The government of Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) will create an effective legal system to strengthen the protection of local cultural heritage and set up channels for dialogue and coordination between government departments, the Macao Daily Times reported on Wednesday, quoting the SAR's Secretary for Public Works and Transport Lau Si Io as saying.
Due to Macao's rapid economic development in recent years, particularly after the successful registration of the Historical Centre of Macao in the World Heritage List, there has been greater concern from society and government, regarding the balance between urban development and heritage protection, said Lau in response to an interpellation from local lawmaker, according to the daily.
According to the Cultural Heritage Protection draft law which is being developed, the government will strengthen and expand heritage protection activities and create mechanisms for the classification of cultural heritage sites, so as to provide a sound scientific basis for the legal protection of Macao's cultural heritage.
Local lawmaker Au Kam San has criticized the government's lack of concern on numerous local heritage sites as it only focused on safeguarding the famous ones, such as St. Paul's Ruins and Guia Lighthouse, which are important tourist attractions in Macao.
For his part, the daily quoted Lo as saying that the government will gradually promote public awareness on the protection of Macao's heritage and try to create a comprehensive and effective legislation promoting its protection.