The presentation ceremony of decorations, Medals and Certificates of Merit awarded for 2016 by the Macao SAR is scheduled for early this month. Former Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Cheong U and Macao Deputy of the National People's Congress Lei Pui Lam, received the Decoration of Honour - Golden Lotus. Legislator Kou Hoi In and the Director-general of the Education Advancement Association of Kao Yip Middle School, Van Kuan Lok, both received the Decoration of Honour - Silver Lotus. The Director of Macao Government Tourism Office Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes and acclaimed chef Lou Chi Seng received the Medal of Merit - Tourism. MGTO Korea representative Lew Hwan Kyu received an Honorific Title (see side story below).
The awards for Decoration of Honour include the Decoration of Honour - Grand Lotus, the Decoration of Honour - Golden Lotus, and the Decoration of Honour - Silver Lotus. These awards are for individuals or entities that have made outstanding contributions to the image and reputation of the MSAR. Seven types of Medal of Merit are to be awarded, embracing the Professions, Industry and Commerce, Tourism, Education, Culture, Philanthropy and Sports. Each of the awards in these categories is for individuals or entities that have made major or excellent contributions in their respective fields.
The recipients of Medal of Merit - Tourism are Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes and Lou Chi Seng. The recipients for Medal of Merit - Industry and Commerce are Ho Ioc Tong and F. Rodrigues (Sucessores), Limitada. The recipients for Medal of Merit - Education are Director of Education and Youth Affairs Bureau Leong Lai, University of Macau teacher Choi Nong Chi, and Tai School and Sa Lei Tou Fong Chung School teacher Ip Hong Kit.
The recipients of Medal of Merit - Culture are Macau Artist Society and painter Mio Pang Fei. The recipients for Medal of Merit - Philanthropy are the Welfare Club of the General Union of Neighbourhood Associations of Macao, Association of Friends of Charity of Macau and the Macao Association of Parents of the Mentally Handicapped. The recipients of Medal of Merit - Sports are the Wushu General Association of Macau, Director of Macau Grand Prix Mário Ferreira Sin, and vice-president of Associação dos Comerciantes de Peixe Fresco de Macau Lau Vai Hong.
Medals for Distinguished Services are awarded to public entities, organisations or their staff for outstanding performance in the execution of their duties or community service; while Certificates of Merit, including the Honorific Title - Prestige and the Honorific Title – Merit, commend Macao SAR residents and others who have made major contributions to the reputation, development or social progress of the Macao SAR.
The Director of Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, received the Macao SAR 2016 Medal of Merit - Tourism, while MGTO Korea representative Lew Hwan Kyu received an Honorific Title.
Acknowledging her nomination for Medal of Merit - Tourism, the MGTO Director thanked Macao SAR Chief Executive Chui Sai On and Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam for their support and recognition. Fernandes also emphasized that the honour did not belong to her alone but to the MGTO team, with the Medal of Merit a recognition of their teamwork. She also said that she would not be able to receive the Medal without her team, and will strive to do a better job in the future.
Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes has worked in MGTO since 1988, primarily promoting Macao tourism to the overseas market. In 1994, she headed up the Promotion and Marketing Department of the Office before assuming the position of Deputy Director in 1998. She was appointed Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office in 2012.
Lew Hwan Kyu is MGTO's representative in Korea, and for the last 25 years he and his team have promoted the tourism image of Macao and The Historic Centre of Macao to Koreans. He said that he not only hoped to develop the tourism industry in Macao but wished to connect Macao and Korea in the cultural and people field. After all these years of great effort his work has borne results. The Honorific Title awarded by the Macao SAR is a recognition of his work, one he is glad to receive. Lew also expressed his thanks for the support of senior MGTO officials, his colleagues and the wider Macao SAR.
Lew Hwan Kyu has been a representative of MGTO since 1991, and has been committed to promoting Macao tourism in Korea. Lew and his team employ multiple ways to promote Macao, with the number of visitors to Macao from Korea increasing continuously over the last decade. In 2011, Korea became Macao's biggest international source market and in 2014 became the first in Macao to top 500,000 international tourists.