Macau Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah has called on the city's community to adopt a proper understanding of election culture and face up to the challenges it brings. Speaking to Hong Kong media executives yesterday, he lamented that all Macau's political groups targeted the government to accumulate 'political capital'. 'As a government, it is impossible not to consider the election culture. Don't ever think there is an opportunity to pause for breath.' Mr Ho said government officials should not feel frustrated by such challenges. Instead they should change their mentality and learn from their mistakes. He was speaking after announcing in his policy address last week the introduction next year of a ministerial system which, it is believed, will mirror Hong Kong's. In his address, he was highly critical of public servants for lacking a sense of realism and judgment in handling emerging social problems. While the booming tourism and gaming industries have brought spectacular economic growth, the city of 500,000 has faced soaring inflation, a widening rich-poor gap, a talent shortage and a squeeze on small businesses. Mr Ho said the talent shortage and the poor skills of the city's population would be Macau's major challenges in the next five to 10 years. His government had two strategic objectives - implementing 15 years of free education to boost the skills levels of the workforce and reviewing the social security programme to ensure retiring workers would be sufficiently provided for until a mandatory provident fund comes in. Since it took time to improve the skills of the population, the government had to ease the talent shortage by importing labour properly, he said. 'The human resources problem is always political ... It will unavoidably cause conflicts if the government can't handle it cautiously,' Mr Ho said. In May, thousands of workers protested against the government's policy of importing labour. Mr Ho said his government supported the proposal for a Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai bridge, but he agreed with some scholars' view that the economic efficiency of a bridge with a so-called 'double-Y' alignment, that also took in Shenzhen, would have been higher. 'But progress on such an option might not have been as fast as everyone hoped. That's expected. How the various governments would pay for it would also be a problem,' he said.