Members of the public are welcome to visit Ho Iat Seng’s chief executive campaign office, the official representative of his election campaign, Iau Teng Pio, told reporters during a media tour of the premises yesterday.
Iau also told the media that the monthly expenditure on the office is about 230,000 patacas, of which 110,000 patacas is for rent and utilities, while remainder covers the salaries of eight employees.
Iau made the remarks in the conference room of the office, located on the 6thfloor of the Rodrigues Commercial Building in Avenida da Praia Grande, accompanied by the director and vice-director of the campaign office, António Chui Yuk Lum and Lam Heong Sang respectively.
Iau said that the size of the office is 6,000 square feet (557 square metres), including two conference rooms, an open-plan office and four separate rooms. Iau noted that the cost for renovation, furniture and computer equipment was 1.3 million patacas. The office has hired 24 members, eight of them paid employees and 16 volunteers. The expenses on monthly salaries are around 120,000 patacas.
Iau is an appointed lawmaker and University of Macau (UM) associate professor.
“Our expenses are within the legal limit,” Iau said when asked by a reporter about the expenditure. According to an executive order published in the Official Gazette (BO) earlier this week, this year’s chief executive candidates’ campaign expenditure cannot exceed 6.4 million patacas.
The 24 office workers include students from the public University of Macau (UM) and Macau Polytechnic Institute (IPM). The paid employees work in public relations, data analysis and agenda planning, Iau added.
Iau pointed out that the office is ready to receive opinions and comments through Facebook and WeChat. He also said that members of the public can post, email or submit their concerns and opinions to the official website:www.hoiatseng.org.mo
“For now, we only connect with locals through social media and the press, which is rather passive. In the future, after the government confirms Ho’s candidacy, we will have conversations with locals about their expectations. We will create more platforms for everyone to voice their opinions. However, we do not have concrete plans yet,” Iau said when reporters asked what plans the campaign office has.
When asked why the three-member support team volunteered to work for Ho, Chui said, “We have known each other for a good while. We have similar ideas and interests. Therefore, when he [Ho] asked if I would be interested in joining the team, I agreed without hesitation.”
Chui is the chairman of the Macau Industrial Association.
Lam said he and Ho met at the Legislative Assembly and have been working together for many years, adding that they accomplished many things together. Lam is a former vice-president of the Legislative Assembly (AL) and current vice-chairman of the Macau Federation of Trade Unions (Gung Luen). Ho is the outgoing president of the legislature.
Iau added that although sometimes the campaign work could be demanding and stressful, he felt rewarded by the work he did.
The chief executive election will take place on August 25. Apart from Ho there are three other potential chief executive candidates. Each potential candidate must be nominated by at least 66 members of the 400-head Chief Executive Election Committee for his or her election bid to be confirmed by the Chief Executive Electoral Affairs Commission. The candidacy nomination process has still to start