Macau chooses new legislative head

Macau’s Chief Executive-in-waiting, Hou Iat Seng, had his recently vacated seat atop the Legislative Assembly filled by veteran legislator Kou Hoi In yesterday. As the Macau Daily Timespoints out, Kou was a natural choice for the position, as he was already First Secretary. However, he had not been acting in the top post since Ho resigned to run for the CE office. The current Deputy President, Chui Sai Cheong, had been in the acting position. It would appear that the majority of legislators decided that it would not be proper for Chui to take the position while his brother, Chui Sai On, was still in the Chief Executive’s office.

If that sounds like too much inside-baseball, dear reader, all you need to understand is this: The Chui, Ho and Ma clans have run Macau’s commercial and civil society between them for many decades, first under the Portuguese, then for the past 20 years since Macau’s return to China. It was natural, therefore, to have expected one of the Chui clan to take the top legislative position ahead of his brother vacating the CE’s office. But it didn’t happen. 

Has the grip of the Big Three on Macau’s power politics been broken? December 20 will be the first time the clans have not had a member in either of Macau’s two top posts since 1999. Let’s see what happens thereafter. The head of the Ho clan, former CE Edmund Ho, is still the vice chairman of the CPPCC. 

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