Macau can overcome the challenges of the financial meltdown and is grateful for the central government's support, its chief executive has said on the ninth anniversary of the city's handover. Edmund Ho Hau-wah's speech yesterday came amid rising unemployment and social unrest in Macau. Residents are also wondering who their new leader will be when Mr Ho steps down next year, and casino magnate Stanley Ho Hung-sun offered his view to Cable TV. 'He should be a real Macau person, like those living in Macau for the last several generations,' Stanley Ho said. 'Please, let's not have a repeat of Tung Chee-hwa. He was not a Hongkonger.' Mr Tung, who was born in Shanghai, was Hong Kong's chief executive until he stepped down in 2005 as his popularity dwindled. Professor Lian Xisheng, of the China University of Political Science and Law, said governing experience was a required qualification. 'How the new chief executive can lead the government properly is significant.' Macau culture minister Fernando Chui Sai-on, executive councillor Ho Iat-seng, chief prosecutor Ho Chio-meng and finance minister Francis Tam Pak-yuen are seen as contenders. Mr Chui, like Edmund Ho, comes from one of Macau's ruling clans. His late uncle was a Communist Party supporter under Portuguese rule. Mr Ho said in his address that he was confident Macau would survive the difficult financial times. 'We have to maintain the mutual support between residents and the government and among all circles of society.' He did not mention rising unemployment or corruption in his address. Up to 11,000 workers are being sacked from casinos as operators have suspended development projects for up to six months. Former secretary for transport and public works Ao Man-long was jailed for taking bribes and money-laundering early this year.