By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
Young people nowadays are becoming increasingly concerned about the development in Macau as well as in mainland China, the Macao Youth Federation’s vice-chairman Chan Sao Chai said.
The federation launched its third annual training program aimed at fostering local youths’ capabilities to discuss politics at the Macau Polytechnic Institute (IPM) yesterday.
Chan told reporters on the sidelines of the opening ceremony that the effectiveness of the course was “quite satisfying”, adding that the trainees admitted into this year’s program show high awareness of the social development and current affairs in the territory.
The federation has previously held a consultation session on the new reclaimed land project of Macau, which the 100 trainees were invited to attend.
“[Before the trainees came to the event] they already had a basic knowledge of the reclaimed land project and were active in asking questions and expressing their opinion,” Chan said.
“It’s clear that they understand the importance of paying attention to everything happening in society, especially about the political development and the urban planning issue in Macau,” she added.
This year’s training course has selected 100 young adults aged between 18 and 39 who are either studying in a tertiary institute or working. They include civil servants, teachers and lawyers.
Chan said the trainees hope that they can have an effect on the political development of the SAR by participating in politics and acting as role models to encourage more people to express their opinions to the decision-makers in the Government.
“Some of the trainees told us that since in secondary schools they did not have many opportunities to learn about politics, so when they start to work they find that they lack this kind of capability and thus they hope that through this course their understanding of Macau’s and China’s development can be deepened,” Chan told reporters.
Lu Shumin, the Chinese Foreign Affairs Commissioner in Macau, who gave the first lecture on China’s foreign policy at IPM yesterday, said that “it’s very important for young people to understand the current development situation and the international status of China”.
Lu said he believed that the trainees will be able to “gain a lot” from the program, “they have to make good use of their time to equip themselves so that they can contribute to the prosperity and stability of Macau in the future”.
The Commissioner also told reporters that “with the different activities being held in Macau, the SAR Government’s concern and support from the Mainland”, he is optimistic that more young politicians will be cultivated in the near future.
More than 20 leading officials, lawmakers, university professors, scholars and experts from Taiwan, Hong Kong, mainland China and Macau are invited to give lectures during the training program.
Topics include the cultivation of young people’s personal quality, Macau’s economy and political development, China’s foreign policy and economy, as well as Taiwan and Hong Kong’s political regimes.