Macau SAR government issued a draft bill enacting Article 23 of the Macau Basic Law in October. The Law is very sensitive and it would affect every citizen's freedom and rights. Now it is supposed to be the public consultation period, but it seems that the government has been giving pressure to independent social groups, organizations and universities to prevent them from having open discussion. However, in spite of all the pressure, activists urge to rally on 23 of Nov (this weekend) against the legislation.
Public forum canceled
Chong from inmediahk.net was supposed to attend a public forum organized by a group of Macau University student this weekend on 22 of November, however he got an email this morning saying that the forum has been canceled because they couldn't find a venue.
According to Chong's report at inmediahk.net:
Below is a poster for the forum:
Protect University's autonomous space
Chong makes some suggestions to follow up the issue:
2. Civic groups from Macau should post questions to the government and check out if the government has been involved in giving pressure to the university for repressing the discussion on article 23. They need to demand the government to ensure the autonomous space in university and freedom of speech in Hong Kong.
3. Macau citizens should continue to discuss the problems of article 23 in the public.
He also points out that what he has encountered is not an isolated incident:
What's the rush?
Bobo, also from inmediahk.net, wrote a citizen report in early November with some statistical information about the public knowledge of this bill:
Since Hong Kong government has decided to defer the enacting of Article 23 until there is public consensus, China briefing wondered why Macau has to go ahead of Hong Kong to implement the bill:
Given no signs of an epidemic terrorism or separatism wave sweeping Macau, one is left to wonder the urgency a security bill as intrusive as Article 23 is needed for. Then of course, gamblers are highly suspect people with a record of government overthrow and sabotage…
Rally on 23 of November!
A few independent voices can be found on the internet against the legislation and drafted bill. Funny sister gives a summary of the bill and concluded that:
Tennedy posts two ads on his blog, one is urging Macau citizen to stand up against the legislation, the other one is about the rally on 23 of Nov:
The isolation practice of communist party is over,
Please organize rally, my Macau fellows,
Macau people are also human being, Macau people have to stand up,
Let's protect our human rights!
Let the international media knows about this, that Macau people don't support this evil law!
Netizen survey: more than 70% opposes legislation
While the Macau government said that 65% of the citizens supported the legislation, grhvonkqyk from cyberctm forum invites internet users to vote on the bill, and more than 74% (3pm 21 of Nov) has voted against the bill.
In the discussion thread, SIOCF pointed out that
But we are in a fake open and fake democratic society,
If I don't oppose,
I won't have a future.
Tang Nan zeng said that:
1 shot 2 kills worried about the execution of the law:
The problem lies with exercise of the law.
What is sedition, subversion and national secret?
It relies on your definition, not mine.
People may get arrested without knowing what exactly they have done.
Under such situation, how can people not worried?
However, the powerful and the ass-wiping guys in Macau keep saying that legislation is necessary.
How can ant-like citizen have a say?
Just do it, the result will be the same.
Now the fake consultation really sucks.
Hong Kong Journalists Association's statement
The Hong Kong Journalists Association has made a public statement on the Macau article 23:
To ensure adequate and continued freedom of expression and freedom of the press as well as continued protection of Macau correspondents of Hong Kong’s news media and Hong Kong reporters who may go to Macau for reporting purposes, it is our view that some revisions are necessary to the draft newly-released for public consultation by the Macau Government. For instance we believe there is a need to be more specific in Article 6 of the draft (theft of state secrets) by adding “national and public interest” as “reasonable excuse” or “reasonable immunity” to ensure a proper balance between the needs of national security and freedom of expression as well as freedom of the press.