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Macau government to set up national security commission

Executive Council spokesman announced Monday that the local government will set up a commission tasked with formulating local policies on the safeguarding of national security and coordinating tasks concerning local legislation on the protection of national security.

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Executive Council spokesman Leong Heng Teng announced Monday that the local government will set up a commission tasked with formulating local policies on the safeguarding of national security and coordinating tasks concerning local legislation on the protection of national security.

Leong stressed that the new commission is not an entity for the enforcement of Macau’s local national security law – the Law on the Defence of National Security. He said that the commission would be tasked with assisting the chief executive in policymaking for matters concerning the protection of national security in Macau.

Addressing a press conference at Government Headquarters, Leong said that the council, the government’s top advisory body, has completed its discussion of a draft by-law on the Commission on the Defence of National Security of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR).

Government-drafted by-laws, officially known as administrative regulations, do not require the legislature’s approval.

According to Leong, the by-law will come into effect one month after its promulgation in the Official Gazette (BO) – meaning that the new commission will be set up at that time. Leong did not mention when the administrative regulation will be promulgated.

Leong said that there was a need for the local government to improve the special administrative region’s legal system to ensure the more effective enforcement of the local Law on the Defence of National Security. He said that the local government has, therefore, decided to set up the commission on the defence of national security.

In April, Central People’s Government Liaison Office in Macau Director Zheng Xiaosong urged Macau to improve its legal system to ensure the more effective enforcement of the local national security law.

The local Law on the Defence of National Security was enacted in 2009 based on the Article 23 requirement of the Macau Basic Law.

According to Leong, the new commission has a raft of duties, including coordinating the government’s various tasks concerning the safeguarding of the country’s sovereignty, security and development interest; studying and evaluating the situation in Macau concerning national security and the city’s social stability; formulating local policies on the safeguarding of national security; and coordinating the government’s tasks concerning legislation on the protection of national security.

Commenting on questions by reporters, Leong said he disagreed with the view that the commission’s duties are of a “general and broad” nature.

The future commission will consist of the chief executive, secretary for administration and justice, secretary for security, the commissioner-general of the Unitary Police Service (SPU), the chief-of-cabinet of the Chief Executive Office (GCE), the chief-of-cabinet of the Secretariat for Security (GSS), the director of the Legal Affairs Bureau (DSAJ), the director of the Judiciary Police (PJ), an advisor to the Chief Executive Office, and an advisor to the Secretariat for Security, according to Leong.

The commission will be chaired by the chief executive, with the secretary for security as its vice-chairman.

Leong said that the commission was required to meet at least every six months.

The local Law on the Defence of National Security lists the seven crimes on endangering national security stated by Article 23 of the Macau Basic Law and their penalties.

The seven crimes listed in the local national security law are treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the central government, theft of state secrets, acts against national security committed by foreign political organisations or bodies in Macau, and the establishment of ties by Macau’s political organisations or bodies with foreign political organisations or bodies for the conduct of acts against national security

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