Chui Sai On, who won the third-term chief executive election of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR), speaks to the media, in Macao, south China, July 26, 2009. The election was held in Macao Sunday. [Wong Pun Keung/Xinhua]
China's State Council, or Cabinet, agreed Monday to appoint Chui Sai On as the new chief executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR).
Chui's tenure will last for five years from Dec. 20, according to a Cabinet meeting presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao, who signed a State Council order on the appointment.
Chui Sai On, the only contender in the race to become the third chief executive election of the Macao SAR, was declared the winner of the election on July 26.
Wen told the meeting that the election was completely in line with the Basic Law of the Macao SAR of the People's Republic of China and the SAR's regional law.
"It reflects an open and just principle," Wen said, adding Chui's win by a clear majority showed he was "widely recognized and supported by Macao people from all walks life."
Wen said that since the region returned to the Chinese rule in 1999, Chui had served as secretary for social and cultural affairs of the SAR and was "an important member of Macao's governance team."
Chui had "firmly supported Chief Executive Ho Hau Wah" and had made achievements in his field, accumulating abundant administrative experience and leadership capabilities, Wen said.
Chui's election would be conducive to Macao's long-term stability and development, Wen said.
Wen was confident that Chui could lead the SAR government and people to create new conditions for the region's prosperity in his tenure.
State Councilors also deliberated the SAR government report on Chui's election and listened to a report on the election process, which was presented by Liao Hui, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council.
The approval of the State Council is the final process of appointing the chief executive. According to the Basic Law of the Macao SAR, despite winning the election last month, Chui needed the confirmation of Macao's Court of Final Appeal and appointment by China's central government to officially become the SAR's next chief executive.
The Court of Final Appeal of Macao SAR confirmed the ballot result of the third executive election on Aug. 3. Chui won 282 valid votes, or 94 percent, of the 297 present members of the southern city's Chief Executive Election Committee, which was comprised of representatives of Macao's business, political, cultural and religious sectors.
The second consecutive term of Ho Hau Wah will end on Dec. 19.
Chui said after the election he would make a priority of tackling social and economic problems brought about by the global economic downturn, and his policies would also focus on stabilizing unemployment, improving housing, and fighting corruption.
He said he would make efforts to maintain Macao's competitiveness in Asia's gambling market though gaming policy would not change in the near future.
The gambling sector, the pillar of Macao's economy, reaped a record 108.7 billion patacas (13.7 billion U.S. dollars) in revenues last year, an increase of 31 percent year-on-year, according to government figures. But the figure was down 12 percent year in the first half of this year due to the economic downturn.
Born in Macao in 1957 with Chinese nationality, Chui completed his secondary education in Macao and continued his studies in the United States. He obtained his masters degree and doctorate in public health at the School of Public Health, University of Oklahoma, United States.
During his two-term stint as an SAR secretary, Macao SAR held the East Asian Games and Macao's Historical Area was inscribed on the UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List, which was a significant boost to the city's image and tourism.
(Xinhua News Agency August 10, 2009)