Ho Iat Seng has been designated as Macao’s Chief Executive. He will be sworn in on 20 December.
Ho Iat Seng, former president of the Macao Legislative Assembly, will be sworn in on 20 December, the same day Macao marks the 20th anniversary of its status as a Special Administrative Region.
On 11 September, Ho received a State Council decree (officially known as Decree No. 719) from Premier Li Keqiang designating him as Macao’s fifth-term chief executive. The decree-bestowing ceremony, chaired by Vice Premier Han Zheng, was held at Ziguang Hall of the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing.
During the meeting, Li said that since Macao’s return to the motherland, the city has been enjoying social harmony and stability, its residents’ living standards have been continuously improving and its exchanges and cooperation with the mainland have been continuously strengthened.
Li said that he hopes and believes Ho will make good use of the opportunities brought by the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, promote Macao’s economic diversification, constantly improve residents’ livelihoods, and make new achievements in the implementation of the “One Country, Two Systems” principle in Macao. He also added that the central government will fully support Macao’s new government in administering the city in line with the law.
Afterwards, President Xi Jinping met with Ho Iat Seng and said, “You [Ho Iat Seng] have long adhered to the position of loving the country and loving Macao, enthusiastically served Macao’s society, worked wholeheartedly in public positions including as a member of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee and president of the Macao Legislative Assembly, and made contributions to the country’s reform and opening-up and its modernisation, and Macao’s prosperity and stability,” adding that the central government fully recognises his efforts. “Your nomination and election with overwhelming support fully shows that you have won broad endorsement in Macao.”
On 25 August, all 400 members of Macao’s Chief Executive (CE) election committee voted for the region’s next CE. Ho Iat Seng gained 392 votes, 98 per cent of the total. Among the 400 votes, 392 were in Ho’s favour, with seven abstentions and one invalid vote.
During the meeting President Xi also said that, “This year marks the 20th anniversary of Macao’s return to the motherland. For the past 20 years, under the leadership of two chief executives Ho Hau Wah and Chui Sai On, the Macao SAR government has united people from all walks of life”. “One Country, Two Systems” principle “has proved to be a workable solution welcomed by the [Macao] people” he said.
President Xi Jinping called for Ho to accurately grasp Macao’s real situation and the country’s strategic development needs, and unite and lead his new government and people from various segments of Macao’s civil society to strive for the city’s long-term development.
Ho Iat Seng told the president that he was honoured to be appointed as the fifth-term chief executive of the MSAR. He pledged that he will […] firmly implement the “One Country, Two Systems” principle, safeguard the authority of the nation’s Constitution and the Macao Basic Law, maintain the favourable relations between the central government and Macao, uphold the central government’s overall jurisdiction and defend the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests. Ho Iat Seng pledged not to disappoint the central government and Macao residents. In a recent interview with state-broadcaster CGTN, Ho Iat Seng promised that solving Macao’s housing problems would be his government’s top priority and that they would make every effort to enable the young generation to buy property and give them a promising future. At the same time, he said that “If young people [from Macao] want to do business, they should go to the Chinese mainland because the largest market is there.”
Rooted in Macao
Ho Iat Seng was born in Macao in 1957 and comes from a successful local business family. His father, Ho Tin, was widely known as ‘the first Macao industrial entrepreneur’ and his elder sister Ho Teng Iat is a former member of the Legislative Assembly, as well as being the current president of the Women’s General Association of Macao.
Ho Iat Seng studied electronic engineering and economics at Zhejiang University and was a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in Zhejiang province for about two decades. In 1999, he replaced Edmund Ho as the sole Macao member on the standing committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC). From 2004 to 2009, he served as a member of the Executive Council of Macao and in 2013, he was elected president of the Legislative Assembly of Macao only to be re-elected in 2017. In April this year, he announced his decision to run for the CE election and submitted his resignation to the NPC Standing Committee and the legislative assembly of Macao.