Public Values and Macao’s Policy on Cultural Heritage Protection: A Case Study of the Preservation of Lai Chi Vun Shipyard

LIO Hak Kin


After handover, there have been cases for the protection of different heritage in Macao. In 2005, the Historic Centre of Macao was listed as World Cultural Heritage, Macao public began to pay more attention to heritage protection. However, the Macao SAR government’s cultural heritage protection policy could not meet the public expectation and resulted to social mobilization for the protection of historical sites and buildings. The disputes on the conservation of history buildings reflected value difference between Macao government and the public. This paper uses the case of the preservation of Lai Chi Vun Shipyard to illustrate that the Macao government mainly adopted the instrumental value in making heritage policy and stressed on the economic interests while it ignored public demand on intrinsic value (including collective memory and Macao local identity). The public value disparity between Macao government and the public does not only affect policy making and implementation but the continuation of the disparity will widen the gap between government and the mass which will be harmful to the governance in Macao.


Keywords:   Public policy, Public values, Social dispute, Cultural heritage protection

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