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Daily Archives: February 19, 2008

Lawmakers hand petition to government addressing EAG budget

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 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.

Suicide car bomber kills 35 in Afghanistan

A suicide car bomber killed 35 civilians in an attack targeting Canadian troops in the Afghan border town of Spin Boldak yesterday, a provincial governor said.
It was the second major suicide attack in two days after a blast Sunday in the city of Kandahar, less than 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Spin Boldak, killed more than 100 people in the deadliest such attack in Afghanistan.
"The suicide attacker detonated near a Canadian military convoy," Kandahar province governor Asadullah Khalid said.
"In the attack 35 civilians were killed, 27 civilians were wounded and also three Canadian troops were wounded," he said.
The Canadian military could not immediately confirm its involvement. The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force, under which the Canadian soldiers serve, also could not say if its troops were targeted.
The governor said the blast had set some shops alight.
Kandahar was on Monday mourning those killed in Sunday's suicide attack, which tore through a crowd of hundreds of men watching a dog-fighting match.
It was the deadliest suicide attack in Afghanistan which is battling a fierce insurgency by Taliban extremists who were in government between 1996 and 2001.
The Taliban however denied it was involved. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the Spin Boldak blast.

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