Dropping the Hong Kong dollar peg to the greenback is not the way to tackle the economic crisis, according to a university survey. Results of the third public opinion survey conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU) showed the majority of those surveyed supported the Government maintaining the linked exchange rate. The telephone poll of 993 people was conducted by economics professor Liu Pak-wai to examine public opinion on the Government's policy of maintaining the linked exchange rate one year into the Asian financial crisis. Devaluation of the Hong Kong dollar would make the local economic situation even worse, said 62.8 per cent of respondents. Of those interviewed, 35.1 per cent said the financial crisis would last another year and 69.9 per cent said it would also be a year before Hong Kong's economy recovered. In general, most respondents said devaluation of the Hong Kong dollar would have an adverse impact on the economy, employment, property, banking and the stock market. About two-thirds, 65.7 per cent, said the present exchange rate would bring more good than harm and 74.6 per cent said the SAR should maintain its linked exchange at the rate of $7.80 to the US dollar. Professor Liu said if the Hong Kong dollar was delinked from the greenback, there was the possibility people would convert their savings into US dollars, which would increase capital outflows from Hong Kong and raise interest rates. The survey was part of the Public Policy Forum Series organised by CU which provides a platform for academics, Government officials and the public to discuss issues and policies affecting Hong Kong.