Macau has unveiled an exhibition to bolster the city’s national security education. Its chief executive has been talking about implementing the principle of “Macau governed by patriots” in recent weeks, as neighbouring Hong Kong goes through a massive electoral overhaul which will make it almost impossible for opposition figures to run in the city’s leadership and legislative races.

A virtual tour of Macau’s national security education. Photo: the virtual tour website screenshot.

““[The exhibition] was launched at a right moment to give the public a summary of the nation and Macau’s extraordinary journey in safeguarding national security over the past year,” Macau Chief Executive Ho Iat-seng said at the event’s opening last Friday.

The Macau government will also ensure “patriots ruling Macau” is fully implemented, and will “resolutely oppose any external forces interfering with Macau’s affairs”, Ho said.

Macau’s national security education exhibition website. Photo: screenshot.

The exhibition — partially available in Portuguese and set to last until May — showcases videos and photography based on China’s successes in battling the Covid-19 pandemic, Macau’s economic development and “the road to national security with Chinese characteristics.” A virtual tour is available on the exhibition’s official website.

‘No surprise’

Democratically-elected Macau legislator Au Kam-san told HKFP that the government’s recent talk of patriotism and national security came as no surprise. “As a government, it is understandable that they would follow the trend,” in reference to the official drive to have “patriots rule Hong Kong.”

Au Kam-san. File Photo: RTHK screenshot.

“But Macau has always been governed by patriots; there isn’t much to strengthen,” he said. “And constitutionally speaking, we have already done what’s patriotic and so there doesn’t need to be more drastic action,” referring to the city’s national security law.

Macau passed its national security law in 2009, as required by Article 23 of the city’s Basic Law. The legislation criminalises acts of treason, secession, and subverting China’s Central Government.

Selina Cheng

Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.