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Chui presents his new team, pledges new dynamism

Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On said Monday he believes that his new team will govern Macau with an “innovative spirit” and “new dynamism”. Chui also said he had difficulty in choosing the members of his new team. Chui officially presented the members of his new team during a press conference at Government Headquarters after […]

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:53 am

Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On said Monday he believes that his new team will govern Macau with an “innovative spirit” and “new dynamism”.

Chui also said he had difficulty in choosing the members of his new team.

Chui officially presented the members of his new team during a press conference at Government Headquarters after his 10 nominations were approved by the central government.

The 10 principal official appointments confirmed a name list that had been leaked about three weeks ago.

Among the appointees, only one is not a civil servant. During the press conference Chui presented all the appointees. One of them was reappointed.

Personal Data Protection Office (GPDP) Director Sonia Chan Hoi Fan will replace Florinda Chan Lai Man as secretary for administration and justice.

Executive Council (ExCo) member Lionel Leong Vai Tac will replace Francis Tam Pak Yuen as secretary for economy and finance.

Judiciary Police (PJ) Director Wong Sio Chak will replace Cheong Kuoc Va as secretary for security.

Chief government spokesman Alexis Tam Chon Weng will succeed Cheong U as secretary for social affairs and culture.

Raimundo Arrais do Rosario, Macau’s representative in Lisbon since 2000, will succeed Lau Si Io as secretary for, transport and public works.

Chui also said that Willis O Lam, secretary-general of the  Executive Council, will replace Alexis Tam as the chief-of-cabinet of his office, while Government Information Bureau (GCS) Director Victor Chan Chi Ping will be the chief government spokesman, a post currently held by Alexis Tam as well.

U Man Fong, advisor to the secretariat of administration and justice, will be the assistant spokesperson, a position which is currently held by the Victor Chan.

Chui said he had strictly followed the Basic Law when making his choices, adding he made his decisions regarding the new cabinet based on the appointees’ background, qualifications and experience. He stressed that the process of choosing his cabinet went well despite announcing the list later than expected.

“… We have set our goals and objectives, but we understand that there is a lot of room for improvement,” Chui said about his new government. “So we’ll strive to meet public expectation in the next five years and we’ll do better than in previous years.”

According to information provided by the government Monday, 50-year-old Sonia Chan became GPDP director in 2007, while she also served as the deputy director of the Identification Services Bureau (DSI) between 1998 and 2010.

She said her priority was to reform the public administration structures in order to boost civil servants’ morale, adding that legal reform was another issue she would tackle.

Leong, 52, is a businessman who has held various positions including memberships of government committees and executive positions of various associations. He is the chairman of Seng San Enterprises Ltd. and Smartable Holding Ltd. His businesses include a large-scale commercial laundry service.

Leong said he had put his companies’ shares in a trust fund. He also said his priority was to ensure that the economy keeps growing and diversifying, adding he was cautiously optimistic about the local economy despite a recent drop in gaming revenues. He also said that the upcoming review of the six gaming operators’ concessions and sub-concessions was an important part of his job. He said that the government’s gaming and imported labour policies would remain unchanged.

Wong, 46, began working as a senior staff member in the Judiciary Police (PJ) in 1994 and was appointed prosecutor in 1997. He became deputy PJ director in 1998 and has been PJ director since 2000. He holds the rank of an assistant public prosecutor-general.

Wong pledged that under his leadership, the security forces will maintain law and order in strict adherence to the Basic Law.

Alexis Tam, born in Myanmar 52 years ago, entered the civil service in the late 1980s and became the chief-of-cabinet of the government’s then secretary for social affairs and culture Fernando Chui in 1999. He became chief-of-cabinet of Chui’s chief executive office five years ago. He is widely seen as Chui’s right-hand man.

He promised to improve Macau’s health system, adding he would also look into ways to have more non-local health professionals working in Macau and get more local youths to enter the medical profession.

Rosario, 58, a civil engineer by profession, is a former transport and public works chief. He is a member of the city’s Macanese minority.

Asked by reporters as to whether he was suitable for the job given that he has been working in Europe for 15 years, Rosario said he regularly returned to Macau during his posting to Europe and was well-informed about current issues the city is facing. However, he was quick to add that he would familiarise himself with the bureaus that are under his portfolio.

In addition, Chui also announced that Legal Affairs Bureau (DSAJ) Director Cheong Weng Chon will replace Fong Man Chong as head of the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC).

Cheong Weng Chon, 48, who has been DSAJ director since 2000, said that while he has no experience in criminal investigation he would familiarise himself with the subject as quickly as possible, adding that he and his CCAC team would work hard to ensure a clean society and deal with any graft cases in line with the law.

Commissioner of Audit Ho Veng On, 52, is the only principal official – aside from Court of Final Appeal (TUI) President Sam Hou Fai – who was reappointed. Ho was appointed as audit chief in December 2009.

Asked by reporters as to why he was re-appointed or whether it was because the audit reports released by the commission were not over-critical so that he didn’t upset anyone, Ho said that he had never considered that point.

“Audit work must be in line with international standards…it is not related to any individual opinion,” Ho said, adding that over the past five years he had learnt much about auditing.

Chui also announced that 50-year-old Ip Son Sang will succeed Ho Chio Meng as public prosecutor-general. Ip, who heads one of the collegiate benches of the Court of First Instance (TJB), said that the rule of law was a core value of Macau.

“In my current position as judge and in my future position as Public Prosecutor-General I will say that political persecution must never exist [in Macau]… a prosecutor should be the defendant of the city’s legal system,” Ip said.

Macau Customs Service Director General Choi Lai Hang will be replaced by his current deputy Lai Man Wa.

Lai, 55, said during the press conference her appointment was both a challenge and encouragement.

Public Security Police (PSP) Commander Ma Io Kun, 51, will replace Jose Proença Branco as commissioner-general of the Unitary Police Service.

Ma was appointed as PSP chief in January. He was assistant commissioner-general of the Unitary Police Service from March 2010 to January 2014.

Ma pledged that the police will ensure a “safe environment” for Macau.

The press conference lasted two hours.

All the 10 officials, who were appointed by the State Council in Beijing, will take office on December 20, when Chui’s second five-year term starts, coinciding with the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR).(macaunews/macaupost)

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:53 am

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