• Mon
  • Nov 24, 2014
  • Updated: 5:44pm

Chinese parliamentary sessions 2014

The annual Chinese "lianghui" of 2014, or plenary meetings of China's top legislative and consultative bodies, the National People's Congress and the National People's Consultative Conference, will take place in Beijing in early to mid-March. The NPC sessions are scheduled to begin on March 5, and the CPPCC meetings to commence on March 3. 


Property tycoon calls for organisation to conduct 'patriotic' opinion polls

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 05 March, 2014, 3:02am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 05 March, 2014, 3:02am

The pro-government camp in Hong Kong should set up its own organisation to conduct public opinion polls to counter surveys by the University of Hong Kong that return results unfavourable to the central and local governments, a pro-Beijing property tycoon said.

"The opposition camp has been manipulating public opinion [using HKU's public opinion programme], which is essential in fostering consensus on political reform," said Peter Lee Ka-kit standing committee member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, in a meeting yesterday with National People's Congress Chairman Zhang Dejiang. Lee is also vice-chairman of Henderson Land Development.

Setting up a body to gauge public opinion was the first step for the "patriotic camp" to turn the situation around, Lee added.

The opposition camp has been manipulating public opinion [with surveys]
Peter Lee, Henderson Land

Lee accused the HKU programme of "publishing poll results that are unfavorable to the central and local governments at critical moments", which had set the ground for the opposition camp's demands.

Lee suggested that the city's eight business chambers and other pro-establishment organisations commission other universities to conduct surveys that truly reflect the public's views".

Lee's remarks were rejected by Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu, director of the HKU public opinion programme, who said "it would be unwise to extend Hongkongers' concerns over the freedom of expression to the area of academic freedom".

Chung said the methodology adopted by his programme was transparent and would stand up to any academic scrutiny.

"The programme releases its surveys regularly and does not care about so-called sensitive and critical moments, or whether it favours or disfavours anybody," he said in a statement.

Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing said Lee should apologise for his "ridiculous" remarks.

"You may disagree with the poll results, but please respect professional work," she said.

Chung - who has been advising the Occupy Central pro-democracy movement on how to gauge public opinion - is no stranger to criticism. In 2000, Andrew Lo Cheung-on, an aide to then chief executive Tung Chee-hwa, was accused of pressuring the university to stop Chung from polling Tung's popularity.


For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

Surprising why this was not suggested earlier, an alternative poll would be good for comparison.
Chung's questions and answers are so devised that any answer you give will be supportive to their cause - there is no "science" involved here, only manipulation of public consensus.
Polls are no good for gauging public opinions, they are just devices to help shape them.
To honger,
Poll I sincerely think can be a good tool if it is used properly with highest and fairest standard. Anything short of that I believe is a tool for falsehood. It will be ridiculous to bracket a poll I suspect for Dr. Chung’s or the proposed ‘patriotic' poll is and will serve the public well.
I will call on Dr. Chung to make his poll question known to all public prior conducting his polling. Time, date and location of his poll should also be standard information revealed to public after the poll. The public has the right to make judgment on the conclusion of the poll presented.
The greatest fallacy of Dr, Chung's frequent polling is that Hong Kong people has least interest in political matters and therefore mostly have very short span of political memory towards the polled individual. Any unfavorable issue proposed inevitably yield unfavorable popoularity result at the moment of poll. The issue overrides the larger ability of the individual. It is highly questionable to do polling that frequently.


SCMP.com Account