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Amendments to Macao’s national security law will include online activity

Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak says amending law is top priority; work to safeguard national security is ‘on the road for ever’.

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Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak says amending law is top priority; work to safeguard national security is ‘on the road for ever’.

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:41 am

Macao’s national security law, which was enacted over a decade ago, is now failing to safeguard national security due to the changes in the international landscape, Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak has announced.

Consequently, Wong said, proposing amendments to the local national security law will be among the government’s most important legislative tasks next year. He also said that Macao’s work to safeguard national security is “on the road forever”.

Wong was speaking during a one-day Q&A session at the Legislative Assembly about his portfolio’s policy guidelines for next year.

According to Chief Executive Ho Iat Seng’s 2022 Policy Address, the government plans to submit a bill amending Macao’s national security law to the legislature next year for debate and vote.

Wong said that the government aims for amendments to the local national security law to be enacted next year. Wong also said that the police will strengthen communication and cooperation with their counterparts in the mainland and Hong Kong for their joint effort to prevent infiltration, intervention, and destructive actions by external forces.

Wong noted that Macao enacted its national security law – the Law on the Defence of National Security – back in 2009 based on the Article 23 requirement of the Macao Basic Law, and it has not been amended since.

Wong said that the current international landscape is different from that of a decade ago, so the current version of Macao’s national security law is now lagging behind the real situation.

With the aim of enabling Macao to better prepare for the new national, local, regional and international safety landscape, Wong said that Macao’s national security law would need amendments.

Wong said that the experiences in Hong Kong have indicated that acts committed online may also jeopardise national security. However, Wong pointed out that according to the current version of Macao’s national security law, people can only be accused of engaging in acts endangering national security if the acts involve violence.

“The experience in Hong Kong has shown that acts committed online without violence can also jeopardise national security,” Wong said.

Wong did not elaborate on the government’s planned amendments to the local national security law, The Macau Post Daily reported.

 

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 4:41 am

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