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Macau CPPCC deputies want to know exactly what their job is

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image This photo shows members of the 12th CPPCC leaving the Great Hall of the People after the final meeting of the first session of the 12th CPPCC National Committee in Beijing

Macau’s deputies want to know more about their duties and responsibilities as members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), after ending their participation in the 8-day conference in Beijing.
The deputies spoke to Macau media after the final meeting of the first session of the 12th National Committee of the CPPCC in the Chinese capital yesterday. One of the deputies, Eric Yeung, was quoted by TDM as saying that in many group discussions, numerous CPPCC members stressed their mission of “participation and discussion of politics” and “democratic supervision of the authority”. However, many deputies [from Macau and other places] called for more precise and specific details of their formal duties.
A Macau businessman, and deputy, legislator Chui Sai Cheong, said they hoped the top advisory body could have the inner workings made more systematic, standardized and well programmed in order to better discharge its duties and realize its functions in political consultation. Legislator Leonel Alves, on the other hand, said in addition to economic reform, the mainland also needs to work on reforms in the judiciary and legal fronts.
Talking about the new CPPCC leadership, headed by Yu Zhengsheng with 23 chairpersons including Macau’s former Chief Executive Edmund Ho, Eric Yeung was quoted by the reporter as saying that it was “a very good choice”.
“Because he (Yu) is a very open and balanced person, he is willing to listen. [He is well liked in the general public].” The Macau businessman highlighted that another important reason for choosing Yu Zhengsheng was his link with Taiwan. “Normally, the Chairman of CPPCC also has the task of liaising with Taiwan. He has cousins across the Strait and so, beyond the official dialogue, there is also an informal channel (which he can communicate through),” said Yeung.
Other Macau deputies, including Ng Pui Kuen and Wong Pun Seng, told the broadcaster that they have very high expectations of the new chairman and the new leadership. They described Yu as a very practical man who isn’t afraid to speak truthfully and is able to lead the advisory body in achieving new goals.
Individually, four Macau deputies, including lawmaker Chan Meng Kam and businessman Ng Lap Seng suggested turning the cross-boundary industrial zone between Macau and Zhuhai into a duty-free trading district as a new initiative to boost economic relations between the two cities, and diversify Macau’s economy. 
In the National People’s Congress (NPC) meeting, Macau NPC deputy Lionel Leong suggested that Macau should further develop its RMB offshore business by asking for the central government’s approval for extension of the RQFII, and raise the upper limit the city is allowed to trade in the currency. He said Beijing should also consider allowing Macau banks to lend money to specific international companies operating in Guangdong province. The closing session of the CPPCC was attended by approximately 2,200 delegates and was marked by Yu Zhengsheng’s first speech as the chairman.

Tam: more tables for casinos with more leisure business

The Secretary for Economy and Finance, Francis Tam, who was in Beijing for the 12th National Committee CPPCC meeting, told Macau media yesterday that the tourism industry isn’t  just focused on visitor numbers and that the government is trying to turn Macau visitors into “leisure tourists” who can enjoy other aspects of the city such as its numerous World Heritage sites. He said the government is encouraging local businesses to develop leisure industries and create market demand to turn the city from a gaming center into a global travel and leisure destination. To do this, the authority will allocate new tables in accordance with casino-operators’ non-gaming business. More precisely, he said: “The casino-resorts that dedicate more business development to leisure industries will receive higher credits” for securing extra tables.


NPC local deputies demand regulation to prevent land disputes

Two local deputies of the National People’s Congress have highlighted the controversy surrounding the high-rise structure planned for Seac Pai Van to stress the need for government regulation to prevent land disputes. South China Morning Post links these comments to “a row over a private residential project on Coloane Island, which could lead to the demolition of an 80-year-old Portuguese pillbox”. The daily paper published quotes from Hong Kong deputy Ho Sut-heng, saying she hoped the government would ensure its “gate-keeping” role on the issue: “We have to strike a balance. We cannot only think of economic development … our history needs to be preserved (…) The society has paid a price [as Macau develops] … and land in Coloane should be treasured”. Lawmaker José Chui Sai Peng commented on the legislation for town planning that is being prepared: “We are pushing forward a legislation on town planning … and I hope it can be done by this summer. A unified law on planning is absent, so sometimes questions arise when [the use of land on a site] needs to be changed”.

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