Chui ensures care for the disadvantaged

Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Issue 1132, Page 2
Word count: 626
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On has given his assurances that the elderly will not be left behind in society and it is the Government’s responsibility to take care of the disadvantaged people.

The Chief Executive began his community visit yesterday morning in order to listen to opinions for the 2011 Policy Address which is due to be announced in November.

The I Hong Centre of Obra das Mães, a recreational activity centre for the elderly; the St. Margaret Centre of Caritas Macau in Taipa, a women’s facility for the mentally or physically disabled; and the Taipa family service centre of the Macau Methodist Church welcomed the Chief Executive and other Government officials including Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Cheong U.

President of Obra das Mães, Ho Teng Iat, said she hoped that the SAR Government can increase the places of elderly services in Macau.

Due to the overwhelming demand, Ho said the I Hong Centre has suspended its membership applications.

Secretary-General of Caritas Macau, Paul Pun Chi Meng, said he believed that Fernando Chui Sai On is concerned about the lack of space in social service institutes and will look for suitable places for the organisations to expand.

Staff members, parents and young members from the Methodist Church’s integrated family service centre were given an opportunity to express their demands to the Chief Executive during a short meeting.

While one concerned parent hoped that more schools will be established in Taipa, another one urged the Government to put more attention into pre-school education for toddlers.

However, the Chief Executive doubted the importance of pre-school education, worrying that it would be “too harsh” for young children.

In contrast, he stressed that building a positive relationship between parents and children is more crucial.

“These days I’ve read some books which concluded that parents should spend more time with their children and hug them more, especially nowadays it’s more common that both fathers and mothers are having a job,” he added.

Two social workers from the centre also said to the Chief Executive that the professional certification system should be introduced in Macau as soon as possible, and that more recreational centres and leisure activities have to be provided to youths in order to give then a healthy development environment.

Speaking to reporters after the last visit, the Chief Executive pledged that the Government must respect the elderly and take good care of them.

“We hope to have more day care centres where the elderly can spend their time during the day to learn things they are interested in or participate in some activities,” he said.

Since the elderly are more vulnerable to chronic diseases, he said the Government will strive to establish a geriatrics department in the hospital next year, adding that the geriatrics departments in the public health centres will also be enhanced.

According to the official statistics, the average life expectancy of men and women in Macau is nearly 80 years old.

“Thus the Government needs to be well prepared so that the elderly can spend the rest of their lives in a place they’re familiar with and where they can receive good care,” he said.

The Chief Executive said Macau should be concerned about the lives of the disadvantaged, especially those who do not have the capability to look after themselves and that he expects that building facilities on new reclaimed land will help improve residents’ quality of life.

“This is not only an expectation from society but also a responsibility that the Government has to shoulder,” he vowed.

In addition, the Chief Executive ensured that the 2011 Policy Address will look after the local youths as well as the small and medium enterprises, which are “very important to the economy of Macau”.

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