Macau’s first Five-Year plan was received with mixed feelings by lawmakers.
Many noted flaws and ‘omissions’, mainly in the gaming and social welfare sectors.
Lawmakers were introduced today to the government’s draft for the SAR’s first ever Five-Year plan.
Initially proposed last month, the draft has put forward a performance baseline for a series of key sectors.
It were the ‘omissions’, however, that caused concern among some lawmakers, who called on the government to consider additional amendments to the plan, especially when it comes to the gaming and social welfare sectors.
“The government should take advantage of its mid-term review of the gaming sector to introduce improvements such as measures to curb imported labour and boost opportunities for local citizens. On the subject of citizens’ welfare, we are currently facing a confusing transportation issue and we indeed need an efficient public transportation system. The government should address those omissions,” said legislator Ng Kuok Cheong.
Echoing concerns expressed by many citizens over the past week, lawmakers too focused their critiques on public housing policies and delays to public works.
Just two years ago, more than 40,000 people competed for 1,900 affordable housing units, sparking an outcry among residents.
The dissatisfaction has continued ever since, with grassroots associations and some lawmakers urging the government to build at least 40,000 new housing units to accommodate the unsuccessful applicants.
On that, the Chief Executive recently spoke of the government’s efforts to build 28,000 new units in land reclamation A efforts.
But both that pledge and many other aspects of the five-year plan have been met with skepticism, with lawmakers criticizing the government’s failure to deliver on its promises in a timely manne . Legislator Ella Lei said: “We worry about whether the plan will remain just that or if it will actually be implemented. The deadline for the measures featured in the plan is 2020. The problem is that the government’s performance rate has been very low so far in many of the measures already in place”.
The draft for the SAR’s five-year plan is currently up for a two-month public consultation, during which residents will be able to provide feedback through the government’s Policy Research Office.