Tung hits nine-month low in poll

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 May, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 May, 2004, 12:00am

The popularity of Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa has fallen to a nine-month low, and his government's approval rating is also sliding.

A University of Hong Kong survey, for which 1,039 people were interviewed last week, showed Mr Tung's popularity rating had fallen from 42.7 points in early May to 42.

His popularity rating hit an all-time low of 35 points in July.

Sixty-five per cent of those polled last week did not support Mr Tung's work as chief executive, a drop of 1 percentage point since the start of the month.

Only 13 per cent of respondents to the regular HKU poll were satisfied with the government's performance, down from the 16 per cent recorded in mid-April.

The number of people expressing dissatisfaction with the government rose from 49 per cent then to 58 per cent last week.

Robert Chung Ting-yiu, director of the university's Public Opinion Programme, said the figures showed that discontent in the city was rising to the level it was at in July, when 500,000 people took to the streets to protest over the proposed legislation to safeguard national security in accordance with Article 23 of the Basic Law.

'Learning from last year's experience, the government must now move quickly to relieve people's grievances, especially recent worries that freedom of speech has been curbed,' Dr Chung said.