In a surprise move, the Vice President of the Macau Legislative Assembly Chui Sai Cheong, brother of present Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On, said that he will support President of the Macao Legislative Assembly, Ho Iat Seng, as a candidate to be the next chief executive.
Chui Sai Cheong, a leading businessman in Macao, told journalists that he believes “the president (Ho Iat Seng) already meets all the conditions to be the future chief executive but that’s a decision that only he himself can take.”
When asked if he will run for the position of the next chief executive, Ho excused himself from comment, noting that, for the time being, he is a lawmaker and president of the Legislative Assembly.
“Regarding this matter, I need to state clearly that, for the time being, I’m still the president of the Legislative Assembly and I do not wish to create any confusion with this,” he said.
Questioned several times in the last months if he would run for the position, Ho Iat Seng never said “yes or no”.
Observers said that, in Macao’s political life, where you need to read between the lines to know what local politicians think, this kind of statement is not made by mistake or inadvertently .
By August next year, Macao will know who will succeed Chui Sai On and at least three months before candidates will come forward.
After members of the two of the most representative families in Macao history (Edmund Ho Au Wah and Chui Sai On) has been governing Macau for 20 years, the next chief executive might be appointed from another family with an impeccable political past — the Ho Tins.
Ho Iat Seng is a Macao native born in 1957 into an industrialist and political family. His father and sister are prominent figures in the business and political professions.
The family owns the Hotin company in Macao; for 50 years, it has been involved in the manufacture of an extensive range of dependable and top quality products, including solar photovoltaic modules, solar garden lighting, household appliances, flashlights and toys. Two industrial buildings covering 300,000 square feet in Macao are its administrative centre, R & D centre, marketing centre, quality control centre as well as manufacturing base of high-tech products.
The labour-intensive products are manufactured in factories in Guangdong (Zhongshan) and Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang province, covering a total area of 700,000 square feet. The Mainland China factories are overseen by Macau management.
Ho Iat Seng has been a member of the Legislative Assembly since 2009 and became president in 2013.
Ho’s record in the Chinese political structure has no parallel in Macao. He was deputy to the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th National People’s Congress (NPC), member of the Standing Committee of the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th NPC and member of the Presidium of the 10th, 11th and 12th NPC.
In Macao, Ho Iat Seng was appointed by the Chief Executive as a member of the Executive Council for the second term of the Macao SAR Government and was elected member and vice president of the 4th term of the Legislative Assembly of the Macao SAR.
Ho plays an active role in many community organizations in Macao. He is currently the Vice President of Macao Chamber of Commerce, President of Macao Industrial Association, Honorary President of Macao Basic Law Promotion Organisation, Member of the University Assembly & Council of University of Macau and Member of the Board of Trustees of Macau University of Science and Technology Foundation, among others.
In 1999, Ho was awarded the Industrial & Commercial Merit Medal by the last Portuguese Governor of Macao. In 2001, he was awarded the Industrial & Commercial Merit Medal by the Government of Macao SAR. In 2009, he was awarded the Honourable Medal of Golden Lotus Flower by the Government of Macao SAR.
The current Chief Executive, Fernando Chui Sai On, will end his term on the 19th of December 2019.
The chief executive is elected by a 400-member Electoral Committee formed by the most representative personalities of different sectors of Macao society. The chief executive must be a Chinese national, a permanent resident in the Macao Special Administrative Region for at least 20 consecutive years and cannot hold another residence in a foreign country.