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Gaming concession bidding to possibly pose risk to public security: Wong

2022-01-11 03:26     Comment:0

Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak said yesterday that the government’s upcoming gaming concession bidding process would possibly pose a certain level of risk to Macau’s public security.

Wong made the remarks while speaking to reporters at the Macau Public Security Forces Academy (ESFSM) in Coloane after attending a ceremony hosted by the local government that marked yesterday’s Chinese People’s Police Day.

Macau’s current three gaming concessions and three sub-concessions will expire in June.

The government has still not announced whether it will extend the current gaming concessions and sub-concessions for a period of time before a bidding process for the granting of future gaming concessions is ready.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Wong said that he expects Macau’s public security landscape this year to be similar to last year’s. Wong said residents buy things online more often due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its adverse impact on Macau’s economy, resulting in a rising number of “contactless crimes” committed on the internet. Wong said that the situation is posing more challenges to the police’s law enforcement.

Wong underlined that Macau’s public security has so far not been adversely affected by the recent closures of some local casino VIP rooms, adding that the city’s public security remains stable.

However, Wong said that the government’s upcoming gaming concession bidding process, as well as the ongoing “adjustments” to cooperative relationships between gaming operators and junket operators, would cause certain “changes” to Macau’s gaming industry landscape, which, he said, would possibly pose a certain level of risk to the city’s public security landscape.


National security law amendments

Meanwhile, Wong reaffirmed that the local government aims for amendments to the local national security law to be enacted by the end of this year.

Macau enacted its national security law – the Law on the Defence of National Security – back in 2009, based on the Article 23 requirement of the Macau Basic Law.

Macau’s national security law has not been amended since its enactment in 2009.

Amendments to laws must be passed by the Legislative Assembly (AL).

Wong underlined that the local government has been constantly working to improve its legal system on safeguarding national security and its mechanism on the respective law enforcements. For instance, Wong noted, the local government has set up national security law enforcement units – which are operating under the Judiciary Police (PJ). In addition, Wong noted, the outline of a government-initiated bill regulating police telephone tapping was passed by the legislature last month and the bill has been passed to one of its standing committees for article-by-article debate and review.

Wong said that he is preparing a public consultation on the drafting of the local national security law’s amendment bill. After the public consultation process is completed, Wong said, the local government will submit the amendment bill to the legislature for debate and vote, adding that the local government is aiming for the bill to be enacted by the end of this year.

Wong also reaffirmed that the current version of the local national security law is merely a substantive law, meaning that it does not contain details on the official procedures dealing with national security cases.

Wong said that the government will propose that the amended version of the local national security law will also be a procedural law, which will also specify detailed procedures concerning the enforcement of the law.

Wong also said that public awareness campaigns for safeguarding national security will be one of his portfolio’s important tasks this year.

The current version of the local Law on the Defence of National Security lists the seven crimes on endangering national security stated by Article 23 of the Macau Basic Law and their penalties.

The seven crimes, according to Article 23 of the Macau Basic Law, are treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the central government, theft of state secrets, political activities by foreign political organisations or bodies, and the establishment of ties by political organisations or bodies in Macau with foreign political organisations or bodies. 


Accompanied by senior officials under his portfolio, Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak (centre) talks to reporters at the Macau Public Security Forces Academy (ESFSM) in Coloane yesterday. Photo: GCS


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