Chief Executive Chui Sai On will deliver the Policy Address for the Fiscal Year 2019 on 15 November 2018. To gather opinions from all sectors of society, the Government held a 15-day public opinion collection exercise. The Chief Executive also met eight community organisations last week, to listen to their views and suggestions for formulating the Policy Address for the coming fiscal year.
On 22 October (Monday), the Chief Executive met with more than ten members of the Macao Committee of the All-China Youth Federation , who suggested the Government should establish an integrated Greater Bay Area information dissemination platform, develop cultural tourism projects in the area, create practical training opportunities for young people in outstanding enterprises in the Greater Bay Area, revise the Statute of Accountants to enable businesses to integrate into the development of the nation and the Greater Bay Area, and optimise healthcare and elderly services for Macao residents in the Greater Bay Area.
The Chief Executive said the Government would implement a policy that would support young people with engaging in the Greater Bay Area development, and urged them to be well prepared for this. Regarding talent development, he said that, based on the existing foundation, the Government would formulate policies suiting talented Macao people.
On 24 October (Wednesday), the Chief Executive met representatives of Macao Retiree and Pensioners Association (APOMAC), Macao Civil Servants Association (ATFPM), the Professional Civil Servants Association of Macau (ATEC), and Macao Chinese Civil Servants’ Association (ATFPOC), to discuss affairs related to civil servants and their organisations.
During the meeting with APOMAC, the association's president, Mr Jorge Fão, suggested that the Government should continue optimising the gratuity system, increase the amount of pensions, play a leading role in implementing environmentally friendly policies, enhance environmental protection education, formulate short-, medium- and long-term public housing policies and development schedules, and plan for construction of civil servants’ quarters.
The Chief Executive said he recognised that Macao's current success was accomplished through the efforts of the older generation. Therefore, the Government would, within its capability, study and improve its policy on elderly care. As regards to environmental protection education, the Chief Executive said the Government would intensify the related work in the coming year.
The chairman of the executive committee of the ATFPM, Mr José Pereira Coutinho, expressed his views on salary adjustments for civil servants, increases in housing allowances, special subsidies for grassroots civil servants, optimisation of the appeal mechanism, revision of calculation of seniority, training for bilingual talented people, a system for voluntary retirement under extraordinary circumstances, and adjustment of subsidies for functional heads.
The Chief Executive said that the voices of and suggestions from civil servants were heard, and would be analysed in detail as a reference for formulating the Policy Address for the year to come. He stressed that civil servants were precious assets of the Government. Apart from the ongoing reformation projects, the Government would continue perfecting its civil service system.
The executive director of the ATEC, Mr Tou Veng Keong, suggested that the Government should improve the salaries and room for promotion of special ranking officers, establish a public administration college for improvements in accordance with the times, improve and optimise the system for appointment of leading officials and department heads, review the civil servants retirement scheme, implement e-governance to enhance administrative efficiency, expedite improvement of infrastructure to face future challenges, and foster development by construction of a smart city. The Chief Executive said that the Government would analyse these recommendations and adopt suggestions that were feasible.
The president of the ATFPOC, Mr Lei Wa Pao, suggested increasing the entry payment of Statistics and Census Service (DSEC) investigators, removing the quota limit for “very satisfactory” in the work performance evaluation system, resuming construction of civil servants’ quarters, helping civil servants to relieve stress, and reviewing the Civil Service Provident Fund System.
The Chief Executive said that civil servants had to overcome various problems in their daily work, with increasing workloads and challenges of ever-advancing technology. He recognised that many laws might require revision after being in force for a certain period of time. Some of the bills related to civil servants had already been submitted to the Executive Council and the Legislative Assembly for discussion, while there had been progress with related plans and work.
Also on 24 October, the Chief Executive met with the secretary general director of Caritas Macau, Mr Pun Chi Meng. During the meeting, Mr Pun said it was expected the number of dementia patients in Macao would rise. He suggested that a new home for the elderly should be designed, to facilitate taking care of dementia patients.
Mr Pun also suggested the Government consider combining the home for the elderly with a day care centre for the elderly, so that patients could become familiar with the environment when receiving different levels of care services. He also suggested a pain reduction centre should commence operation, to provide integrated medication and non-pharmacotherapy.
The Chief Executive said that Caritas Macau maintained a good working relationship with the Government, and often contributed constructive opinions and suggestions regarding improvements to social services and related policies. The Government would study and analyse these recommendations and adopt suggestions that were feasible.
On 26 October (Friday), the Chief Executive met with representatives of the people's alliance of Macao (Aliança de Povo de Instituição de Macau, API) and the Macao Jiangmen Communal Society.
The chairman of the API, Mr Chan Chon Pat, suggested the Government should expedite the formulation and launch of the Macao Urban Development Master Plan, as a guide for development of various districts; establish a fund shared by all Macao residents for rational allocation of any fiscal surplus; formulate a schedule for speeding up public housing construction; resume the “rent to own” housing scheme for young people; establish a universal health care system; and optimise the system to provide support for taking care of children and the elderly.
The Chief Executive said the Government would continue implementing policies and measures regarding population ageing, and deepen planning of infrastructure for disaster prevention and reduction.
The president of the Macao Jiangmen Communal Society, Mr Ian Soi Kun, hoped the Government could adjust and enrich Macao’s Five-Year Development Plan in accordance with the changing situation, and adopt an “enclave” model in the Greater Bay Area for developing a smart retirement community. He also suggested broadening the scope of free medical services for the elderly, which were operated by non-governmental bodies with government subsidies, to ensure elderly residents could enjoy their retirement with peace of mind.
The Chief Executive agreed with some of these opinions, especially the society’s concerns about young people and the elderly. He said the Government always fully supported youth development and continues perfecting policies regarding the elderly.