Industrialist Ho Iat-seng, the newly-elected Chief Executive of Macau, said he would improve public governance, diversify the local economy and continue the tradition of handing out cash to citizens of the gaming city.
On Sunday, 392 of the 400 members of the election committee voted for Ho, the only candidate, in the election for the chief executive of Macau. The 30-minute voting procedure started at about 10am at the landmark Macao East Asian Games Dome with seven members absent and one vote invalid, according to the election management committee.
Pending approval by the central government, Ho will become the chief executive of Macau on December 20, which marks the 20th anniversary of the Macao Special Administrative Region since the 1999 handover from the Portuguese to the Chinese government.
The Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, the central government’s Liaison Office in Macau and Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor congratulated Ho on his election as the leader of Macau.
In a speech after the election, Ho said he would spare no effort to uphold the principals of one country, two systems, Macau people governing Macau and a high degree of autonomy.
Ho also said he would push forward with the promises he made in his election platform, saying the government would improve its public governance, promote diversified economic development, improve the achievements in people’s livelihood, strengthen talent cultivation and build a cultural cooperation base.
He added that the Macau government would continue to deliver cash to its citizens annually as it was an effective policy.
Over the past 12 years, the Macau government has been delivering cash to its 620,000 citizens annually, as well as those who have migrated to other countries but still hold a Macau ID card. Last November, Macau chief executive Fernando Chui Sai-on announced a delivery of 10,000 patacas (US$1,248) per person.
Commenting on the political situation and protests in Hong Kong, Ho said he believed the problem would end some day. He said the tourism sector in Macau had been affected by the situation in Hong Kong, but Macau’s cooperation with the mainland cities in the Greater Bay Area would not slow down.
Born in Macau on June 12, 1957, Ho studied at the Pooi To Middle School (Macau). He was a CPPCC member in Zhejiang province between 1978 and 1998. In 1992, Ho studied electronic engineering and economics at Zhejiang University and later became a visiting fellow of the university.
In 2000, Ho was selected as an NPC member representing Macau and as a standing member the following year. Ho was a member of the Executive Council in Macau between 2004 and 2009.
Ho was elected as a Legco member in Macau in 2009. In October 2013, he became Legco’s president, serving until he announced his resignation in June this year.
In June, several people announced they would run in the election for Chief Executive, but none were nominated. According to the election rules, a person needs to get nominations from at least 66 election members in order to become a Chief Executive candidate. Last month, Ho had nominations from 379 election members and became the lone candidate in the election.