Distrust in the government has dropped to a record low since the handover, a University of Hong Kong poll has found. Only 8 per cent of the 1,012 people interviewed this month said they did not trust the administration, down 7 percentage points from December. The rating, a new low since September 1997 when a level of 6.6 per cent was recorded, follows a gradual decline from the peak of more than 45 per cent in mid-2003, when half a million protesters took to the streets against the proposed anti-subversion law and former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa's leadership. The level of trust in the government remained high at 58 per cent, despite a slight drop of 1 percentage point from December. Distrust in the central government also fell 7 percentage points to 20 per cent, while there was a three-point increase in the trust level to 47 per cent. But Public Opinion Programme director Robert Chung Ting-yiu said: 'Obviously, there was a shift of opinion from the negative end to the middle position. 'The government should not be complacent because people's trust ... is still lower than that registered before the handover.' He was referring to the high level of trust enjoyed by the British colonial government, ranging from 63 to 70 per cent in the first half of 1997. The pollster said the 67 per cent confidence level in the 'one country, two systems' concept was about the same as that recorded in October 1998. Those expressing confidence in China's future climbed three points to 83 per cent, while the no-confidence level was down one point to 11 per cent. But the respondents appeared less optimistic about Hong Kong's future, with the confidence level dropping three points to 76 per cent. The no-confidence rating rose four points to 17 per cent.