Parents stage sit-in for family reunions

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Issue 1247, Page 3
Word count: 315
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A group of around 30 parents have vowed yesterday that they will not stop the fight for the right of abode in Macau for their Mainland-born adult children until the SAR Government agrees to their demand.

From 2 pm yesterday, the concerned parents, including some in their 60s, gathered at the Nam Van Lake square opposite Government Headquarters.

They also handed in petitions to the Government addressed to vice-chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Edmund Ho Hau Wah, Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On, Secretary for Administration and Justice Florinda Chan and the nine Executive Council members.

Despite being permanent residents in Macau, these parents claimed that there are still 1,162 children aged 14 or above unable to obtain Macau residency or benefit from the policy in 2009 which saw some 6,000 Mainland-born children reunited with their families in the SAR.

They claim that the sit-in will continue from 2 pm to 10 pm daily until next Friday (March 11) – except Saturday and Sunday.

The parents’ representative, Sit Chon Kong, urged ex-chief executive Edmund Ho Hau Wah to fulfill his promise made in 2004 that he would help solve the residency issue for their children.

“We demand conversations with Government officials and a promise from them, or otherwise we will continue to fight for it,” Sit said.

These parents did not agree with the Identification Bureau’s claim that the issue “has already been solved”.

“There are more than 4,000 places every year for mainland Chinese to come reside in Macau. By using the remaining places, our children’s right of abode issue can be solved,” Sit said.

The Hong Kong Government has recently announced a policy change so that adult children of Hongkongers born on the mainland who were under 14 when one of their natural parent obtained a Hong Kong identity card before November 1, 2001 will be eligible to apply for residency.

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