas.

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