Public favours art critic as culture chief, poll shows

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 June, 2012, 12:00am


Arts critic Ada Wong Ying-kay is the public's favourite to be the city's first culture minister - but those who supported her are likely to be disappointed when chief executive-elect Leung Chun-ying makes his choice.

A poll conducted by the University of Hong Kong's Public Opinion Programme this week found that 21.4 per cent of the 518 respondents favoured Wong, an early favourite for the post, out of the three candidates mentioned as possible heads of Leung's proposed culture bureau.

Undersecretary for home affairs Florence Hui Hiu-fai, who has been tipped for the job in recent weeks, polled 7.3 per cent.

Former Arts Development Council chairman Ma Fung-kwok, meanwhile, was backed by 3.6 per cent of respondents.

But 51.4 per cent of those questioned in the poll, commissioned by ATV's political talk show I Want To Be CE 3, had no idea who to choose, while 16.4 per cent rejected all three candidates.

The South China Morning Post has learned that despite Beijing's blessing, Wong's liberal image and advocacy for change are likely to hinder her from getting the job as Hong Kong's pro-Beijing camp favours Hui, a former banker and Cambridge MBA graduate whose family moved to the city from Fujian province when she was two.

Some artists and lawmakers have questioned whether Hui has the credentials to be the city's first culture minister.

Ma, meanwhile, has expressed a strong interest in running in September's Legislative Council election for the sports, performing arts, culture and publications sector seat.

Wong founded the Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture (HKICC), a non-profit organisation promoting cultural development through exchange projects and creative education.

The organisation is chaired by artist Danny Yung Ning-tsun, who helped Leung draft his culture platform. She is also the supervisor of the HKICC Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity, a secondary school offering creative and arts education.