MAINLAND officials offered yesterday to help Macau crack down on growing triad violence. The Xinhua director in Macau, Wang Qiren, said the mainland could provide 'positive and efficient' co-operation to quell the spate of shootings and other crimes. But speaking after meeting visiting Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres, Mr Wang stressed that the mainland respected the existing administration and said internal matters were Portugal's responsibility until the 1999 handover. 'If they need help we will offer our assistance. China will give positive and efficient co-operation. However, before 1999 the Portuguese are responsible for the territory,' Mr Wang said. Mr Wang refused to confirm whether he and Mr Guterres had discussed the crime problem, saying the meeting was principally about 'general matters' relating to Macau and the Prime Minister's visit to China. His comments came after Governor Vasco Rocha Vieira made several calls for China's help in tackling the deteriorating security situation. His administration has come under attack twice this week for its handling of a wave of violence which has seen three public servants murdered in gangland-style executions in the past month. Former legislator Dr Rui Afonso claimed the Governor and his team 'lacked the stamina' to rule Macau until its handover at the end of 1999, saying a culture of 'private justice by execution' now existed. Meanwhile, in an interview with the Hong Kong-based International Chinese Newsweek magazine, casino tycoon Dr Stanley Ho Hung-sun criticised the Government's apparent inability to slow the crime wave. 'Almost 30 people have died within these eight months and not even one case [has] been solved in four years,' Dr Ho said. Dr Ho added he had expressed his concerns to mainland authorities and had been told 'to be patient' as they would not interfere before the handover. Macau authorities have still made no comment on the individual attacks. The Prime Minister leaves Macau for the mainland this afternoon.