MACAU

Macau bill on outgoing chief executive's welfare slammed for being too generous

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 May, 2014, 4:33am
UPDATED : Thursday, 22 May, 2014, 4:33am

A controversial bill advocating a generous welfare package for Macau's outgoing chief executive and top officials has been slammed as being tailor-made for the retiring ministers whose terms end with the government's this year.

It also proposes granting its chief executive immunity from criminal charges during tenure.

"This is unfair - why should we introduce such a law to protect [Macau Chief Executive] Fernando Chui Sai-on from criminal charges?" University of Macau political scientist Professor Bill Chou Kwok-ping said.

The bill looks set to be approved by Macau's Legislative Assembly by the end of the month, given that most members were either appointed by the chief executive or indirectly elected. A monthly subsidy - 70 per cent of his monthly salary - is suggested for the outgoing chief executive until he takes up a new paid job. His current salary is 270,000 patacas a month.

Retiring principal officials would also receive a one-off payment. Those with a civil service background would receive 14 per cent of their monthly salary times the number of months they served. Non-civil servants would enjoy 30 per cent.

The bill also suggested an additional monthly payment - 70 per cent of their monthly salaries - for the outgoing officials as they were banned from assuming posts with private entities in the first year after leaving office.

Pro-democracy lawmaker Au Kam-san said the bill was problematic and was set up in the ministers' own interests. "It's a very huge sum of public money."

Political commentator Larry So Man-yum said it was disappointing the government did not carry out any public consultation before launching it.