20 February 2019
Jason Chao said the authorities conveyed an atmosphere of white terror during the unofficial referendum. Photo: Facebook
Jason Chao said the authorities conveyed an atmosphere of white terror during the unofficial referendum. Photo: Facebook

26,000 cyber attacks on Macau civil referendum

An unofficial Macau referendum that shows residents’ great dissatisfaction with Chief Executive Fernando Chui received 26,000 counts of cyber attacks, with one-third of them launched from the mainland.

But referendum organizer Jason Chao said the attacks were all blocked by CloudFlare, the technology provider of the referendum, according to online publication Macau Concealers.

CloudFlare, a US-based cyber security firm, was also the main network provider of the civil referendum in Hong Kong organized by Occupy Central.

In the Macau referendum that began on August 24 and ended on the day when Chui was reelected uncontested for a second term, almost 90 percent of the 8,688 voters said they have no confidence in the chief executive.

Less than 5 percent of the voters said they trust him. There were 528 abstentions and 10 blank votes, according to the referendum website.

The referendum results are a big contrast to the small circle election in which 96 percent of the 400-strong election committee voted for Chui.

And 95 percent of the respondents in the referendum also said they want universal suffrage for the chief executive election in 2019.

Meanwhile, Chao said that Macau authorities had conveyed an atmosphere of white terror during the referendum.

Chao and other members in the campaign were detained on suspicion of breaching personal data protection law on the first day of the referendum. They were later placed under judicial investigation for collecting voters’ personal information for “illegal” use, according to media reports.

Chao was charged with one count of aggravated disobedience for carrying on with the referendum after he was told to stop it. Officials said the referendum was “illegal” for not having a legal basis.

Chao is also a suspect of illegal use of the Judiciary Police logo after the Facebook page of Macau Concealers, which was one of the organizers of the referendum, uploaded a photo of a voting-successful print screen picture together with what was thought to be a staff permit card bearing the Judiciary Police symbol.

Chao said he may be charged with another count of aggravated disobedience for refusing authorities’ demand to give them information of all the voters after the referendum ended.

Related stories:

Meet CloudFlare: Guardian of Occupy Central online poll

Occupy Central beefs up voting system for mock referendum

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