Public consultation on amendment to national security law to be announced on Monday

The Government will announce details regarding the public consultation on the amendment to the SAR’s national security legislation on Monday morning (August 22, 10am) at a press conference at the Office of the Secretary for Security, according to the Government Information Bureau.

The city’s current national security act (officially named “law related to the defence of state security”) was adopted in February 2009 after completing a public consultation process – in line with what is spelled out in Article 23 of the Basic Law – criminalizing acts such as treason, secession, sedition, subversion, theft of state secrets, foreign political bodies’ activities in the city, and their establishment of ties with local bodies.

 Since it came into effect there hasn’t been any known case of prosecution under the national security law in Macau.

In neighbouring Hong Kong, central authorities enacted a National Security Law at the end of June 2020 after a year of widespread and often violent protests.

The National People’s Congress (NPC) passed the law unanimously on June 30, 2020 and listed it under Annex III of the Basic Law, with the law enacted without a public consultation process and details only revealed one hour before coming into force.

After the adoption of a national security law in  Hong Kong, voices called for an amendment to the Macau legislation.

The Policy Address for 2022 said the SAR would promote the ‘implementation and improvement of the legal framework for the defense of state security in Macau and its enforcement mechanism’, ‘safeguard the full governing power of the Central Government over the Macau SAR’, and ‘defend the sovereignty, security and development interests of the country and maintain the general stability of Macau society’.

In April, 2022, Secretary for Security Wong Sio Chak said that the proposed amendment to the local National Security law would be sent to the Legislative Assembly this year, with the changes to undergo public consultation.

Public consultation on amendment to national security law to be announced on Monday