Beijing official says Leung administration popular despite media reports
Liaison office chief says public are happy with administration, and urges help to make it better
Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's government is more popular with the public than the picture that is painted in certain sections of the media, a top Beijing representative says.
Zhang Xiaoming , who succeeded Peng Qinghua as head of the central government's liaison office in December, also called on people not to criticise but to help the government solve Hong Kong's problems.
"I have been working in Hong Kong for two months. From the people of different sectors whom I have met, I have to say something that some media organisations don't want to hear," he told a spring reception on Tuesday.
"My impression is that different sectors of the community in Hong Kong including the general public are far more satisfied with the work of the new Leung Chun-ying-led SAR government than the comments made by some of our media outlets [suggest]."
He did not name the media organisations.
Zhang said he believed the government was leading Hong Kong to a brighter future.
"I think the new SAR government is realising its pledge of seeking changes whilst maintaining stability, leading Hong Kong into a better future and working in a proactive and constructive manner in accordance with this target."
He added: "The central government's fundamental principle of supporting Hong Kong is firm and unshakable, as is its determination to support the new SAR government."
Zhang has reportedly met heavyweights such as former Executive Council convenor Chung Sze-yuen and Dr Tsang Hin-chi, a former member of the National People's Congress Standing Committee.
Leung's popularity fell to a five-month low of 46.3 points out of 100 in a poll conducted early this month by the University of Hong Kong's public opinion programme (HKUPOP).
At another spring reception, Zhang said it would take time to solve some of the city's longstanding problems, and expressed the hope that people would be accommodating and "actively participate", not just "look on, or even criticise".
Meanwhile, findings released yesterday of an HKUPOP poll of 1,023 people showed ratings for five core social indicators - stability, freedom, the rule of law, prosperity and democracy - had all dropped since a similar poll six months ago. The indices for stability and freedom fell to their lowest levels since October 2004 - to 6.74 points and 7.33 points out of 10 respectively. The survey was conducted from February 4 to 14.
Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu, the programme's director, said the drops probably reflected "people's dissatisfaction with the current social environment".