HKU POP releases the survey results on the suitability of Designate Principal OfficialsBack

 

Press Release on June 28, 2017

| Detailed Findings (The suitability of Principal Officials designates) |

Special Announcements

1. Robert Chung, the Director of Public Opinion Programme (POP) of The University of Hong Kong, continues to publish his article series “Chung’s Blunt Words: HKSAR 20th Anniversary Series” in his online column “Chung’s Blunt Words” (www.facebook.com/ChungsBluntWords) today. He mentions that judging from the popularity figures, the new cabinet seems to give no surprise, but it is a matter of opinion whether it gives any fright. The copyrights of all articles are open to the world, the media are welcome to re-publish the articles in full or in part, early or concurrent publication can also be arranged.

2. To facilitate academic study and rational discussion, POP has already released for public examination some time ago via the HKU POP SITE” (http://hkupop.hku.hk) the raw data of all 125 regular rating surveys of CE CY Leung, as well as the 181 regular rating surveys of former CE Donald Tsang and 239 regular rating surveys of former CE CH Tung, along with related demographics of respondents. Please follow normal academic standards when using or citing such data.

3. POP’s usual practice is to issue more frequent releases before and after the middle and also the end of each year, under the names of “HKSAR anniversary” and “Year-end” survey series for public consumption. Recently, POP issues a number of releases under the “HKSAR anniversary” survey series. Please see POP Site and also the “Future Releases” section of this press release for more information.

Abstract

POP interviewed 505 Hong Kong people from June 23 to 26, 2017 by means of a random telephone survey conducted by real interviewers. The survey shows that in terms of average net suitability values, the new cabinet led by Carrie Lam is the lowest across our four surveys. The figures are 39% in 2002, 54% in 2007, 35% in 2012 and 28% this time. This shows that the new cabinet is having a more difficult start than before, in terms of popularity. In terms of net suitability, the five officials with highest popularity are Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan, Secretary for the Civil Service Joshua Law, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Patrick Nip and Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau. Except for Financial Secretary Paul Chan and Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah, all principal officials have net suitability values on the positive side. It is noteworthy that as some of these officials were quite new to the general public, e.g. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury James Henry Lau and Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Patrick Nip with less than 50% recognition rates. Of course, these are only initial appraisals by the people. Time will tell whether they are right or wrong, and how they would further develop. The maximum sampling error of all percentages is between +/-2 and +/-4 percentage points at 95% confidence level, while the response rate of the survey is 73%.

Points to note:

[1] The address of the “HKU POP SITE” is http://hkupop.hku.hk, journalists can check out the details of the survey there.

[2] The sample size of the survey is 505 successful interviews, not 505 x 72.7% response rate. In the past, many media made this mistake.

[3] The maximum sampling error of all percentages is between +/-2 and +/-6 percentage points at 95% confidence level. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. When quoting these figures, journalists can state “sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4% at 95% confidence level”.

[4] Because of sampling errors in conducting the survey(s) and the rounding procedures in processing the data, the figures cannot be too precise, and the totals may not be completely accurate. Therefore, when quoting percentages of the survey(s), journalists should refrain from reporting decimal places, but when quoting the rating figures, one decimal place can be used.

[5] The data of this survey is collected by means of random telephone interviews conducted by real interviewers, not by any interactive voice system (IVS). If a research organization uses “computerized random telephone survey” to camouflage its IVS operation, it should be considered unprofessional.


Background

The first Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa introduced an accountability system of Principal Officials in 2002 and formulated 3 Departments as well as 11 Bureaux. On June 24, 2002, he announced the first term of Principal Officials under the accountability system. Shortly after the list announced, POP immediately started a survey to gauge people’s opinion towards the suitability of each Principal Official designates. The wordings used were, “Chief Executive has appointed XXX as YYYYY. Do you think XXX is an ideal candidate?” Survey findings were released on June 27, 2002. In June 2007 and June 2012, before the new government began, POP conducted a similar survey on the list of new term of Principal Officials, namely 3 Secretaries of Departments and 12 Directors of Bureaux. The survey findings were released on July 5, 2007 and July 5, 2012 respectively. Please visit "HKU POP SITE" (http://hkupop.hku.hk) for details. On June 21, 2017, CE elect Carrie Lam announced the list of new term of Principal Officials, including 3 Secretaries of Departments and 13 Directors of Bureaux. POP conducted an opinion survey by using the same mean to gauge people’s view about the appropriateness of the Principal Official designates, and compared the figures with 2002, 2007 and 2012.

Latest Figures

POP today releases on schedule via the HKU POP SITE the latest survey results of the suitability of Designate Principal Officials. From 2014, POP enhanced the previous simple weighting method based on age and gender distribution to “rim weighting” based on age, gender and education (highest level attended) distribution. The latest figures released today have been rim-weighted according to provisional figures obtained from the Census and Statistics Department regarding the gender-age distribution of the Hong Kong population in 2016 year-end and the educational attainment (highest level attended) distribution collected in the 2011 Census. Herewith the contact information of various surveys:


Date of survey

Overall sample size

Response rate

Sampling error of percentages/ratings[6]

24-26/6/2002

1,067

68.1%

+/-3%

25-30/6/2007

506

77.8%

+/-4%

28-29/6/2012

536

67.5%

+/-4%

23-26/6/2017

505

72.7%

+/-4%

[6] Errors are calculated at 95% confidence level using full sample size. “95% confidence level” means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Questions using only sub-samples would have bigger sampling error. Sampling errors of ratings are calculated according to the distribution of the scores collected.


