AL Election | Alliance for Change pushing for local youth development

Melinda Chan (center) with fellow candidates

Political party Alliance for Change, led by incumbent lawmaker Melinda Chan, is running in the elections for the third time, listed as No. 18. Their political platform for this election focuses on young entrepreneurs and the development of Chinese-Portuguese speaking business platforms.

As part of their campaign efforts, the party visited Iao Hon Market yesterday to distribute pamphlets to stall owners and other residents, highlighting its slogan, “Fight for the Next Generation.”

According to Chan, one difference in her party from the previous two terms is the involvement of its second candidate Jorge Valente, a Macanese businessman. Valente is a member of various associations including the Macanese Youth Association, of which he is the vice president.

Speaking to the Times, the lawmaker said, “[Previously] we were concentrating on social welfare, but this time we can see that diversified economy is not doing so well, so we want to have [Small and Medium-sized Enterprises] to give suggestions to the government to [further] development for young people.”

Chan stressed that her candidacy aims to develop the current political system, and prioritize job opportunities for youth.

The candidate is calling on the government to establish supplementary policies to benefit local SMEs, aside from providing startups with interest-free loans.

“Such as to have a building then they can do all these media and cultural products. […] We should let them grow and the government should lead them,” she said.

As the market in Macau is not as large, young entrepreneurs should be given the opportunity to market their products and services in the Pearl River Delta.

The candidate has also previously informed the press that “the first priority [to be addressed] is the housing problem.”

She proposed a new solution that is not restricted to building additional public housing units, but also limits the acquisition of new public housing units to local residents who are first-time home buyers.

“For public housing, the laws should be changed because the government should have figures [about] what type of housing units [residents need]. They need to do research, not just hold lucky draws,” Chan said.

The current system used by the government to allocate public housing to households is based on three different ordination groups and a lucky draw process, a system criticized by many.

The lawmaker also criticized the government for not implementing schemes to assist first-time buyers, particularly to low-income residents. Chan argued that although payments can be made in installments, the initial deposit remains a burden to some.

“There should be some policies in helping residents who [earn below the] median wage to help them have a house, such as having policies for the first installment,” the lawmaker said.

“They have the money to pay the installment but they don’t have the money for deposit. We should have more policies to help those who have never bought a house.”

Chan previously mentioned research conducted by her party that shows 75 percent of the local youth are eager to buy a house in the private market, but are forced to save for 17 years as the first installment is too high.

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