Donald Tsang

Tsang popularity rating slumps to a record low

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2012, 12:00am


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The popularity rating for outgoing Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen has plunged to a record-low 38.5 marks out of 100, the first time it has fallen below 40, a University of Hong Kong poll shows.

Some 1,041 people were interviewed from May 30 to June 6, after the release of separate reports by the Audit Commission and an independent review panel that Tsang set up to 'rewrite the rule book' on his job.

The audit report said Tsang's use of luxury hotel suites on official trips was not justified, while the report from the panel led by former chief justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang said it was totally inappropriate that the chief executive was not covered by the same rules banning other public officials from accepting advantages.

Tsang's popularity was lower than that of Chief Secretary Stephen Lam Sui-lung, at 40.9 marks. Lam is going to Oxford University to study theology.

The poll results show Tsang's recent efforts to allay public concern over his use of luxury hotel suites and accepting yacht and private jet trips has been in vain.

On June 1, he made an emotional public apology - the second in three months - over his handling of the use of luxury hotel suites on official trips. In March, he acknowledged only that he had 'fallen short of public expectations' by accepting lifts on yachts and private jets from tycoons for the price of a standard ticket.

Tsang's confidence rating also dropped from 18 per cent to a record-low 15 per cent. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2 per cent.

Tsang is still under investigation by the Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Meanwhile, two leaders of Education Convergence walked out in protest against Tsang who was about to present the Chief Executive's Award for Teaching Excellence at the government headquarters.

Ho Ho-kuen, deputy chairman of Education Convergence, said they felt they needed to leave after their earlier appeals for Tsang not to appear yesterday went ignored.

Education Convergence had asked Tsang not to attend the ceremony because of the recent negative reports surrounding him.

Tso Kai-lok, founding chairman of Education Convergence who also walked out yesterday, said the education sector placed a high standard on morality, and Tsang was setting a bad example.

His alleged abuse of power showed he was not qualified to present the awards, Tso said.