Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On announced in Monday’ Official Gazette (BO) the appointments of seven residents as members of the Legislative Assembly, comprising five re-appointees and two newly appointed lawmakers – a 66-year-old veteran legislator and a 35-year-old newcomer.
According to the announcement, the five re-appointed lawmakers are Tsui Wai Kwan, Tong Io Cheng, Vong Hin Fai, Tommy Lau Veng Seng and Dominic Sio Chi Wai, while Fong Chi Keong and Ma Chi Seng were newly appointed.
Fong was an indirectly-elected lawmaker in the previous four-year term which formally ends next Tuesday, whereas Ma is a newcomer to the legislature’s hemicycle.
Ma is a businessman. He is a grandson of Ma Man Kei, a former vice president of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC).
Ma’s father is Ma Iao Hang – chairman of the board of directors of government broadcaster TDM and chairman of the board of directors of the Macau International Airport Company (CAM).
Ma is a graduate of Monash University in Melbourne, majoring in business management. Ma, whose grandfather was also a member of the local legislature, heads the Macau Youth Entrepreneurs Association and is a local deputy to the CPPCC of Henan province.
Being interviewed by reporters, Ma said that he would place special emphasis on youth affairs.
Fong, who talked to reporters outside Government House, described his appointment as “surprising”. Fong first joined the legislature as a directly-elected member in 1996. He became an indirectly-elected legislator in 2001, a directly-elected lawmaker in 2005 and an indirectly-elected member of the legislature in 2009.
Fong is a prominent developer. He had told reporters before last month’s direct and indirect legislative elections that he would not seek re-election. However, he did never mention the possibility of becoming an appointed legislator.
According to The Macau Post Daily, Fong is the only member of the legislature who has been a directly-elected, indirectly-elected and appointed lawmaker.
Fong said that he changed his mind about continuing his job in the legislature as Chief Executive Chui Sai On requested him to stay on.
Fong acknowledged that he had earlier decided to leave the legislature due to his age and the fact that he has been a lawmaker for nearly two decades.
“In August the chief executive asked me to meet him about the matter [appointment], ” Fong said, adding, “The chief executive told me he hoped I would stay on for four more years…to give a hand as there are many newcomers [in the legislature].”
Fong said his new role as an appointed legislator would be different since it carried different obligations.
He also said that while he would continue to be outspoken in the legislature, as a government-appointed lawmaker he would also come up with more suggestions.
The legislature has 12 members indirectly elected by business, labour, professional, sports, welfare and other community associations. All the 12 indirectly-elected seats were uncontested.
The legislature also includes 14 members directly elected by popular vote.(macaunews)