domingo, 12 de julho de 2009

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Chui emphasises 'inheritance' as he sets out his policies

Fox Yi Hu
South China Morning Post
July 12, 2009

Fernando Chui Sai-on, the sole candidate in Macau's chief executive poll, took "inheritance and innovation" as the theme of his 36-page policy outline.

The platform, which he presented yesterday to members of the city's 300-strong Election Committee, covers four issues: coping with the financial crisis, improving people's livelihoods, diversifying the economy and reforming the administrative system.

One analyst said the policy outline suggested that Dr Chui's administration would inherit many existing policies and offered little innovation. It lacked concrete ideas and failed to address public calls for political reform, the academic said.

Dr Chui needs at least 151 votes to win Macau's top job in the July 26 poll; 286 of the 300 voters nominated him.

He stressed the need to boost social welfare and enhance people's quality of life, touching on job security, support for the poor and public housing. He would try to ensure the completion of 19,000 public housing flats by 2012. The government had previously pledged to complete 19,000 flats by 2009 and later said they would be ready by 2010.

"Many people expressed concerns about housing when I was collecting views from the public," Dr Chui said.

He said he would seek to reduce Macau's reliance on casinos and pledged to boost the conference and exhibition industry.

But the policy outline featured little on political reform. Election Committee member and legislator Jose Coutinho asked Dr Chui if he would lead Macau towards universal suffrage, but the future leader said only that his government would research the issue.

"Social consensus is very important," Dr Chui said, "There will be government-led research and consultation to gauge public opinions."

He did not answer a question from legislator Kwan Tsui-hang, who suggested that the city should introduce a minimum wage.

Political commentator Larry So Man-yum said the policy outline suggested that Macau's new government would inherit most of the policies of current Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah.

"I can't see any deviation from the present government," said Professor So, of the Macau Polytechnic Institute, "The public hopes to see change, but there are not many new ideas in the platform." But he said it was commendable Dr Chui had devoted much of the outline to people's livelihoods.

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