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David Chow slams bloated government structure

Outspoken businessman David Chow Kam Fai, a local member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), complained Thursday about what he regards as a bloated government structure in which bureaus often overlap each other’s job descriptions, thus reducing administrative efficiency. Chow, a former lawmaker known for not mincing his words, […]

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:48 am

Outspoken businessman David Chow Kam Fai, a local member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), complained Thursday about what he regards as a bloated government structure in which bureaus often overlap each other’s job descriptions, thus reducing administrative efficiency.

Chow, a former lawmaker known for not mincing his words, slammed bureaucratic inefficiency during a meeting of Chief Executive Chui Sai On with members of the Chief Executive Election Committee who are lawmakers and local deputies to the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the CPPCC.

The meeting was part of Chui’s re-election campaign.

The meeting, which lasted about in hour, was held at the Macau World Trade Centre in Nape.

Chow, who heads the Landmark ind Fisherman’s Wharf companies, said he felt that nothing much has changed in the last 15 years, as he did not see any signs of improvement in terms of government bureauxs’ competence.

The  Macau  Special Administrative Region (MSAR) was set up in December 1999. Chui’s current five-year term ends on December 19. His re-election by the election committee on August 31 is seen as a fait accompli.

Chow, 63, who was a member of the local legislature from 1996 to 2009, said the size of the Macau government was so large that the functions of bureaus often overlap one another, arguing that this was an example of wasting human resources.

Chow’s wife Melinda Chan Mei Yi succeeded him as a directly-elected lawmaker.

“Whether it is the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) or the Macau Government Tourism Office (MGTO) or whatever… there are so many bureaus and departments! Is it a waste? … Government bureaus’ administrative efficiency is bad with so many people doing the same thing and blaming each other [in case of a mistake], how will society progress?” asked Chow.

According to official statistics, 27,679 people worked for the government at the end of March, ac-counting for nearly seven percent of the city’s total workforce.

He went on to criticise government officials while expressing his sympathy for Chui.

“I pity you. One day you’ll be as thin as I am,” Chow told the heavily built chief executive. “You give the orders but they [officials] do their own thing… These people know nothing about politics! How can they be officials?”

Other speakers in the meeting voiced their concerns about education, employment and housing as well as medical and senior care services.

Chui replied that he would take speakers’ concerns into account, adding he would look into the complaints about government bureaus’ low efficiency.

Asked by reporters on the sidelines of a meeting at the Macau Returned Overseas Chinese Association headquarters to elaborate, Chui said that while the number of policy secretaries would remain unchanged at five, he hoped that government bureaus’ efficiency could be improved in the future. He said he understood that this was one of the public’s expectations. (macaunews/macaupost)

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:48 am

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