Concerns over the governance of Hong Kong have surged during recent months, a government survey has found. The number of people who said they were worried about governance jumped from 5 per cent in October to 11 per cent last month. The increase is the highest among the seven problems that people said they were most worried about during the period. It is also believed to be the first time that governance has become one of the top three problems, after labour, at 51 per cent, and the economy, at 40 per cent. The survey by the Home Affairs Bureau covered 1,604 respondents interviewed between January 6 and 10, during which time Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa delivered his first policy address since being re-elected. Dissatisfaction with the government's performance continued to outstrip those satisfied, but both levels remained stable at 48 and 36 per cent respectively. Those confident of having a prosperous and stable future rose from 42 to 47 per cent. Li Pang-kwong, director of the Research and Survey Programme at Lingnan University, said the findings showed that people had started to wonder if poor governance had contributed to Hong Kong's economic difficulties. 'People have realised that the difficulties are not just something to do with global economics,' he said. 'We are still battling the difficulties six years after the handover while our neighbouring countries have recovered from the financial crisis. People are wondering if the leadership is up to standard.' The academic said there were no short-term fixes to the lack of public confidence in governance, but he urged the government to reform the political system to allow wider public participation in politics.