POP Express Combined Volume No. 3 - ForewordBack


POP EXPRESS Combined Volume #1 recorded the development of public opinion in the final stage of Hong Kong's transitional period before July 1997, while POP EXPRESS Combined Volume #2 bore witness to such changes in the first six months of the existence of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.


This third combined volume probably registers a final note to Hong Kong's "transitional arrangement".


With the dismantling of the provisional legislature, and its replacement by the First HKSAR Legislative Council returned by an election with a record high turnout rate, perhaps the era of "one country, two systems" has truly started.


Panics have gone, but to everyone's surprise, economic depression has struck Hong Kong. Unemployment rate surged, the stock market crumbled, and the legislature has become a rubber stamp. What ought to have been a post-handover honeymoon period has turned out to be a period of tremendous suffering.… All these are recorded in this combined volume.


Put together, the three POP EXPRESS Combined Volumes cover 22 issues of POP EXPRESS, published between September 1996 and June 1998 ---- about one year before to one year after Hong Kong's transition. The two special series on handover anniversary, and the election of the First HKSAR Legislative Council, are particularly important source materials for understanding social changes in Hong Kong.


Before the handover, our POP Team has vowed to guard our post amidst the ever-changing political storm. Up to this moment we have stood firm on our pledge. Although there was no increase in resources, nor reduction in workload (our research items have, in fact, increased), we are glad to say that we have not faced any political pressure, or administrative encroachment. We are still witnesses of academic freedom.


We will stand firm on our current position, and continue to safeguard our academic and research freedom. Intellectual integrity shall continue to be our guide.


CHUNG Ting-yiu Robert
Chief Editor of POP EXPRESS and
Head of the Public Opinion Programme