The inquiry commission created to assess authorities’ response to Typhoon Hato presented a report to the Chief Executive on November 9. Chui Sai On analyzed the report, which was coordinated by deputy prosecutor Mai Man Ieng, and announced yesterday that the former director of the Macau Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG), Fong Soi Kun, and the deputy director Florence Leong (who still holds the post) will be subject to a disciplinary procedure.
Fong Soi Kun resigned following criticism from residents and lawmakers about the bureau’s failure to raise appropriate typhoon warning signals prior to the August 23 tragedy.
Following his resignation, it was announced in October that the retirement application of the former director of the SMG had been rejected for “not respecting the legal notice period.”
Also in October, the Commission Against Corruption issued an investigation report on SMG’s typhoon forecasting procedures, where it pointed out that the bureau, when making typhoon forecasts and issuing warning signals for tropical cyclones, relied on the personal judgments and decisions of the former director. Consequently, the Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Raimundo do Rosário, announced his department would launch disciplinary procedures against Fong Soi Kun.
The inquiry commission concluded that there is no evidence that other SMG staff (besides Fong and Leong) neglected their duties. Other institutions that had a role in the relief works – such as police, Fire Services and IACM – were also probed, but no wrongdoing was found.
Most of the content of the report has not been divulged publicly “to respect the rights of the persons involved in the process,” according to a Government Spokesperson’s Office statement.