Legislative Assembly (AL) President Ho Iat Seng says that the legislature is studying possible amendments to Macau’s local national security law – the Law on the Defence of National Security.
Ho made the remarks while speaking to reporters on Saturday after visiting the “National Security Education Exhibition” at the Macau Handover Gifts Museum in Nape.
The exhibition, which opened on April 15 and will end on Monday next week, is Macau’s first-ever exhibition aiming to increase residents’ awareness of the protection of national security.
The local Law on the Defence of National Security was enacted in 2009 based on the Article 23 requirement of the Macau Basic Law.
The Law on the Defence of National Security lists the seven crimes on endangering national security stated by Article 23 of the Macau Basic Law and their penalties.
The seven crimes, according to Article 23 of the Macau Basic Law, are treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the central government, theft of state secrets, political activities by foreign political organisations or bodies, and the establishment of ties by political organisations or bodies in Macau with foreign political organisations or bodies.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Ho noted that the country’s new National Security Law enacted in 2015 covers 20 criminal acts on endangering national security, while the local Law on the Defence of National Security enacted in 2009 covers seven crimes on endangering national security.
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) passed the existing National Security Law in July 2015. The previous National Security Law, which took effect in 1993, was abolished in 2014 when the country’s Counter Espionage Law was promulgated.
Ho, the sole Macau member of the elite NPC Standing Committee, said that, “Of course, Macau cannot exactly copy the 20 criminal acts listed in the country’s new National Security Law for its possible legislative amendments to the local national security law.”
According to The Macau Post Daily Ho said that the legislature was studying whether it is possible to amend the local national security law – such as by drafting amendments to some existing articles in the law concerning the procedures for its enforcement, or by drafting additional articles for the law, with the aim of improving the enforcement of the seven crimes listed in the local national security law.
Ho said that he visited the national security education exhibition on Saturday as he could not attend the April 15 opening ceremony. He said that the exhibition can educate Macau residents, particularly young people, on the importance of the protection of national security.
Meanwhile, when asked whether he plans to run in next year’s chief executive election, Ho replied: “I don’t know yet.”
Ho gave the same answer about his possible intention to run for the city’s top job when he was asked by the media the same question last month in Beijing when he was attending the first session of the 13th NPC.
Ho said that he would continue to remain focused on fulfilling his duties and responsibilities as the president of the legislature.