Macau | Political pressure prompts National Security Committee launch – Commentators

Macau (MNA) – The recently proposed National Security Committee by the Macau SAR Government is likely the result of pressure from the central government in addition to political tensions in Hong Kong linked to the independence movement, a scholar and legislator has told Macau News Agency (MNA).

Eilo Wing Yat Yu, a professor at the Department of Government and Public Administration of the University of Macau, suggested that the active arrangement by the government to strengthen the city’s national security policies was ‘a reaction to Beijing’s concerns about national security and unity inside the country.’

‘Beijing seems to push the Macau SAR to take a proactive approach in the protection of national unity instead of a reactive approach,’ added Mr. Yu.

Legislator José Pereira Coutinho pointed out that the recent proposal is likely owing to the growing tension in Hong Kong regarding the independence movement.

In his opinion, the legislator said the establishment of the committee was not necessary.

“The fact is, if we consider Macau’s past and present as well as its geography, there is no need for such an arrangement,” said the legislator.

Meanwhile, the professor remarked that the proposal for the committee shows “a moderate approach” by the government after it had previously hinted that a body was needed for surveilling threats against national security or unity.

Yu opined that the relatively “moderate approach” of the committee was propounded considering that the body in question has a rather “advisory role” of providing suggestions for policy-making without any authoritative rights to execute any policy or law.

Following the announcement of the plan earlier this week, the Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak claimed that the authority is investigating at least one case related to national security but refused to disclose any information about the case(s) alleging security measures.

Coutinho said the government never discloses “what the problem is and why [the government] needs to seek such an approach.”

“I think [the launch of the committee] is redundant,” said the legislator. “It doesn’t matter whether to do it or not, but [the government] would waste public coffers [if they are to do it].”