The law Chui does not want to revisit | 30 doubts for 2019

When Portuguese language newspaper Macau Hoje recently asked political commentator Larry So what the government’s political priorities were for 2019 he responded the return of the Land Law to the Legislative Assembly.

Political commentator Larry So – very attentive to reality and not known for spouting nonsense – said: “Community pressure is very strong in this regard, and I think that some of the legislators will try to interfere and exert pressure, both openly and behind the scenes, to bring the [issue] back into discussion because it is a subject that has to be reviewed.” 

Still, these are startling statements. 

Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On reaffirmed four months ago that there is no timetable for his government to propose amendments to the Land Law that took effect in 2013 – “This is the government’s current stance concerning the Land Law,” he said. A few days earlier, it was the Secretary for Administration and Justice, Sonia Chan Hoi Fan, who told reporters that there was no timetable for the government to propose a Land Law amendment bill. 

Nevertheless, Chui conceded that the government had recently received many opinions concerning possible problems resulting from the implementation of the Land Law, and it is public knowledge that the government is studying the matter. 

The revision of the new Land Law is the only solution to current disputes arising from the expiration of land concessions, legislator Zheng Anting told Macau News Agency this year, stating that the law is the fundamental reason underlying the expiration of land concessions, the attendant article of which defines that any land parcel granted and not developed for a period of 25 years must revert to the government. 

The media have also reported in recent months that some local property developers have been pressing the government to propose amendments to the Land Law.