Macau | Tightening Article 23 is a "message" from Chinese Central Gov't - commentator

The announcement by the Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak, that the enforcement of the Macau SAR National Security Law should be increased is a "message" from the Chinese Central Gov't, a commentator told MNA

Macau (MNA) – Political commentator Larry So Man Yum told Macau News Agency (MNA) that he sees the latest announcement by the Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak, that the enforcement of the National Security Law in the Macau SAR should be increased is in line with the recent tightening of law enforcement in Mainland China.

On Thursday, the Secretary announced in an on-line statement that the National Security Law inscribed in Article 23 of the MSAR Basic Law should be treated as an independent criminal law, capable of reinforcing the ‘demonstration of the ‘One country’ principle’.

According to Mr. So, although Article 23 was enacted nine years ago there has not been a real enforcement of the law in the city, with the Secretary attempting to “tighten the law and penal code within the law.”

“One of the reasons for this that I can see is that now in Hong Kong there’re some young people pushing for independence, which is seen as a direct violation of China’s constitution as well as of the Hong Kong Basic Law. They do have some influence over the people in Macau,” he added.

For the political commentator, the Secretary for Security is “trying to stop or prevent” such independency movements or type of activism in the MSAR, which is “the purpose of Article 23.”

However, Mr. So believes that tightening the enforcement of the law “doesn’t project an image of Macau as a free region” to the outside world or to local residents.

The announcement follows the Secretary’s attendance at China’s 13th National People’s Congress, with the political commentator noting that President Xi Jinping is also seeking to tighten regulations in Mainland China.

[Edited by Sheyla Zandonai]