THERE is no mention of the Hang Seng Index or property market - making heaps of money is out, making ends meet is in. With the recent economic downturn and the handover date less than 550 days away, more jobs and political stability top Hong Kong's New Year's wish list in 1996. Having weathered another year of turmoil in Sino-British relations, Governor Chris Patten has a three-part wish for 1996 'embracing confidence, prosperity and stability'. He says: 'Confidence, because [it] is self-fulfilling, like all the best wishes. 'And I want Hong Kong people to have confidence in themselves; China to have confidence in Hong Kong's ability to rule Hong Kong; the world to have confidence in 'one country, two systems' and Hong Kong's continuing autonomy. 'Prosperity in the shape of continued growth; lower inflation - and more jobs. 'And finally, stability, by which I mean no nasty shocks in the last year before the transition.' It is a view shared by long-time Hong Kong resident and former legislator Elsie Tu. 'I wish most of all for a strong upturn in the economy that will provide employment for local residents. 'I wish to see a rise in police morale to counteract the rising crime rate and upsurge in corruption. 'I wish, too, for greater harmony in relationships between Hong Kong and China as we move closer towards 1997. 'Why? The morale of the Hong Kong public has for years suffered a battering on all sides, by the two sovereign powers struggling against each other, by gloom-and-doom politicians, by threats on the economy from other countries trying to interfere in our affairs, and by unscrupulous employers bringing in cheap labour and depriving local workers of their right to work. 'The Hong Kong people deserve a break and I hope they will enjoy that break in 1996.' Thomas Mulvey, director of the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society, also wants to see stability through improved co-operation between China, Britain and Hong Kong. But first, he wants the local job market to recover. 'I hope the employment situation will improve so families will not suffer the effects of unemployment in the New Year,' he says. 'I also hope there will be good co-operation between China, Britain and Hong Kong for the welfare of people in Hong Kong. 'If there is more co-operation and harmony between the three parties, this would make people feel secure and better able to face the future. 'I also hope that the occurrence of tragic situations in the family - domestic violence, abuse of women and children, suicides - will diminish so families will be happier and healthier.' Candy Ng, a nurse at the severely mentally handicapped unit at the Caritas Medical Centre, has a similar wish. 'Rising unemployment is undoubtedly a big problem. Not that I'm worried that I'll lose my job, but I am concerned for people we deal with, parents of disabled children from the working class, because they are really being hard hit by unemployment. 'So, like the rest of Hong Kong, I wish the economy would pick up again soon. 'As for our profession, which always has a chronic shortage of manpower, this situation has improved in recent months so I just hope the new recruits will stay with their jobs.' A brighter economic outlook in the coming year is also a wish of Rod Eddington, Cathy Pacific Airways managing director. He says: 'I'd like to see a bit more bounce back in people's step. 'People are going through uncertainty, inflation is high, unemployment is high, so the feel good factor seems to have evaporated. 'I'd also like to wake up in the morning and be able to see the sun. 'Pollution is a big worry for me. I want to see the sun as I used to be able to see it.' Also on Hong Kong people's wish list is improved human rights. Law Yuk-kai, director of Human Rights Monitor, says: 'I wish the Hong Kong Government would redress the territory's human rights conditions in the coming year, instead of leaving the colonial legacy for the SAR government. 'I hope the government will launch a series of institutional and legal reforms, such as having an independent Complaints Against Police Office.' An end to despair is another plea. Paediatrician Alvin Chan Yee-shing hopes the unemployment situation will improve and 'there will be less suicides in the coming year. 'I hope there will be peace in the family. Conflicts should be resolved. 'There should be reconciliation rather than retaliation.' A growing awareness of the drug problem is also called for. Pat Sanagan, director of the Community Drug Advisory Council, says: 'We wish that the people of Hong Kong will move towards a clear understanding of drug use and recognition. Education, rather than fear, will be the key to addressing this issue within the wider community.' Priscilla Lui, director of Against Child Abuse, says she hopes Hong Kong will have a tranquil New Year. 'We should also place emphasis on communication within families and communities, between government and the community, agencies and different professions. 'There should be more communication between China and the UK in the best interests of Hong Kong. 'In the past, there have been too many conflicts of opinion. 'All these were interpreted as stresses and tensions which may affect the family and children. 'Besides communication, acceptance is also important. ' We need acceptance of differences of opinion, ideas and expectations.' She hoped everybody could work together in harmony to prepare Hong Kong for the challenges of 1997. More jobs and social stability appear to be top of the wish list. Yolanda Choy, communications and advertising manager, hopes China and Britain resolve their differences over the future of the territory. 'Once this is resolved, people will become more confident for their future here and start spending again - to stimulate the economy. 'Residents will continue to buy lots of luxury products, which make them look a million dollars. After all, isn't this what keeps Hong Kong ticking?' But Francis Tong Tsai-fong, the Salvation Army's supervisor of special projects, hopes people will be cautious when investing their money. 'They'll wait until 1997 to see if the Chinese Government will delegate more power to the people of Hong Kong. 'There will be more unemployment, the economy will be facing a tough test. I am not so optimistic. 'I hope China will really practise what they promise, which is to let Hong Kong rule itself. 'People would be more confident, instead of worrying whether their factory will close down or if they will be laid off tomorrow. 'As a social worker, I hope we can help more people and will continue to do so after 1997. There has been a continual shrinking of social services. 'I hope we will let the Special Administrative Region's government see the people's needs.' Theatre artist Tang Shu-wing wishes Hong Kong's economic outlook would improve and that resources will be allocated to arts and culture in the territory. 'I also wish that the general intellectual capacity of our young generation will increase because they are our future. 'Finally, I wish that Hong Kong could become more and more prepared to overcome the final difficulties leading to the change of sovereignty in 1997.' Finally, Sino Land chairman Robert Ng Chee Siong was brief and to the point. He hopes for: 'Peace and prosperity for 1996!'