Frederick Ma's popularity plunges
May Sin-mi Hon
The Secretary for Financial Services, Frederick Ma Si-hang, is the least popular of all SAR politicians according to a Chinese University survey in which his rating plunged after the penny stocks fiasco.
Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's rating, however, has rebounded slightly after five months of consecutive drops.
In a telephone poll of 826 people last week, Mr Ma scored the lowest of any politician, dropping 14.1 points to 38.3 on a scale of 100, from 52.4 in July,
Pollster Timothy Wong Ka-ying believed the fall related to public criticism of Mr Ma's handling of the penny stocks fiasco.
Mr Ma was among a group of key officials cleared of wrongdoing by a panel investigating the panic dumping of stocks in July. However, he was later forced to apologise for the fiasco, one day after politicians and the media criticised him for earlier refusing to do so.
Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee scored the highest with 61.5, while Secretary for Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao Sau-tung was next with 58.3.
Mr Tung's rating rose by 0.7 points to 48.5, a slight increase on August's 47.8. Survey respondents said he had failed in several policy areas, with economic development the worst at 41.1.
The only areas in which he scored more than the 50-point pass mark were maintaining a clean government (57.1), and balancing the interests of the SAR and the mainland (51.7).