Tong Hio Fong, who is currently a judge of the Court of Second Instance (TSI), will take over as the court’s president next Tuesday, succeeding Lai Kin Hong who is retiring.
Tong’s appointment will last three years, although it can be renewed when it expires.
An executive order signed by Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng stated that as Lai has asked for early retirement, his appointment as the president of the Court of Second Instance will come to an end next Tuesday.
Lai has headed the Court of Second Instance since 20 December 1999 when the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) was established.
According to Macao’s Judicial Organisation Framework Law, the president of the Court of Second Instance is appointed by the chief executive. The duration of appointment lasts three years, and can be renewed by the chief executive upon expiration.
According to the Official Gazette, Ho renewed Lai’s appointment as the TSI head on 20 December 2020 for a three-year term, which means that his appointment was initially scheduled to expire in December next year.
Tong had been a judge of the Court of First Instance (TJB) since the establishment of the MSAR. Then chief executive Chui Sai On appointed Tong as the president of the Court of First Instance effective from January 2011.
Ip Son Sang, who is currently the MSAR’s public prosecutor-general, succeeded Tong as the president of the Court of First Instance in October 2013, when Tong was appointed as a judge of the Court of Second Instance.
Ip has been the MSAR’s top prosecutor since December 2014.
Tong was appointed by Chui as the president of the Legislative Assembly Electoral Affairs Commission which oversaw the legislature’s direct and indirect elections in 2017. Tong was again appointed, by Ho at that time, as the head of the commission that oversaw the legislative direct and indirect elections last year, The Macau Post Daily reported.