The Chief Executive, Mr Ho Iat Seng, today commended the role played by the local Portuguese- and English-language media during the past three years of the pandemic, in terms of creating a bridge between speakers of those languages and the Macao Special Administrative Region (MSAR) Government.
Those media were active in helping respectively, readers and speakers of Portuguese, and readers and speakers of English – locally and overseas – keep track of the latest situation in Macao, noted Mr Ho.
In a lunch reception with representatives of local Portuguese- and English-language news organisations, Mr Ho thanked those media outlets for their contribution over the past year, in particular for conveying to the Government the opinions of these communities during an acute phase of community adjustment caused by challenges brought about by COVID-19. alleviating the information lag caused sometimes by language differences.
Users respectively of Portuguese and English had been – through the detailed coverage of the Portuguese- and English-language media – able better to understand the various policy measures taken by the Government to protect the lives and overall safety of the city’s residents; maintain the stability of people’s livelihoods; and accelerate the recovery of the economy. Media coverage of these topics enhanced mutual understanding between the Government and the communities speaking these languages.
In his speech, Mr Ho said the past year was the most difficult for Macao regarding the three years of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether overcoming the serious threat of the “18 June outbreak” or dealing with the impact of the new phase of prevention and control at the end of the year, Macao residents had remained positive in the face of adversity. All sectors of the community have been united – through selfless devotion, dedication, and sacrifice – in overcoming various difficulties.
Now, Macao was finally welcoming the gradual lifting of the epidemic prevention measures, the progressive recovery of the local economy, and the resumption of social activities. In 2023, many of friends overseas would finally be able to enjoy freer and more convenient immigration measures, and could look forward to travel freely to and from Macao, to meet either family members, friends or partners.
The Chief Executive said those media also provided people overseas with various perspectives on Macao, and helped them understand China in a comprehensive way, via interviews, field trips, and other forms of coverage.
Visits by those media to the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin and to Xinjiang had helped their readers, listeners, and viewers to gain an objective understanding of the effort China had made for the well-being of its people in the new era. The beneficial outcomes were the result of the professionalism of local Portuguese- and English-language media in carrying out their duties, and an important driving force for the continuous improvement and enhancement of the MSAR Government’s work in various areas, Mr Ho added.
The Government would continue during this year to act in accordance with the overall policy direction of “boosting the economy, fostering economic diversification, relieving livelihood hardships, preventing and controlling COVID-19, and promoting steady overall development of Macao”, all in the context of the second Five-Year Development Plan. The Government would take various steps, including advancing a number of livelihood projects in an orderly manner; ensuring Macao actively participates in the construction of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and in the “Belt and Road” initiative; and getting Macao pragmatically to promote the construction of the Guangdong-Macao Intensive Cooperation Zone in Hengqin.
The Chief Executive said the Government was committed to ensuring that the media can better perform their duties in accordance with the Basic Law and other relevant laws. It was also committed to supporting the continued development of the industry, by strengthening positive interaction with journalists and actively supporting and assisting their reporting work.
It was also hoped the Portuguese- and English-language media would continue to act as supervisors and bridges, in order to support, and to keep a close eye on, the Government’s administrative effort. Those media would continue to report further – for local people and people globally, via various news platforms – on the latest developments and news relating to the MSAR, in order to strengthen contribution to the speedy post-epidemic recovery of Macao, and to the city’s development in the field of news and communication.