Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng vowed on 20 December to strengthen residents’ national security awareness and to take efficient measures to prevent external forces’ infiltration and intervention in local affairs.
Ho made the remarks in a speech at a reception which marked the 21st anniversary of the establishment of the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR).
The reception, which according to the Macao Government Information Bureau (GCS) was attended by about 900 people, was held at the Services Platform Complex for Commercial Cooperation between China and the Portuguese-speaking Countries in Nam Van.
In his speech, Ho, who became Macao’s third chief executive exactly a year ago, also said that the local government would comply with its constitutional responsibilities to defend national sovereignty and the country’s development interests.
He also underlined the government’s commitment to consolidating the social and political foundations for residents to “love the country and love Macao.”
The 63-year-old chief executive, a former business community leader and ex-president of the local legislature, also promised to ensure that next year’s direct and indirect legislative elections will be based on “impartiality, fairness and transparency”.
Ho, a former member of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), also pledged the creation of a “digital government” with the aim of raising the public administration’s efficiency.
Ho acknowledged that due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year was “extremely difficult and unusual”. He thanked the central government for its strong support, thanks to which Macao “has been able to achieve positive results” in tackling the novel coronavirus. Ho pointed out that Macao has neither recorded a single COVID-19 death nor a community or hospital outbreak of the disease.
According to Macao’s Health Bureau (SSM), all the 46 COVID-19 patients in Macao have made a full recovery, and just one of the cases was classified as serious. The bureau has classified 44 of the cases as imported, while its has classified two as “connected to imported cases”.
Ho also said his government would further push for the successful implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle in line with local characteristics and contribute to the realisation of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, based on residents’ “loving the country and loving Macao.”
The chief executive also admitted that the internal and external situation “still is complex and changeable,” because of which is was particularly important to heed the instructions given by President Xi Jinping’s inspection visit to Macao a year ago.
Ho promised to continue working on Macao’s economic recovery, supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with targeted measures in particular and promoting the adequate diversification of the economy, apart from continuing the “rigorous, effective and precise” fight against the pandemic.
Macao’s first chief executive, National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Edmund Ho Hau Wah, Macao’s second chief executive Fernando Chui Sai On, Central People’s Government Liaison Office in the MSAR Zhang Rongshun,
A solemn flag-raising ceremony was held at Praça Flor de Lótus Dourada at 8 am on 20 December. According to a GCS statement, the ceremony was attended by 510 government representatives and guests.