The Policy Research and Regional Development Bureau (DSEPDR) has condemned the “false accusations, defamations, slander and personal attacks” in an anonymous letter from “staff members” of the bureau complaining about its director Mi Jian about his alleged nepotism in the recruitment of employees for the bureau and other alleged offences such as the alleged use of public funds for private benefit.
In a Chinese-language statement released by the bureau on Monday night, the bureau also said that “after confirming the facts… it reserved the right to file a complaint in line with the law”. The statement did not say where the counter-complaint would be sent.
The statement came after the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) confirmed to the media at the weekend that it had received the complaint in the form of a letter.
In its reply to local media queries, the anti-graft body said that it would handle the case in line with its established procedures.
A number of local Chinese-language media outlets published news reports about the letter at the weekend, saying that copies of the letter were being widely circulated on the Internet. The media outlets which have published the reports include the top-selling Chinese-language newspaper Macao Daily News and Chinese-language online media All About Macau.
According to an All About Macau report on Saturday, the complaint was written by “staff members” of the bureau earlier last month. The letter listed 11 alleged offences by the bureau’s director.
According to the All About Macau report, Mi allegedly hired many of his doctoral research students as the bureau’s staff members by not going through the officially-required central recruitment process for public servants.
According to the report, Mi allegedly pretended to be respectful to the chief executive in face-to-face meetings but behind his back poked fun at him. He also allegedly also spoke derisively of top officials and senior civil servants, calling some of them “stupid pigs”.
According to the All About Macau report, when commissioning other research institutions to carry out research projects, Mi allegedly often split a project into several parts so that it would not reach the officially-required minimum amount to invite bids for tender.
According to the report, Mi allegedly often violated the anti-smoking law by smoking in his office.
In Monday night’s statement the bureau said that “the Policy Research and Regional Development Bureau – and its predecessor Policy Research Office (GEP) – has always been carrying out its duties in strict adherence with the Macau Basic Law and the various laws and regulations of the Macau Special Administrative Region [MSAR]. Currently, the bureau is devoting itself to carrying out tasks related to [Macau’s participation in] the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area [GBA] and its various other tasks.”
“The false accusations, slander and personal attacks in the complaint letter have not only affected the bureau’s normal operation but also seriously damaged the bureau’s reputation, apart from causing an adverse impact on civil society,” the statement said.
The statement insisted that “Macau is a harmonious society. Those who wrote the complaint letter intend to create confrontation in Macau, create dissension among the bureau’s colleagues using fake content without foundation, which has damaged the bureau’s unity, mutual respect and harmony, by which the bureau is deeply saddened.”
According to the statement, the bureau held a meeting on Friday which was attended by all staff members, concerning the complaint sent to the CCAC.
All About Macau published its report about the complaint on Saturday, while the Macao Daily News, which runs a mobile news app, also published the report in its newspaper on Saturday.
The statement said that in the meeting on Friday, the “anonymous” letter was read out word by word, adding that senior officials “clarified” every alleged offence raised by the complaint during the meeting. The statement went on to say that based on most recent information the bureau has received, it believes that it was not the case that the letter was written by staff members of the bureau, adding that all the staff members of the bureau condemned those who sent the letter to the CCAC by “pretending” to be staff members of the bureau.
The statement said that “the bureau’s good work environment and tradition will not be damaged by the incident and instead it will even be strengthened due to the incident. The bureau’s work efficiency, order and achievements will further improve after the incident.”
The statement said that the bureau will actively cooperate with the relevant government entities in their respective follow-up tasks to handle the complaint. The statement said that the bureau condemns the letter’s “false accusations, defamation, slander and personal attacks”.
The Policy Research and Regional Development Bureau was established in September last year resulting from a merger between the now-defunct Policy Research Office and a working team under the Chief Executive Office (GCE) tasked with handling local matters related to the mainland.
Mi began to head the Policy Research Office in late June last year, succeeding Lao Pun Lap who retired from the public administration. Subsequently, Mi was appointed director of the bureau when it was established. Mi had been the principal consultant of the office since its establishment in 2011. Mi reportedly holds an honorary doctorate from Germany’s prestigious University of Freiburg.(Macaunews)