Hongkongers have become “significantly” less positive about society according to a University of Hong Kong survey, which found indicators measuring degree of freedom, prosperity and compliance with rule of law had dropped to their lowest in over 10 years. The Public Opinion Programme, which polled 1,010 people at random by telephone between July 20 and 23, found that the rating of four out of five core social indicators had all slumped. The degree of freedom had dipped the most since the last survey in February – by 0.18 to 6.98 out of 10 – followed by the degree of prosperity. For rule of law, all ratings of its sub-indicators had dropped, including the popularity of Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li. Ma’s support rating slipped by more than two points to 66. Only the degree of stability recorded an increase. Dr Robert Chung Ting-yiu, director of the programme, said: “As for the reasons affecting the ups and downs of various indicators, we leave it for our readers to make their own judgment after reading detailed records shown in our ‘Opinion Daily’ feature page.” The page Chung referred to recorded major events during the polling period. On July 21, Tsang Tak-sing abruptly resigned as home affairs secretary and Paul Tang Kwok-wai stepped down as civil service secretary. Tang cited “unforeseeable family circumstances” for his departure, while Tsang said he was “glad to retire”.