Donald Tsang

Three-quarters of city loses faith in Tsang

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 March, 2012, 12:00am


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Nearly three-quarters of Hongkongers no longer support Donald Tsang Yam-kuen as chief executive, following the row over his dealings with tycoons.

And his general popularity rating has also slumped to a record low - with people giving him an average of just 43.5 points out of 100 as he approaches his last months in office. Tsang's popularity was at its highest when he took office in 2005, when he scored 72.3 out of 100.

The latest figures are based on a survey of 1,001 people carried out by the University of Hong Kong's Public Opinion Programme from March 2 to 7 - just after Tsang apologised for his trips on luxury yachts and a private jet and his bargain rental deal on a Shenzhen penthouse, while insisting he had done nothing wrong.

The poll found that 71 per cent of respondents were against Tsang's role as city leader, up 7 percentage points on the previous month.

His popularity rating was down 3.1 points from last month.

'The significant drop in the chief executive's popularity is probably related to his suspected conflicts of interest,' said the programme's director, Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu.

Tsang has resisted calls to step down or take leave while the Independent Commission Against Corruption investigates his links with tycoons, and says he will serve until the very end of his term on June 30.

His luxury travel arrangements and his lease on a flat owned by mainland businessman Bill Wong Cho-bau were revealed last month. In return for the jet and yacht travel, he paid the cost of a standard ticket, and he has since given up his lease on the flat.

Tsang, who has set up a committee under former chief justice Andrew Li Kwok-nang to review the rules on top officials' behaviour, has insisted that his links with tycoons have not affected his policymaking.

The Chief Executive's Office last night declined to comment on the poll result.

Chief Secretary Stephen Lam Sui-lung remained the least popular of the top three officials, with his rating declining by 0.6 points to 38 out of 100. Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah scored 50.9 points, down 0.1 point.

Secretary for Justice Wong Yan-lung remained the most popular official, with those interviewed increasing his rating 1.9 points to 60.5.

Meanwhile, a separate poll conducted by the Civic Party found that 53 per cent of 2,364 respondents were unconvinced by Tsang's explanations for his behaviour. The poll was conducted between March 5 and 12.

Half of the respondents wanted Legco to investigate the conflict-of-interest allegations.

The pan-democratic camp is expected to propose a motion calling for an investigation at a meeting of the full council next Wednesday. Legco's House Committee has twice voted down similar proposals.


The number of years Donald Tsang has been in office. His term ends in June