Govt to revise oath-taking law in line with amended national security law: Cheong

2023-11-21 03:28     BY Tony Wong    Comment:6

Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chon said yesterday that the government will submit a bill to the legislature proposing amendments to the current law regulating the oath-taking of those in the executive, legislative and judicial organs of the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR).

Cheong made the remarks during yesterday’s one-day Q&A session in the Legislative Assembly’s (AL) hemicycle about his portfolio’s policy guidelines for next year.

The current oath-taking law came into force on December 20, 1999 when the MSAR was established. The law was last amended in 2001.

In compliance with the MSAR Basic Law, Macau’s oath-taking law currently covers the chief executive, principal officials, the president of the Legislative Assembly, the president of the Court of Final Appeal (TUI), the public prosecutor-general, members of the government’s top advisory Executive Council, legislators, judges, and prosecutors.

The amended version of the MSAR’s national security law took effect on May 30 this year, according to which all public servants, as well as members of the Chief Executive Election Committee which elects the MSAR chief executive, are also required to take their oaths when taking office.

During yesterday’s Q&A session, Cheong underlined that the local government will continue to draft supplementary legislation that would ensure the full implementation of the local national security law. Cheong said that in compliance with newly added provisions listed in the amended local national security law, the local government will submit a bill to the legislature proposing amendments to the current oath-taking law. He did not say when the government expects to submit its amendment bill.

Govt to revamp Basic Law gallery

Meanwhile, Cheong also said that the government will redesign the Macau Basic Law Commemorative Gallery, which is located next to the main entrance of the Macau Forum complex in Zape.

Cheong said that the exhibition space in the gallery will be redesigned, adding that the revamped gallery will feature interactive and multimedia devices. Cheong did not say when the project would start.

The gallery is run by the Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM), which Cheong oversees. It opens daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Public servants

Meanwhile, Cheong acknowledged that under the current system it is very difficult to launch disciplinary procedures against “unproductive” public servants who do nothing wrong or do not go against their superiors.

Cheong also said that at the end of last month, the total number of public servants stood at around 34,000, a slight decrease from the around 35,000 in April 2020. Cheong said that the current number of public servants is sufficient for the overall operation of the public administration, but certain units in certain public entities may currently be affected by a shortage of staff.

Cheong said that it would be more sensible for the government to improve its public administration’s division of labour than to hire more staff, with the aim of tackling the staff shortage issue in certain public units. 

Cheong also said that patriotic education should be a “mandatory” course for all public servants. 

Secretary for Administration and Justice André Cheong Weng Chon addresses yesterday’s Q&A session about his portfolio’s 2024 policy guidelines in the Legislative Assembly’s (AL) hemicycle. – Photo: GCS

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