Macau Government Tourist Office (MGTO) Deputy Director Manuel Goncalves Pires Junior will take over from Leong Kam Chun as president of the executive committee of government-owned TV and radio broadcaster TDM from March 1.
The government-appointed position is the station’s de facto CEO.
Government spokesperson Alexis Tam Chon Weng made the announcement at special a press conference held in Government House Wednesday.
Tam said Pires would leave his MGTO position to head TDM and the government would announce who would succeed Pires at MGTO in due course.
The press conference had originally been slated for next Tuesday, Tam said, but due to enquiries from the media, he decided to make the announcement earlier than planned.
On Tuesday, Leong told reporters that although the government had not told him whether it would renew his TDM contract when it runs out at the end of this month, he thought he would stay in the job.
However, just hours after Leong’s comments, the Government Spokesperson Office announced in a statement that Leong had handed in his resignation letter last Wednesday and that Chief Executive Chui Sai On respected and accepted Leong’s decision after careful consideration.
Leong, an accountant by profession, said in the press conference that there was “nothing complicated” about the contrasting statements, explaining that it was purely due to the differences between how the government handles things and how businesspeople do things.
Reporters asked Leong to confirm when he was informed that the government had accepted his resignation, Tam interrupted, “Leong knew about this already, no written response has been given to him yet but we have made a verbal commitment.”
Leong said that as he had fulfilled his responsibilities during the three-year term at TDM in reforming the long-troubled radio and TV station by introducing new channels and programmes, “It’s the right time that I leave and get back to my own business, I have an audit firm, it’s not fair on the clients or staff if I’m always away.”
Leong said that Pires was a very suitable person for the job as he has been chairman of TDM’s board of directors since 2011, adding he believed that with Pires’ experience and language ability, the broadcaster would be taken into a new phase of development.
Pires, who addressed the press conference in Cantonese and Portuguese, vowed to do his utmost to create opportunities and provide the best conditions so that the best of TDM could be brought out.
Tam stressed that press freedom was one of the government’s core values, which he vowed to uphold, in response to reporters’ questions about how TDM would tackle the press freedom issue.
According to The Macau Post Daily Tam, who is a government representative at TDM, added that he was behind the station’s request for a plot of land to have its own building and suggested that the site could be in the Guangdong-Macau Co-operation Industrial Zone in Hengqin.
TDM is owned, funded and overseen by the government, which appoints its top officials.(macaunews)