Legco's public image sagging, poll finds

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 December, 2009, 12:00am

Hongkongers' dissatisfaction with the legislature's overall performance has hit the highest level since 2005, a survey has found.

Compared with poll results in mid-September, the public's dissatisfaction with the Legislative Council has jumped 13 percentage points in the latest survey, conducted two weeks ago.

Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu, director of the public opinion programme at the University of Hong Kong, attributed the dissatisfaction to legislator Kam Nai-wai's allegedly unfair dismissal of his female aide and discussions about political reform.

Of 1,000 respondents to the survey, conducted between December14 and 17, 47 per cent were dissatisfied with the overall performance of Legislative Council members - up from 34 per cent three months ago.

At the same time, the proportion of those who say lawmakers' performance is satisfactory dropped from 21 per cent in the previous survey to 18 per cent this month.

The latest dissatisfaction rate is the highest since January 2005, when it hit 50 per cent.

In July 2003, Hongkongers' unhappiness with Legco's performance hit the worst level since the handover: 50.3 per cent.

The public's dissatisfaction with the legislature has been on the rise since March last year, when 22 per cent of those polled said they were not happy.

'People's dissatisfaction with the overall performance of Legco members has surged 13 percentage points, reaching a record high since January 2005, with a net popularity of negative 29 percentage points, probably due to the Kam Nai-wai incident and the discussions on political reform,' Chung said.

In early October, media reports said Democratic Party legislator Kam had sacked his female aide, Kimmie Wong Lai-chu, after she rejected his expressions of affection.

A Legco investigation panel will look into the matter, despite Kam's denial that Wong was dismissed unfairly. An election to choose the seven-member panel will be held next week.

Despite the public's unhappiness with Legco's performance, satisfaction with the police force and the People's Liberation Army has increased significantly, by 4 and 6 percentage points respectively.