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Daily Archives: February 18, 2008

Lawmakers hand petition to government addressing EAG budget

by Anni Lam

Lawmakers Ng Kuok Cheong and Au Kam San yesterday handed a petition to the government headquarters advising them and the Secretary of the Cultural Affairs Bureau (ICG) to take the opportunity to respond to the over-budget issue of the East Asian Game (EAG) construction.  
On February 4, the Macau Daily Times reported on the Macau East Asian Games Organising Committee never having had a general plan of activities for the whole of the games, with the annual plans all being ubmitted after the deadlines.
Mr Ng told reporters that the purpose of handing the petition was to hope the government, especially the Secretary of the ICG, would stand up and clarify the over-budget issue in order to boost up the accountability of the government.
“We are not trying to dig out more problems of the East Asian Game  as it has already been completed. However, there is a necessity for the government to clarify the entire issue,” said Mr Ng, “As the trustworthiness of the government is still quite low under this economy boom, this is a great opportunity for the government to raise the trust from the public if he can give an end to this issue.”
He also said that there were parts of the problem were the “leaking out”  of information from inspection procedure as that was how the discovery of over-budget problems in the EAGC was made, with the government not taking any action to halt the problem.
His petition was mainly aiming to advise the Secretary of the ICG to clarify the reasons why the government deputies in charge of the issue weren't responding to it but rather leaving it to the dismissed East Asian Game Committee to respond.
The original budget of the East Asian Games was approximately 2 billion patacas, however this surged up to 4.3 billion patacas. The original operation fee  rose to 700 million patacas, which was originally expected to be about 100 million patacas.
He said that the inspection report of the EAG had already been released, and which demonstrated that the EAG Committee was not doing well on maintaining the construction budget, which caused a server over-budget and a steep waste in the operation. 
They asked the government in the petition how they could pamper to the mismanagement issue for so long as the facts had been out for a while.
The petition also asked the government why they ignored the over-budget fact that the inspection report indicated in the Legislative Assembly, as there were in-deep analyses and various reports pointing out the fact of unreasonable over-budgeting phenomena from the beginning through to the operation fee, but rather addressing firmly that there were “no over-budget” problems in the EAG.
When asked who should take the responsibility to respond to this issue, Mr Ng said that the petition was aimed at the Secretary of the ICG, who was the in charge of the entire project.

Olympic Torch will arrive May 3

The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Torch will arrive in Macau on May 3, where the eight-hour journey will begin at the Macau Fisherman's Wharf and will see 120 torchbearers covering 120 relay points across Macau, Taipa and the Cotai.
The torch relay will start at the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf and pass 120 relay points along scenic spots and World Heritage Sites in the SAR, such as Golden Lotus Square, Ruins of St. Paul’s, Senado square, Government headquarters, A-Ma Temple, Sai Van Bridge and Ponte Governador Nobre de Carvalho.
The 120 torchbearers include Macau deputies to the National People’s Congress, members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Executive Council members, Legislative Assembly members, government officials, Sports Council members, representatives of the Olympic Committees of Macau and Portuguese-speaking countries, commercial companies, non-governmental organizations, sports associations, local schools and academic groups.
Eddie Laam, president of the Macau Olympic Committee, said he considers this a “great honor for Macau to mark the last stop of the relay outside the host country before the torch travels to 113 cities across 31 provinces, autonomy regions and municipalities in the mainland.”
According to Manuel Silvério, chairman of the planning committee, the sacred flame will stay overnight at the Macau Fisherman’s Wharf after it arrives from Hong Kong on May 2.
The eight hour torch relay in Macau will start at 10:00am the following morning.
The Planning Committee has seven groups working respectively on route setup, security, medical service, secretariat and protocol, hospitality and logistics, promotion, media service and TV broadcast, as well as cultural events, Silverio added.