Lawmakers said yesterday they hope that members of Chief Executive (CE) Fernando Chui Sai On’s new team of principal officials will address citizens’ pressing demands, ranging from housing to economic issues.
They spoke to reporters in the legislature the day after Chui announced his new team consisting of five policy secretaries and three commissioners (one of them reappointed) as well as chiefs of prosecution and customs.
Indirectly-elected lawmaker Ella Lei Cheng I of the Macau Federation of Trade Unions (FAOM) said she felt the public has high expectations of the officials and she hoped they will take responsibility for their possible shortcomings. She also said that compared to 15 years ago, there were more challenges and complex issues the new officials would need to tackle other than just the economy and employment. She suggested that new approaches must be taken to ensure that the public continues to be able to share the fruits of Macau’s economic growth.
Directly-elected lawmaker José Pereira Coutinho of the Macau Civil Servants Association (ATFPM) said that issues such as housing, transportation, social welfare, health care and education were the most important for the new principal officials to tackle. He stressed the need for new ideas on governance, saying the officials should be looking ahead to prevent any possible problems.
Directly-elected lawmaker Au Kam San of the grassroots New Macau Association (NMA) said that it may take one or two years to find out if the new officials are capable of doing their jobs. He also said that Chui’s announcement of his new team on Monday came quite late, indicating there had been lengthy discussions between the local government and the central government in Beijing about Chui’s choices.
The name list of the 10 officials was leaked by official sources about three weeks ago. The names on the list announced on Monday and the list leaked in the middle of last month were identical.
Directly-elected lawmaker-cum-businessman Chan Meng Kam said that administrative reform needed to be carried out to ensure that all officials will be held accountable, adding that housing was one of the major issues that officials needed to take care of.
Indirectly-elected lawmaker Cheang Chi Keong said the new officials appointed by Chui were “energetic” and “experienced”. Cheang, an advisor to the local branch of Bank of China (BOC) and member of the government’s top advisory Executive Council (ExCo), also said he believed that the council would co-operate well with the new officials.
The new policy secretaries and other principal officials will be sworn in on December 20, when Chui’s second five-year term starts.
The five policy secretaries’ respective portfolios are delegated by the chief executive. The local government does not have formal cabinet system. Each policy secretary is individually answerable to the chief executive.
Macau’s chief prosecutor is not a member of the government but part of the judiciary.(macaunews/macaupost)