Civil referendum boycott
Appointed lawmakers Tsui Wai Kwan and Sio Chi Wai have called for a boycott of the civil referendum on universal suffrage that is to be jointly launched this month by three pro-democratic groups.
In a spoken enquiry, they have urged Macau citizens to say “no” to the civil referendum, saying that the ballot “has no legal grounds.”
“The referendum will only tear Macau people apart; [it] will destroy social harmony and [it] will let the central government down (…),” they stressed.
Legislators pointed out that the civil referendum does not have any binding legal effect and therefore cannot be acknowledged. “Macau is a special administrative region and is subordinate to the Central Government. It does not have the ability to decide or change its political regime by itself,” they stated.
Appointed lawmakers Vong Hin Fai and Gabriel Tong have addressed the same issue, stressing their belief that the civil referendum will harm constitutional and political order, and would lead to social instability. “It is dangerous and unacceptable,” they reiterated.
In light of China’s “rotten meat” scandal spreading to Macau last month, lawmakers have vowed to implement better food safety policies. In a spoken enquiry, Wong Kit Cheng accused Macau authorities of only taking further measures on food safety once scandals have already broken. She believes that the government needs to draw lessons from what has happened with the “rotten meat” scandal.
The legislator provided a set of suggestions, including changing criteria and inspection mechanisms, revising legislation on food safety, reinforcing cooperation with the Macau Consumers’ Council, and improving the methods for raising awareness of food safety.
Angela Leong also stressed that although the IACM’s Food Security Center was effective in conducting inspections and collecting samples from targeted restaurants when the scandal first broke, there was still room for improvement as the center failed to inform citizens quickly enough.
In addition, she pointed out that food products sometimes enter Macau illegally, without being subject to any inspection.
The increasing number of non-resident workers remains a major concern for lawmaker Lei Cheng I. She recalled that the number hit a new record of 191,312 in June. Speaking on behalf of other residents, Lei Cheng I said that if companies are allowed to continue hiring large numbers of foreign employees, locals will be affected by high rents, difficulties in catching taxis and buses, and “the reduction of the population’s living space.”
The lawmaker advised the government not to think merely from a human resources point of view when allowing quotas for foreign workers, but also to take into consideration Macau’s capacity to accommodate more people.
Lei Cheng I urged the government to set a capacity index for accommodating non-resident workers, and to provide a maximum limit for their recruitment by local companies.