Skip to content
Menu
Menu

Lawmaker opposes costly Coloane goddess statue

A new Kun Iam statue designed by artist Liang Runan is causing controversy in Macao, before it’s even been built. One lawmaker has launched a petition to halt its construction.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

A new Kun Iam statue designed by artist Liang Runan is causing controversy in Macao, before it’s even been built. One lawmaker has launched a petition to halt its construction.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

Government plans to construct a 28-metre tall Kun Iam statue are being opposed by Synergy of Macao, the Special Administrative Region (SAR)’s centrist political party. Lawmaker and party president Ron Lam U Tou has slammed the 42 million patacas project as an irresponsible waste of money.

The statue, part of a proposed 10-hectare youth camp at Coloane’s Hac Sa Beach, was designed by artist Liang Runan. Kun Iam is also known as the Goddess of Mercy.

Last week, Synergy of Macao launched a petition to pressure the government into rethinking its plans for the monument. As of 20 July, the petition had gathered 8,000 signatures and Lam told TDM that plenty more people were willing to sign.

[See more: Details of two major sports and recreational projects have been revealed]

The lawmaker pointed out that Macao has a large number of Kun Iam statues already, including a 20-metre tall Goddess of Mercy made of bronze on the Macao peninsula. He said the SAR government needed to consider whether yet another monument to the Chinese deity really was the best use of public money. 

He also noted that the project was directly awarded to a construction company instead of undergoing the usual tender process. Cheong Weng Chon, the secretary for administration and justice, has since clarified that the statue was not appropriate for public bidding, so a direct procurement process was used instead. Cheong stressed that the process complied with all applicable rules and laws.

Aerial photos available online show a circular area has been excavated out of a forested area next to Hac Sa Dam, to accommodate the statue’s vast base. Lam claims the earthworks could damage one of Macao’s few green areas.

Lam also criticised the government’s larger plan to spend 1.6 billion patacas on building the new youth camp, announced on 18 July. The lawmaker said what had started out as a 230 million patacas project has ballooned to seven times its original budget – without any reasonable explanation given by the government.

The government is holding a press conference this afternoon to address the community’s critiques.

 

Send this to a friend