The former deputy-director of the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC) Ieong Chi Kin stepped down due to being under investigation by the Chief Executive (CE) Office in relation to the IC’s unlawful staff hiring practices, as revealed by the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) in 2017. The former deputy-director ceased his duties on December 31 last year, and the investigation led to several officials from the bureau quitting over late 2017 and 2018.
The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam, acknowledge such facts yesterday on the sidelines of a visit to the Centro Hospital Conde de São Januário.
Questioned by the media, Tam said that the former deputy-director “ceased duties by his own initiative. I told him that I would like him to stay but he thought differently. He had delivered such request to me previously,” Tam said. “As far as I know there is an investigation ongoing by the Office of the Chief Executive but the report has not yet been disclosed,” he added.
According to the Secretary, the investigation is still related to the CCAC report on the bureau’s unlawful staff hiring practices, adding that although Ieong left his position as deputy-director, he continues to be part of IC staff and is working full-time in the bureau.
Tam also confirmed that the newly appointed deputy-director, Chan Kai Chon, current director of the Macao Museum of Art, would initiate his new duties from January 12.
Questioned about the many troubles and constant leadership instability of the bureau since news of the CCAC report broke, Tam said, “I’m not worried. The director is working well and she is taking good care of the management of the IC. I’m pleased with the work being done,” he said, adding, “I can guarantee that from now on I’m sure that such cases will not repeat.”
Tam also expressed wishes to continue the legal process of criminalizing illegal hostels.
Replying to media questions on the topic, Tam said, “Hong Kong [where it is considered a crime to establish and manage illegal hostels] is a good example that we can learn from,” he said, adding, “I think we should keep [the idea of legislating in the same way in Macau], and I think every day more people in Macau are supporting this idea.”