The new government | Ho Iat Seng hints at difficulties in selecting unexpected secretary duo


The Chief Executive elect, Ho Iat Seng, indicated that it was difficult for him to make the decisions to appoint Lei Wai Nong as the Secretary for Economy and Finance and Ao Ieong U as the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture.
Yesterday, Ho led his team out to meet the media at an event held at the Government Headquarters. There are three new appointments to the team of five policy secretaries, including the Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chun, the Secretary for Economy and Finance Lei Wai Nong, and the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Ao Ieong U.
During yesterday’s meeting, Ho hinted at difficulties he faced in making the decision to appoint the unexpected duo of Lei and Ao Ieong to such senior positions.
“We repeatedly made comparisons. These two were not seen in public that much, nor does the public know much about them. However, many civil servants in Macau are working discreetly,” said Ho when answering the media’s questions concerning the secretaries-designate.
Talking about the appointment of the two, Ho explained that Ao Ieong has done an excellent job in the Identification Department.
“The Secretariat for Culture and Social Affairs is the most demanding secretariat for a service mindset. The secretariat needs to face the public no matter if it’s medical care, social welfare, culture, sports or other topics,” remarked Ho.
Talking about Lei, Ho said that Lei had heard many opinions from members of the public when he was working at the Municipal Affairs Department. Lei’s advantage, according to Ho, lies in the fact that he understands the problems surrounding SMEs.
During yesterday’s press conference, Ho once again highlighted that the most important criteria for secretaries are loving the country and loving Macau, being clean, having strong executive abilities, and listening to the public’s opinion.
“The nomination procedure was smooth, and it was highly endorsed by the State Council,” said the Chief Executive-elect.
As previously stated, Ho has put administrative reform on the top of his agenda. Ho pledged that the change of government will not pose a negative impact on relevant departments’ work. He also claimed that his team will fully listen to the public’s opinions and is willing to accept them.
Questioned by the media, Ho said that he endorsed the installation of CCTV surveillance cameras in Macau, although he declined to remark in any depth about the unrest in neighboring Hong Kong.
“We will not think about Hong Kong. ‘Love the Country’ and ‘Love Macau’ have always been the foundation of Macau, the foundation of Macau’s security and Macau’s stability,” he said.
After Ho, the secretaries took turns to answer the media’s questions.
Lei acknowledged that the gaming industry involves various interests, but he will put the needs of Macau people first when it comes to the gaming sector. Lei expects that problems will occur in the next gaming concession, but said he will not delay the handling of the case. Lei’s first task will be to review the practical experience of Macau’s gaming industry.
Ho Veng On, the head of the Commission of Audit, said that his department will not specifically audit any department. He claimed that his commission has been fair in its previous audit work.
Ho, who has already served two terms, hopes that any audited departments will pay attention to the content of the commission’s audit report.
Ho’s background means that he is entitled to retire within two years. However, he suggested that his retirement should be left for discussion later in the future, and that he will fulfill his current work’s mission with full force.
Newly-appointed Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong, who is the current chief of the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC), said that Macau’s public administration and legal system are not running at the same pace as society’s development and residents’ demands. He proposed that Macau promote public administration reform and improve the legal system.
Ao Ieong U said that she will actively engage with stakeholders with different opinions and strive to build a consensus in society in addition to actively responding to society’s demands and needs. She agreed with the importance of protecting Macau’s cultural heritage.
When questioned by the media, Ho Iat Seng revealed that he had “persuaded a lot” to ensure that Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo do Rosário, continues working as a secretary in Ho’s government. Ho explained that Rosário, during his two terms, solved many problems left by the previous two secretaries of the position, and that Rosário “is very clean.” He deems the public work and transport sector a “very sensitive” sector which requires a clean government official.
Rosário thanked his team, which consists of more than 3,300 civil servants, singling out the five directors under his leadership.
Chan Tsz King, who will succeed André Cheong as Commissioner of the CCAC, pledged that he will continue to reform the CCAC, building a transparent government atmosphere.

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