【New Macau Association New Year Press Conference】

On the 26th Day of the First month of the year of the Dog, the New Macau Association (NMA) once again wishes our citizens good health and all the best. It is also our desire that our society can advance against all odds.

Shortly before the Lunar New Year, the NMA and our Legislative Deputy resettled our office at the more grassroots Inner Harbor district. We also sucessfully launch and complete our first Crowdfunding project. Internally, Ms Kam Sut Leng was elected as our first female President. Through these actions the NMA wishes to bring forth a message to the public, that even Macau’s political environment deteriorate, we will faithfully uphold and live up to the scared mandate from our supporters.

NMA reached its 25th anniversary in 2017. In the past year, NMA was out-speaking as usual on major social concerns. We have also strengthened our internal network and community service by building up a strong volunteer team as well as by listening to public opinion in person through numerous field visits. Last August, in the aftermath of the devastating Typhoon Hato, despite our limited resources, the NMA still managed to organize volunteers to assist in disaster relief in different communities, pursuing justice for the citizens.

For the past year, including the Election, NMA set up over 190 street station, during which we reported our work and communicated with the public. We distribute more than 18,800 copies of our own publication New Macau. Topics included the funding of the Macao Foundation, the increase of traffic fines, education expenses and teachers’ rights, urban planning and cultural conservation, and nuclear plant safety. Last November, in response to the consultation of the setup of the Municipal Organ, NMA launched a petition campaign, calling for elected representatives in the Organ. Over 720 petitions in favour of elected representatives were collected, amounting for nearby 50% of the opinion collected by the Government.

On September 17, with the priceless support from our team and fellow citizens, New Macau Progressives won a legislative seat with 9,213 votes. The Election cost us an expenditure of MOP$ 172,550.27. In preparation for the Election, NMA launched a one-month program, collecting more than 205 pieces of opinion from around 10 locations in Macau, covering housing, transport, labor and anti-corruption. Together with a dozen of discussion sessions with experts, scholars and pressure groups we concluded a 17,000 word program divided into 17 policy fields under the slogan of “Reform in the Legislature. Sustainability for the City”.

In the previous year NMA completed 127 individual cases which cover issues such as municipal management, livelihood, transportation, urban planning, land and housing (94 cases, 74% has been resolved). There has been a huge increase in number of cases since the Election. NMA and the Deputy Office have completed at least 105 cases (82.6% of the total number of cases). On October 15, Sulu Sou Ka Hou, participant of NMA Summer Internship Program, sworn in as the youngest Legislative Deputy. In the first 49 days until his suspension due to the charge of “aggravated disobedience”, he raised 7 written parliamentary questions, 1 oral question and 2 debate motions. He has also released 7 detailed records of meeting under the title of “No Secret in the Legislature”, advocating for the opening up of the Committee meetings of the Legislature.

This January we launched the three-month long “Crowdfunding Project 2018”. In two months an amount of MOP325,270 has been raised through the online crowdfunding platform, exceeding our goal of MOP 300,000. With your help the NMA will be able to bear recurrent expenditure for half a year. Our expenditure includes 2-3 fulltime or part-time staff, office rent, and other expenditures in campaigns and promotion. The financial report will be disclosed at the conclusion of the scheme.

In general, NMA is growing in terms of its internal organization and community service. However, Macau’s human rights condition is deteriorating. Self-censorship and executive power abuse remain frequent, especially from the police. Currently, multiple members of the NMA are facing unreasonable criminal charges. The strive for democracy, freedom and public interest is still difficult. We once again thank those who support the NMA over the years. In the future, the NMA will remain the role of Macau’s “goalkeeper” and continue our work to advance Macau’s political and social environment.

New Macau Association
March 13, 2018