TEXT Tony Chouin Lai
A total of 44 individuals and organisations were honoured for their work in the SAR by outgoing Chief Executive Chui Sai On at the end of last year. We speak to seven worthy winners of ‘Lotus’ awards.
The idea of ‘it takes a village’ applies not only to raising a child but also to the development of a city. The long–term prosperity and stability of Macao over the past two decades could not be achieved without the support of stakeholders across the community. In recognition of the outstanding achievements, contributions and services of individuals and organisations towards the growth of the SAR, the Chief Executive has given out Decorations of Honour, Medals of Merit, Medals for Distinguished Service and Honorific Titles every year since 2001, following recommendations from the Committee of Nomination of Medals and Honorary Titles.
At the end of last year, a total of 44 individuals and organisations were awarded for their hard work, dedication and exceptional contributions to Macao society. The conferring ceremony took place on 22 November, officiated by former Chief Executive Chui Sai On, who wrapped up his second five-year term just under a month later. We speak with seven individuals who received either Golden or Silver Lotus honours.
DECORATION OF HONOUR – GOLDEN LOTUS
The second top honour after the Grand Lotus – which was not awarded in 2019 – the Golden award is conferred to individuals or organisations for their exceptional contributions, both locally and internationally, to the good reputation and image of the SAR, as well as their endeavours in developing Macao.
LIU CHAK WAN
- Age: 69
- Public positions: Former member of the Executive Council; member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference; chairman of Kiang Wu Hospital Charitable Association.
- Background: Liu has been actively involved in the local business and finance scene and has made contributions to the education and healthcare sectors of Macao as one of the co-founders and chancellor of the Macau University of Science and Technology.
- What he said: “This medal is the recognition of the endeavours of my colleagues and I – and we will keep working hard and improving. We don’t keep working hard for the accolades but for the socio-economic development and prosperity [of Macao].”
MA IAO LAI
- Age: 71
- Public positions: Former member of the Executive Council; member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference; president of the Macao Chamber of Commerce.
- Background: A businessman who has expedited the betterment of Macao and Mainland China for decades, particularly facilitating the development of the local industrial and commercial sectors and the co-operation between China and Portuguese-speaking countries.
- What he said: “Thanks to the guidance of my patriotic seniors, I have served in many major public positions. I hope all Macao residents can continue to work for the betterment of the city under the principle of ‘One Country, Two Systems’.”
DECORATION OF HONOUR – SILVER LOTUS
The third top honour, the Silver Lotus is also conferred to individuals or organisations for their exceptional contributions, both locally and internationally, to the good reputation and image of the SAR, as well as their endeavours in developing Macao.
LEONEL ALBERTO ALVES
- Age: 62
- Public positions: Member of the Executive Council; member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference; president of the Discipline Inspection Committee of the Security Forces and Services of Macao.
- Background: A veteran legislator for 33 years until 2017, Alves is a renowned lawyer and legal expert in the city.
- What he said: “I’m humbled to receive this recognition. In the past 30 years and more – before and after the handover [of administration to China] – I’ve tried my best to contribute in my professional field, helping draft new legislations for Macao to improve our economic environment and better protect our human rights. I’m happy everyone [now] has the right to be assisted by a lawyer in court proceedings and outside court proceedings at the police station. It’s very important to defend human rights in Macao.”
CHEANG CHI KEONG
- Age: 67
- Public positions: Former member of the Executive Council; member of the Economic Development Council; advisor to the Macao branch of the Bank of China.
- Background: He has been active in the local business and commercial scene, and has served as a legislator for 16 years.
- What he said: “One of the reasons I’ve been awarded with this honour is due to my work in the Bank of China, underscoring the significance and status of the bank. I have to express my gratitude to my colleagues and clients, and my family, for their support and encouragement over the years. This medal also serves as recognition and acknowledgement for my work in the Executive Council and the Legislative Assembly.”
HO SUT HENG
- Age: 60
- Public positions: Former member of the Executive Council; Macau deputy to the National People’s Congress; vice-president of the Macao Federation of Trade Unions, taking over as president on 9 January.
- Background: Ho has been involved in local labour unions for more than four decades. She champions the improvement of local labour rules and regulations, as well as better relationships between employers and employees.
- What she said: “This honour keeps me motivated in assisting in local labour issues. As Macao ushers in a new stage of development, which will translate to more opportunities for local employees to work in the Greater Bay Area, they have to keep learning and enhancing their expertise. [I will help] workers to receive more different types of vocation training, as well as striving for better treatment for all employees.”
EDDIE WONG YUE KAI
- Age: 67
- Public positions: Former member of the Executive Council; member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference; President of the Macao Red Cross.
- Background: An architect with 40-year-plus experience, Wong has also dedicated himself to the Architects Association of Macao for many years.
- What he said: “I’m happy that my work has been acknowledged and I’m also grateful to have had the opportunities to serve the Macao community for so many years. I have been involved in the local architectural sector for more than 40 years and I have engaged in the Macao Red Cross for more than 20 years. Looking ahead, I hope I can still have more chances to make contributions in these two areas.”
CHAN CHAK MO
- Age: 68
- Public positions: Member of the Executive Council; legislator since 2001; secretary-general of the Sports and Olympic Committee of Macao, China; president of the United Association of Food and Beverage Merchants of Macau.
- Background: A prominent local businessman, he has helped to facilitate the development of the local food and beverage sector and has been committed to nurturing local sport talents.
- What he said: “I’m greatly delighted to get this once-in-a-lifetime honour. I’ve worked in the sectors of sports, business and food and beverage for many years. I’m not saying I have done an exceptional job but it’s nice that my endeavours have been recognised. I’m genuinely honoured and grateful.”