Macau’s Chief Executive, Fernando Chui Sai On (pictured), launched his re-election bid on Tuesday, promising to fast-track administrative reforms. Mr Chui mentioned a “relatively radical” change in government secretaries, but shared little about his policies for a second term in office.
“Priority will be given to issues concerning people’s livelihood, such as housing, transportation, environmental protection, social security and human resources,” Mr Chui said in his speech.
Asked about his course of action toward the gaming industry, Mr Chui said he could not elaborate much.
Macau’s six casino concessions expire between 2020 and 2022. The government has signalled it will kick off the concession renewal process in 2015 or 2016.
The renewal process will probably not be much more than a “routine exercise,” a Macau government advisor hinted earlier this year at Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia 2014.
On Tuesday, Mr Chui said the next government will be in charge of the renewal process of the gaming licences. But he declined to elaborate on his approach to the process if elected.
Apart from Mr Chui, no other person has announced the intention of running for the city’s highest office. Even if it is a one-candidate election, the 400 members of the election committee will still need to cast their votes on August 31.
Mr Chui was short on specifics when asked whether there would be a government reshuffle if he gets re-elected, but mentioned a “relatively radical” change.
“There have been people calling for changes in the government,” he said. “Because I haven’t been re-elected I cannot share any details nor disclose names, but if I am re-elected I will look into that – that will be one of my priorities,” he added.
It is yet not clear whether Francis Tam Pak Yuen, the Macau government official in charge of gaming industry policy, will stay for what would be his fourth term as Secretary for Economy and Finance. He has been in post since Macau’s handover from Portuguese administration in 1999. Mr Tam however is thought likely to carry on into Mr Chui’s virtually guaranteed second term.
Mr Chui’s current term will end on December 19.
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"I am not going to speculate on what the [casino licence refreshment] tender requirements would be. I have full confidence and faith in the Macau government to treat everyone fairly"
Wilfred Wong Ying Wai
President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China