Two lawmakers apply for legislative hearing on bureau head

DSEPDR Director Mi Jian, who was accused of unlawful practices in a letter sent to the anti-graft body earlier this month

Directly-elected lawmakers Sulu Sou and José Pereira Coutinho have jointly submitted a request to hold a legislative hearing on Mi Jian, director of the Policy Research and Regional Development Bureau (DSEPDR).

The request followed a complaint letter allegedly sent by “a group of DSEPDR workers” to the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC), accusing the bureau head of misconduct and corruption.

Both Mi and the bureau he heads have firmly rejected the accusations and stated that they did not originate from the DSEPDR.

However, Sou and Coutinho have requested the inauguration of a committee or even a standing committee, so that the legislature can summon officials and DSEPDR workers to clarify any confusion that both the legislature and the general public may have.

The two lawmakers stressed that the hearing does not affect the investigation, nor any future judicial procedures.

A legislative hearing has never been held in the history of the Macau Special Administrative Region.

Mi was accused in the letter of committing 11 types of misconduct, including hiring his doctorate candidates and his own relatives by ignoring the central recruitment process for public servants, wrongfully terminating the employment of local residents at the bureau, appropriating bureau funds, smoking inside his office and evading the proper tender procedures.

He was accused of having divided research projects into small parts with each costing less than MOP500,000, in order to bypass the legal requirement to open a public tender.

The bureau says that the former policy research office and DSEPDR have strictly complied with all regulations and laws in Macau, and that, currently, the bureau is fully committed to the construction of the Greater Bay Area.

Commissioner André Cheong of the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) previously informed that the anti-graft body under his purview is conducting an independent and serious investigation into the case. Cheong emphasized that the case is being handling according to the Commission’s standard operating procedures.

“The statement issued by the DSEPDR will not have any impact on the CCAC investigation,” said Cheong, adding that the CCAC “is independent and neutral as well as free from external interference.”

Regarding how long it would take for a conclusion to be reached, Cheong said, the “CCAC needs to be cautious when handling investigation cases. It might be a long process, but I can reassure that the case will have a conclusion and will not be forgotten.” Staff reporter

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