Legislator calls for transparency into Macau Foundation

A Macau legislator has called for the review of a policy which grants 1.6 percent of the city’s annual gaming revenue to the Macau Foundation, local media reports.

Legislator Au Kam San said the measure lacked transparency during Monday’s Legislative Assembly plenary session.

“Recently the Macao Foundation conceded a subsidy of MOP 123 million (US$15.4 million) to Jinan University. Why does the Macau Foundation have so much money? How are the billions of patacas spent by it awarded every year and how are they spent by the associations, private universities and private hospitals, which receive those funds every year?” asked legislator Au Kam San, a former member of the New Democratic Macau Association – quoted by Macau Business Daily.

The legislator said the measure was “outdated”, created at a time when annual gaming revenue was between MOP 10 million (US$1.3 million) or MOP 20 million.”

“Just take into account the situation in 2014, when total gaming revenue was more than MOP 300 billion and 1.6 per cent represented MOP5 billion. In 2015, even with the downturn in gaming revenues, the Macau Foundation received easily more than MOP3 billion. These are public funds, with no oversight,” said Au Kam San.

The legislator also went on to mention his recent attempt to obtain more information on how a private university had applied to the Macau Foundation for funds on technology development and was denied as the documents were the university’s private property.

“If I as a legislator can’t get that information from the Macau Foundation, how can I obtain them from the university? This demonstrates clearly that the Macau Foundation is covering up for the university,” Au Kam San stated.