A long-awaited law to restrict officials' post-retirement work in the private sector may be enacted by the end of the year, when the current Macau government leaves office. Chief Executive Edmund Ho Hau-wah on Wednesday pledged to have such a law ready before a government led by his successor, Dr Fernando Chui Sai-on, comes in. Ho is due to step down on December 19. 'People don't have to worry. All principal officials in this government, including the chief executive, will be subject to the rule,' Ho said at the airport before flying to Beijing for the National Day parade. He said the Executive Council had been drafting a bill that would soon be submitted to the legislature. But details of the bill, such as the length of time for which officials will be banned from working in private firms, have yet to be announced. Re-elected legislator Jose Coutinho said Macau residents had been vocal in calling for such a law. 'Problems of corruption and collusion have been exposed in the government. The public is demanding rules to ensure fairness and transparency,' he said. Former public works minister Ao Man-long was jailed in April for 28 years and six months on 81 counts of bribe-taking, money laundering and other crimes. Political commentator Professor Larry So Man-yum said the public outcry in Hong Kong over a developer's job offer to former housing chief Leung Chin-man had prompted calls in Macau for restrictions on officials' post-retirement work. 'Macau people have learned from the Leung Chin-man controversy,' he said. 'In the past legislative poll, several election teams stressed the need for rules regarding officials' post-retirement work.' A public uproar last year followed the Hong Kong government's approval of Leung's application to work with New World China Land (NWCL). Leung was director of housing when the government sold the Hunghom Peninsula housing estate in 2004 for barely half the asking price to a consortium including NWS Holdings, the conglomerate flagship of New World Development, which owns NWCL. He was offered the job one year after his retirement. A Legislative Council inquiry is now being carried out. In Hong Kong, a directorate-grade official is subject to a one-year 'sanitisation period' after retirement before being allowed to work in the private sector, in addition to a three-year 'control period' allowing some flexibility. In the case of a permanent secretary, the control period and the sanitisation period run concurrently. No employment is allowed within the sanitisation period except unpaid work for charitable, academic or non-profit organisations. The Hong Kong rules compare with a two-year restriction period in Britain, and one year in the United States and Canada. Singapore has a much stricter system with a five-year ban in certain categories. Macau has rules restricting officials only at the levels of bureau heads and deputy bureau heads. After retirement, such officials are subject to a six-month ban from working in fields related to their government work. Legislator Au Kam-san said it was strange that under the Macau system, department deputies were restricted but their bosses were not. Susana Chou, outgoing president of Macau's Legislative Assembly, said in July that it was a great pity that the legislation regarding high officials' post-retirement work could not be completed in her term. She said that since 2006, she had been asking the government to submit a bill, but some 'irresponsible officials' had resisted the legislation. Chou did not name the officials.