Breaking public trust

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 31 December, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 31 December, 2003, 12:00am

Trust is the fundamental foundation for any enduring relationship, be it between colleagues, family, friends, lovers or team members. It is also essential to good governance.

Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa obviously does not agree. By appointing the maximum 102 members to Hong Kong's district councils, he is in effect telling the electorate: 'I don't trust your choices. I need my own people'.

Trust is a two-way street, and it is little surprise that the people have so little faith in the administration. This was clearly demonstrated on July 1. When it comes to listening to the people, actions always speak louder than words. The government should be looking at how to enhance the role of the district councils to be the first receiver of community views. The appointments show that Mr Tung wishes to keep a lid on those views.

Another characteristic we know of trust is that once lost, it is almost impossible to regain.