Directly-elected lawmaker Melinda Chan Mei Yi Wednesday slammed the government over its long-standing problem of overspending on public construction projects, urging Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On to come up with effective measures to improve the situation and allow lawmakers to have a say about the government’s budgeting for large-scale projects and possible extra spending needed for them.
Chan made the remarks during a press briefing summarising her 2013/14 work in the Legislative Assembly (AL), at the Landmark Hotel in Zape. The hotel is owned by her husband, former lawmaker David Chow Kam Fai who also owns the Fisherman’s Wharf theme park.
Chan chairs the Sin Meng Charity Association which was set up in 2002 with the main purpose of providing social services for youths and the underprivileged.
Chan said that over the last few years residents have become dissatisfied with the government for its frequent overspending on public construction projects.
“The legislature currently only has the right to approve the overall budget for the whole year…lawmakers are not even told about the need to inject any extra money into public construction projects,” Chan said, adding that spending on public construction projects has been constantly growing.
“I think how to deal with overspending on public construction projects should be one of the most important things for the next government tackle,” Chan said.
Chui was re-elected in Sunday’s fourth-term chief executive election and his second five-year term starts on December 20.
“I think Chui should amend the law to give the legislature more power to check whether the government uses its budget efficiently, as well as [to monitor] extra budgets that may be required,” she said, adding that the government should commit itself to tackling the overspending problem.(macaunews/macaupost)