Macau, China, 26 May – Fernando Chui Sai On, a candidate for the Chief Executive of Macau, promised to hear out the people of Macau in regards to democratic reform of the region’s political system.
“If I am elected, I am going to listen to the opinions of the people of Macau and then we are going to analyse them and initiate a gradual process,” Chui Sai On said in a press conference on Monday.
Only 12 of the 29 members of the Macau Legislative Assembly are elected directly by the people, while the Chief Executive is elected by a 300-member election committee representing various sectors.
During a presentation of his manifesto entitled “Continuity and innovation to create social harmony”, Chui Sai On said that his participation in the election “is based on responsibility and sensitivity to serve society”.
“Ten years have already passed since Macau was handed back to China; ten years of successful policies based on one country, two systems; ten years of Macau being governed by local people with a high degree of autonomy,” he said.
The former secretary for Macau Social Affairs and Culture believed that it was not easy “to successfully achieve so much during these ten years,” and stressed that “future consolidation and development depends on the continuity of the experiences that have been fruitful.”
Chui Sai On also said that he is aware that Macau is “facing difficulties and challenges in its development,” particularly during the worldwide economic and financial crisis.
“Macau residents aspire to a reform of the region’s public administration and to building a clean and honest government,” he said
Chui also said that in order “to consolidate what has been achieved and to sustain our economic development, we do not only need to learn from our past experience, but more importantly, we must implement reform and endeavour innovation.”
Chui Sai On also noted that he is “available to hear the people of Macau” and “rectify strategies” whenever necessary.
The candidate assured that he will create a “clean and honest” government, separating himself from any ties to deals involving family members, noting that they did not depend on him.
Chui also said, “I will dedicate myself to defending the sovereignty of our country and protecting the ultimate interests of Macau .”
Chui Sai On also has to get together 50 signatures from the election committee to confirm his candidacy for the position of Chief Executive of Macau.
The election of the replacement of Edmund Ho Hau Wah as Chief Executive of the Special Administrative Region of Macau takes place on 26 July of this year.
The new Chief Executive will take office later in the year, specifically on 20 December, in a ceremony where the president of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao, will be present.
Chui Sai On announced his decision to run for the office of third chief executive (CE) two weeks ago, after tendering his resignation as the secretary of social affairs and culture.
Born in Macau in 1957, Chui has been twice appointed as the SAR’s Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture ever since the establishment of the Macau SAR on December 20, 1999. He holds a bachelor’s degree in city hygiene administration from California State University and a PhD in public hygiene from Oklahoma State University.
Chui Sai On also served on the Legislative Assembly from 1992 to 1995 and was Chief of the Medical and Health Department of the Tung Sin Tong Charitable Institution and Executive Director of the Kiang Wu Hospital Board of Charity.
Over the last week a group of Macau citizens created a profile on Facebook criticising the dominance of local politics by businessmen and opposing the candidacy of Chui Sai On.
Macau’s Portuguese press has been reporting that Ho Chio Meng, Prosecutor General of Macau, should also run for Chief Executive, though until now there has not been any move on his part.
Candidates for the CE election can submit their application forms from 12 June to 23 June, according to the CE Election Affairs Committee, a body overseeing the election.