Directly-elected lawmaker Jose Pereira Coutinho predicts that just two of the government’s five policy secretaries will remain in the Cabinet.
Coutinho told government broadcaster TDM’s Portuguese-language channel Radio Macau on Saturday that while Lau Sio Io will stay on as Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Cheong U will also stay on but move from the Social Affairs and Culture portfolio to the Secretariat for Administration and Justice, which is currently headed by Florinda Chan Lai Man.
According to Coutinho, who heads the Macau Civil Servants Association (ATFPM), Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On’s right-hand man Alexis Tam Chon Weng will succeed Cheong at the helm of the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture.
Alexis Tam is Chui’s multi-tasking chief-of-cabinet. He is also the government’s chief spokesperson and handles a string of other tasks such as relations with Taiwan, Portugal and Guangdong.
Coutinho also forecast that Secretary for Economy and Finance Francis Tam Pak Yuen will be replaced by Lionel Leong Vai Tac, a businessman who sits on the government’s top advisory body, the Executive Council (ExCo) headed by Chui.
According to Coutinho’s prediction, Judiciary Police (PJ) Director Wong Sio Chak will replace Secretary for Security Cheong Kuoc Va.
The new Cabinet line-up is slated for December 20, when Chui is to start his second and final consecutive 5-year term as head of government. Chui is widely expected to be re-elected uncontested by a 400-member committee in the late summer.
The government’s five policy secretaries will be appointed by the central government on the recommendation of the chief executive.
Chan, Francis Tam and Cheong Kuoc Va have been in their posts since the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) in December 1999. (macaunews/macaupost)