By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
Lawmakers Fong Chi Keong and Jose Chui Sai Peng both support the introduction of the officials’ assets declaration system, believing that it is a step towards a clean and transparent government.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a University of Macau event on Hengqin Island, Fong Chi Keong said the system is “the first thing” that a “sunshine government” should do.
He said there is already a similar kind of mechanism in place at the Legislative Assembly in which lawmakers are required to declare their assets “within a certain period” once being elected, but the information will not be made public.
However, Fong pointed out that he has no problem with the new system to be proposed by the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC): “[…] Being wealthy is not a shame”.
The draft of the system is expected to be released for public consultation in the middle of this month, graft buster Vasco Fong Man Chong disclosed this week.
Also known as the “Sunshine Act”, the draft suggests that deputy bureau directors or other superior posts including directors and policy secretaries, as well as officials who “grasp Government information” such as the Executive Councillors should be required to declare their assets “on a moderate level”.
Fong said the move can show the Government’s determination to establish a “sunshine government”, and pose certain effects on the prevention of corruption.
“Based on local people’s demand I’m optimistic [that the bill will be passed at the legislature]. I must vote in favour of the bill,” he added.
Yet, he said he had “never heard of” declaring assets just “on a moderate level”, adding that he prefers a full assets declaration instead.
Jose Chui Sai Peng also told reporters that assets declaration “makes sense” and is an “international trend”.
He said he believed that no lawmaker will oppose the “spirit” of the proposal but its approval still has to depend on the specific details and how the system will be implemented.
The lawmaker declined to comment further as he said the draft law is still not announced.