There should be two municipal bodies for the Macau peninsula and one for Taipa and Coloane, Zhu Shihai, an associate professor at the Faculty of Law of the private Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST), said on Thursday.
Zhu, who holds a PhD in law from Renmin University of China in Beijing, made the remarks on the sidelines of a seminar on the implementation of the Macau Basic Law, at the public Macau Polytechnic Institute (IPM) in Zape.
The professor also said that while most members of the municipal bodies should be directly elected by residents, some could be appointed by the government, pointing out that the Macau Basic Law’s Article 95 about the setting up of municipal organs has still not been implemented.
“It is required by law that some members of the Chief Executive Election Committee should be from the municipal bodies, but we don’t have such members now,” Zhu said.
“Setting up municipal bodies is a way to preserve Macau’s political traditions. During the former Portuguese administration in Macau, municipal bodies existed for a long time,” Zhui said, adding that Macau could also take Hong Kong’s 18 district councils, which are, in his words, kinds of non-political municipal bodies, as a reference.
Pointing out that Macau’s provisional post-handover municipal bodies were abolished in 2002 when the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) was set up as a government organ, Zhu said the bureau should continue after the future municipal bodies have been established. He was quick to add that it was worth considering whether the future municipal bodies should absorb part of the functions performed by the existing three government-appointed consultative committees on district affairs under IACM supervision.
In March, Secretary for Administration and Justice Sonia Chan Hoi Fan said the government planned to carry out a public consultation on the matter later this year.