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Legislature’s retiring speaker says he has ‘no regrets’

Legislative Assembly (AL) President Lau Cheok Va held a press conference yesterday in the legislative chambers to sum up the legislature’s achievements since last October, when the last year of its four-year term had started, saying that looking back at his three-decade long career as a lawmaker and unionist he had “no regrets.” Lau also […]

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:53 am

Legislative Assembly (AL) President Lau Cheok Va held a press conference yesterday in the legislative chambers to sum up the legislature’s achievements since last October, when the last year of its four-year term had started, saying that looking back at his three-decade long career as a lawmaker and unionist he had “no regrets.”

Lau also explained why he lent his support to the government’s “+2+2+100” option on political development two years ago, saying it was for the best of Macau’s future.

The “+2+2+100” option means the number of directly- and indirectly-elected seats in the legislature will be increased by two each after next month’s election to 14 and 12 respectively, while the Chief Executive Election Committee will have an 100 extra voters next year, raising its to 400 members.

Lau also indicated it may not be a good idea to push Macau’s democratic development too quickly as it could undermine Macau’s stability, especially as the city’s economy has undergone enormous growth in the past decade.

“I was involved in the drafting process of the Basic Law… After all, the law’s objective is to ensure the country’s security and Macau’s prosperity and stability,” Lau was quoted by The Macau Post Daily as saying

Lau then mentioned the Philippines, “one of the earliest countries in Asia to have democracy”, as an example when he attempted to prove his point. “… There was an art exhibition [in Macau] by a Hong Kong photographer, who said that there are many beautiful cemeteries [in the Philippines] and many poor people are living [in the cemeteries],” said Lau, as he implied it was better to improve people’s livelihood than to rush democratic reforms.

Lau said there were many highlights in the achievements that were made in the past legislative year, including the passage of the food safety, urban planning, land and  cultural heritage bills. In total, the legislature passed 57 bills to become law in the past four years.

Lau also summed up his career as a legislator, which spanned three decades. “My performance should be evaluated by citizens and my fellow colleagues. While I might have been unable to satisfy everyone, I have no regrets.

“… If you ask me what I have done for my country, I can tell you I have contributed to the drafting of the Basic Law and the creation of the Macau Special Administrative Region (SAR),” said Lau.

Commenting on the sacrifices he has made, he said that he made numerous working trips to Portugal and the mainland in the early 1990s, giving him less time to spend with his family. He admitted that his tight schedule had taken a toll on his health. “My political career is now over and I can spend more time pursuing my interests, such as reading, writing, listening to music and playing the erhu,” said Lau, whose political career started as an activist of the Macau Federation of Trade Unions (commonly known as Gung Luen).(macaunews)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:53 am

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