Macao calls for public consultation on national security law amendment
Macao announced the 45-day public consultation on amendments to its national security law. The government is considering adding a new offense of “inciting or supporting sedition”, in which individuals will be liable for inciting or supporting others in connection with acts of treason, sedition, of secession and subversion.
The consultation document also indicates that the crime of “subversion against the Chinese central government” will be replaced by the crime of “subversion against the political power of the state”, which will cover not only violent means but also “non-violent means “.
The current version of the law clearly states that violent or grossly unlawful means are likely to endanger national security, such as arson, the spread of disease, and the disruption of public communications operations and infrastructure.
In terms of law enforcement and penalties, the government proposes to introduce interception of intelligence communications and temporary restrictions on departure, such as no probation for intentional offenders, no parole for repeat offenders and mandatory detention for suspects.
Wong Sio Chak, Macao’s security secretary, said the national security law needs to progress over time to effectively deal with complex and varied security risks.
He added that the government expects to hear opinions and advice from the general public to gather common consensus, work out the draft amendment and start the amendment procedure as soon as possible.
The current national security law came into force in 2009.
Wong said the government would strive to table a final report on the public consultation by the end of October before submitting the draft amendment to the Legislative Assembly for deliberation.