Sonny Shiu-Hing Lo and Eric King-Man Chong of Hong Kong’s Institute of Education have published “Casino Interests, Fujian Tongxianghui and Electoral Politics in Macao” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2015.1124444).
The study of hometown associations has been traditionally focused on their social and cultural activities, but little research has been conducted on their political and electoral participation. The direct elections held for the Legislative Assembly in September 2013 in the Macao Special Administrative Region were characterised by the emergence of a clear triangular relationship between casino interests, Fujianese tongxianghui (a hometown association or an interest group with members sharing the same locality ties) and electoral politics. The prominent victory of an electoral group led by the Fujianese tongxianghui and represented under the umbrella of the United Citizens Association of Macao (UCAM) was unprecedented in Macao’s political participation and historical development. As a community leader of the Fujian community, Chan Meng Kam formed the UCAM to perform multiple functions: protecting his casino interests, articulating the interests of the Fujianese and the society vis-à-vis the casino state, acting as an intermediary between the Macao government and ordinary citizens, especially in the northern district which is the power base of the UCAM, and serving as a united front machinery for a unique sub-ethnic interest group to win the hearts and minds of the people of Macao.