SCMP Thursday, May 18, 2000

Tung should not serve 2nd term: survey


Updated at 7.20pm:
More than half of Hong Kong people are not satisfied with Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's performance and do not want to see him running for a second term in 2002, a survey revealed on Thursday.

The Hong Kong Transition Project poll also showed that 37 per cent of the 704 respondents were satisfied with the protection the Basic Law gives to Hong Kong, while only 27 per cent said they were not satisfied with the mini-constitution, ten years after its promulgation.

Michael DeGolyer, director of the project, believed the unpopularity of Mr Tung largely relates to the public's perception of who is really pulling the strings at Government.

Fifty-two per cent of the respondents would not want Mr Tung to run for re-election, among whom 20 per cent chose the ''definitely not want'' option. Only 16 per cent wanted him to run for a second term.

On his performance, 54 per cent were not satisfied as opposed to the 38 per cent who were satisfied with his governance of Hong Kong.

People believe Beijing officials to be the most influential group on Mr Tung's decision making, with 74 per cent scoring the mainland as having significant influence. Local big business leaders ranked second in influence at 61 per centand top civil servants turned out to be more influential than political parties. However, At the bottom of Mr Tung's list came public opinion.

Mr Tung and Chief Secretary for Justice Elsie Leung Oi-sie sank to the bottom of the SAR officials popularity chart, with the satisfaction ratings of 38 per cent and 28 per cent respectively.

Financial Secretary Donald Tsang Yam-kuen remains the most popular senior official since last April, receiving a satisfaction rating of 65 per cent, four point higher than Chief Secretary for Administration Anson Chan Fang On-sang.

''The performance ratings of Leung and Tung do not seem to relate to their pro-Beijing stance but to their insistence on bringing Beijing into Hong Kong affairs and in not supporting Hong Kong's autonomy as fully as they might,'' Mr DeGolyer said.

Beijing and the mainland leaders are being viewed far more positive than the Chief Executive. Sixty-seven per cent of the people liking President Jiang Zemin and 77 per cent are happy with Premier Zhu Rongji.

Affected by Beijing's reaction to Taiwan's presidential election, the popularity of the two national leaders has dropped slightly since the last survey finding - November 1999. Then, the popularity of President Jiang was 70 per cent and that of Premier Zhu was 82 per cent.