Policy Address | Flyover planned to connect new bridge to former P. Horizon site

The government has planned to build a flyover in the vicinity of Amizade roundabout to improve traffic conditions around the northern area, Chief Executive (CE) Chui Sai On revealed when responding to questions from lawmakers during Friday’s Legislative Assembly (AL) plenary meeting.

Chui’s information was included in his reply to lawmaker Ho Ion Sang, who urged the government to come up with a solution to solve traffic problems in Macau, especially in the northern district, particularly in the vicinity of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai- Macau Bridge’s (HKZMB) Macau port.

According to Chui, the government has considered building an overpass to connect Av. De Nordeste, Av. de Amizade, and the northern district. One side of the overpass will be located inside the original site of the Pearl Horizon project.

Chui hopes the project can be handed over shortly to the transport advisory committee. He also hopes that the project can be carried out as a special case as soon as possible.

Traffic in the northern district has worsened since the opening of the HKZMB. Chui believes more time is needed for the three regions’ governments to observe the traffic flow around the bridge before they divert and guide the situation.

Regarding other transportation developments, Chui said that the draft of the fourth cross-sea channel has been completed and will be tendered before the end of this year, with its construction starting next year.

Besides transportation matters, lawmakers Ella Lei and Lei Chan U accused the government of taking a step backwards in terms of protecting employees. The two lawmakers criticized the proposed labor law amendment, which determines the selection of three compulsory holidays and consequent change into ordinary holidays.

“First of all, I hereby promise to the employees that the revision of the labor law is unlikely to result in a retrogression of the original labor standards because this is the bottom line the government cannot surpass in guaranteeing the basic rights and interests of workers,” said Chui.

Chui further noted that the amendment proposal is still under discussion, and that the bill has not been yet formally submitted to the AL. He reiterated that the government is willing to listen to more opinions.

Due to the fierce reaction in society, the government has suggested that the relevant amendment proposal be sent to the social welfare committee for discussion.

Chui declared that “employers and employees should be concerned about each other’s interests,” and added that he hopes the two sides will not expand their disagreements until they reach a consensus.

The CE suggests that the two sides should voice their opinions to each other through the Standing Committee for the Co-ordination of Social Affairs (CPCS).

Chui also outlined a number of measures to be included in the Policy Address for the Fiscal Year 2019 regarding the development of active cooperation between places covered by the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area (Greater Bay Area).

Chui stated that tourism authorities of the Greater Bay Area had engaged in discussions regarding launching fresh initiatives promoting ‘multi-destination travel’. 

The Chief Executive said that the Government would step up support for relevant policies and for incremental expansion of resources, in order to support young people seeking to pursue either a career in innovative fields or to start a business in some other Greater Bay Area city.

Meanwhile, the government leader expressed plans to enlarge the functions of Macau’s Youth Entrepreneur Incubation Centre, providing more working spaces for young people in need, information services, consulting services, training, exchange opportunities, and product sales.

The government planned to position – in terms of marketing – the Traditional Chinese Medicine Science and Technology Industrial Park of Cooperation between Guangdong and Macau.

The Chief Executive also mentioned projects such as the construction of a theme park and hotel in Macau, the showcasing of healthcare industries, the cultural aspects of traditional Chinese medicine, medical tourism, and the creation of a museum for innovations in traditional Chinese medicine.

In addition, Chui also pointed out issues to be addressed under the varied regulatory systems within the Greater Bay Area. He said the Government’s concern was how to streamline procedures for people in other Greater Bay Area cities in their dealings with Macau, and what welfare benefits would be available for Macao residents living in any other Greater Bay Area cities.

For cross-boundary medical welfare, the Government proposed to set up an insurance mechanism for Macau residents to enjoy medical services in other Greater Bay Area cities.

New accountability rules for top officials

The government has been doing research on amending Macau’s laws to prevent public officials from applying for retirement when they are subject to a disciplinary procedure or their positions are being terminated, Chui told lawmakers on Friday.  The research is considering preventing these high officials from reducing their political responsibility or disciplinary responsibility by applying for retirement. 

Chui disclosed the information after Agnes Lam’s question regarding transparency in the government and its administration. According to him, the government has been conducting this research since the retirement of former SMG Director Fong Soi Kun.

Chui noted that residents have many ways of expressing their opinions, such as through the organization of demonstrations or assemblies, and that the government is willing to hear their opinions.

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