Corruption still seen as endemic in the city's government
Less than 20 per cent of Guangzhou residents, who lead the mainland in per capita income, are satisfied with the city administration's level of honesty and integrity, according to the results of an opinion poll reported yesterday by local media.
The News Express Daily said that in an annual survey conducted this month by the government-backed Guangzhou Public Opinion Research Centre, only 17.2 per cent of residents were 'satisfied with the government's cleanness and uprightness', down 3.6 percentage points from last year.
The report said about 36 per cent were 'dissatisfied' with the government's probity and that the share of discontent had risen from 28 per cent in 2003, to 30 per cent in 2004 and 32 per cent last year. The poll found 47 per cent felt the government's integrity was 'acceptable'.
The opinion poll canvasses residents' opinions on 40 economic and social issues such as medical care, housing and public security. The centre said 1,035 citizens of various ages and occupations were randomly selected for the survey.
Guangzhou citizens had a per capita income of 10,990 yuan in the first half of last year. The amount was the highest of any mainland city and 383 yuan more than second-placed Shanghai.
According to results published by the Southern Metropolis News, more than 45 per cent of those polled were dissatisfied with housing prices, a sharp increase from the 16 per cent registered in 2003.
There was also a surge in dissatisfaction with income disparity, from 53 per cent two years ago to 59 per cent this year.
In addition, the level of discontent about medical services had risen by 8 percentage points over three years to about 32 per cent.
Yuan Zhuwang, a government administration specialist from Guangzhou's Jinan University, said some of the survey results did not reflect reality.
'There should be at least 70 per cent of citizens dissatisfied with the government because of its corruption,' Professor Yuan said. 'I think the 17.2 per cent who said 'satisfied' were civil servants.'
Professor Yuan said he did not think the survey result would alarm the government because it was already well aware of public opinion on the matter.