new macau association come against the revisions made on Civil protection law

Macau | New Macau Association against Civil Protection Law revision

Macau (MNA) – The New Macau Association (NMA) has come out against amendments to the Civil Protection Law, which will include a criminal charge of three years imprisonment for those who spread rumours about civil protection, arguing it is against the principles of free speech.

The proposed changes to the law were announced on June 28, with the attendant public consultation regarding such changes to conclude on August 11.

In a press conference on Wednesday legislator Sulu Sou Ka Hou argued that the pressure to report positively in emergency situations such as Typhoon Hato, which hit the city in August last year, was stifling freedom of speech, citing the example of five media outlets being ordered by high-level officials to report ‘positively’ on the aftermath of the typhoon.

In addition, the Association argued that the wording of the law is vague, not clearly defining what incidents ‘public emergencies’ entail.

They claim, for example, that if there were to be a large demonstration held against the government, in the current wording protestors may be arrested under the new provisions of the law.

However, NMA stressed that the timely dissemination of accurate information is important and that the government should strive towards maintaining the accuracy of official communication channels.