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Macao's integrity situation enhanced: survey
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Macao people have gave a better rating to the city's integrity situation, but it is still beneath the mark of 60, according to the results of a survey released Monday by the Commission Against Corruption (CCAC) of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR).

The survey, conducted between June 2007 and May this year, was aimed to collect local citizens opinions on the SAR's integrity situation, and their attitudes toward CCAC's works.

The survey results showed that local people's impression about Macao's integrity situation and CCAC's performance in the fight against corruption has improved in the past 12 months, with its average rating increased by 2.7 and 2.3 to 59.2 and 61.8, compared with the previous period.

The SAR's Commissioner against Corruption, Cheong U, pointed out that under the negative impact of former policy secretary's corruption scandal, the ratings of both Macao's integrity situation and CCAC's performance fell below the mark of 60 in last year's survey, but the ratings have improved apparently this year.

According to the statistics released by CCAC, the anti-corruption agency received 402 complaints in the first half of 2008, up 2.55 percent year-on-year, among which 20 cases commenced for investigation.

"Generally speaking, public opinions about Macao's integrity situation has enhanced, but it still haven't reached the high level before the exposure of Ao's corruption scandal," said Cheong.

However, the survey also indicated that respondents who are non- permanent residents generally have a positive view on Macao's integrity situation, as no more than 10 percent of them deemed that Macao has serious corruption problems.

Ao Man Long, the disgraced former secretary for transport and public works of the SAR, was sentenced by the SAR's Court of Final Appeal to 27 years in prison on 57 counts of corruption, money laundering, abuse of power and false declaration of assets. Ao is the highest-ranked SAR official ever convicted after the return of Macao to China.

Cheong said that Ao's case has tainted the image of the SAR government and its staff, therefore, the SAR's civil servants will need to make more effort to change people's view on the SAR government.

(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2008)

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