A plunge in the popularity rating of Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee has seen her drop to fifth place from being the most popular government minister. Her loss of favour with the public has been attributed to her efforts to promote the government's proposal to implement anti-subversion laws, according to a poll by the Chinese University of Hong Kong. A telephone survey of 834 respondents, carried out by the university's Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies last week, found that Mrs Ip's popularity rating fell by 7.9 points, from 61.5 in the last poll in September to 53.6 points. The poll used a 100-point scale, with 50 points as a pass rate. Mrs Ip lost her top ranking to Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works Sarah Liao Sau-tung with 60.5 points, up from 58.3 in September. Dr Liao was followed by Secretary for Commerce and Technology Henry Tang Ying-yen (54.4 points) and Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Stephen Ip Shu-kwan (54.1 points). The institute said the drop in Mrs Ip's popularity might be related to her hard efforts to sell the controversial legislative proposals implementing Article 23 of the Basic Law. The legislative package, which aims to ban acts of treason, subversion, sedition and theft of state secrets, has been criticised by human rights groups as a threat to freedom. The United States and British governments and the European Union have voiced concerns over the proposals.