The table below reveals the appropriateness of the three Secretaries of Departments or Secretaries of Departments elect in 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017 respectively, in the official order:

Date of survey

24-26/6/02

25-30/6/07

28-29/6/12

23-26/6/17

Sample base

1,067

506

536

505

Response rate

68.1%

77.8%

67.5%

72.7%

Latest Finding[8]

Finding

Recognition Rate

Finding

Recognition Rate

Finding

Recognition Rate

Latest Finding [8]

Finding

Donald Tsang as

Chief Secretary for Administration

Henry Tang as

Chief Secretary for Administration

Carrie Lam as

Chief Secretary for Administration

Matthew Cheung as Chief Secretary for Administration

Appropriate

80%

97%

74%

98%

71%

96%

51+/-5%

91%

Inappropriate

9%

10%

17%

36+/-4%

Don’t know

12%

16%

12%

13+/-3%

Net Value[9]

71%

64%

54%

15%

Anthony Leung as

Financial Secretary

John Tsang as

Financial Secretary

John Tsang as

Financial Secretary

Paul Chan as Financial Secretary

Appropriate

63%

97%

48%

85%

61%

97%

28+/-4%

96%

Inappropriate

20%

14%

30%

58+/-5%

Don’t know

17%

38%

9%

14+/-3%

Net Value[9]

43%

34%

31%

-30%

Elsie Leung as

Secretary for Justice

Wong Yan-lung as

Secretary for Justice

Rimsky Yuen as

Secretary for Justice

Rimsky Yuen as

Secretary for Justice

Appropriate

40%

96%

85%

94%

38%

58%

60+/-5%

93%

Inappropriate

44%

2%

31%

33+/-4%

Don’t know

16%

14%

31%

6+/-2%

Net Value[9]

-4%

83%

7%

27%

Average percentages of Principal Official designates

Appropriate

61%

69%

57%

46%

Inappropriate

24%

9%

26%

42%

Don’t know

15%

22%

17%

11%

Net Value[9]

37%

60%

31%

4%

Recog rate

97%

93%

83%

93%

[7] "95% confidence level" means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Media can state “sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4 at 95% confidence level” when quoting the above figures.

[8] Figures are estimated from the sub-sample after deducing those who claimed “not familiar with XXX”, so direct comparison should not be made.

[9] “Net Value” is the percentage of “appropriate” minus “inappropriate”.


Latest survey revealed that 51% of the respondents regarded Matthew Cheung as an appropriate candidate for Chief Secretary for Administration, 36% disagreed, giving a net suitability of positive 15 percentage points. Meanwhile, 28% of the respondents considered Paul Chan as Financial Secretary appropriate while 58% disagreed, giving a net suitability of negative 30 percentage points. As for Secretary for Justice, 60% believed Rimsky Yuen was suitable for the post and 33% disagreed, giving a net suitability of positive 27 percentage points. Overall speaking, the average suitability rate for the three positions is 46%.


Suitability of the Directors of Bureaux or Directors of Bureaux elect in 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017 are tabulated as follows, in descending order of net values:

Date of survey

24-26/6/02

25-30/6/07

28-29/6/12

23-26/6/17

Sample base

1,067

506

536

505

Response rate

68.1%

77.8%

67.5%

72.7%

Latest Finding[8]

Finding

Recognition Rate

Finding

Recognition Rate

Finding

Recognition Rate

Finding and error [7]

Recognition Rate

Stephen Ip as Secretary for Economic Development and Labour

Matthew Cheung as Secretary for Labour and Welfare

Matthew Cheung as Secretary for Labour and Welfare

Law Chi-kwong as Secretary for Labour and Welfare

Appropriate

71%

72%

79%

70%

72%

86%

74+/-4%

82%

Inappropriate

8%

6%

14%

13+/-3%

Don’t know

21%

16%

14%

13+/-3%

Net value[9]

63%

73%

58%

60%

Yeoh Eng-kiong as Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food

York Chow as Secretary for Food and Health

Ko Wing-man as Secretary for Food and Health

Sophia Chan as Secretary for Food and Health

Appropriate

62%

66%

77%

95%

79%

85%

70+/-5%

67%

Inappropriate

15%

13%

8%

19+/-4%

Don’t know

24%

11%

13%

11+/-3%

Net value[9]

47%

64%

71%

51%

Joseph Wong as Secretary for the Civil Service

Denise Yue as Secretary for the Civil Service

Paul Tang as Secretary for the Civil Service

Joshua Law as Secretary for the Civil Service

Appropriate

63%

72%

67%

82%

54%

60%

62+/-5%

66%

Inappropriate

16%

4%

18%

16+/-4%

Don’t know

22%

29%

29%

23+/-5%

Net value[9]

47%

63%

36%

46%

Stephen Lam as Secretary for Constitutional Affairs

Stephen Lam as Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

Raymond Tam as Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

Patrick Nip as Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

Appropriate

48%

65%

61%

89%

57%

69%

60+/-6%

49%

Inappropriate

26%

22%

19%

19+/-5%

Don’t know

26%

17%

24%

21+/-5%

Net value[9]

22%

39%

38%

41%[11]

Henry Tang as Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology

Frederick Ma as Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

Gregory So as Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

Edward Yau as Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

Appropriate

48%

77%

64%

95%

48%

71%

62+/-5%

74%

Inappropriate

21%

15%

29%

22+/-4%

Don’t know

31%

21%

24%

16+/-4%

Net value[9]

27%

49%

19%

41% [11]

Regina Ip as Secretary for Security

Ambrose Lee as Secretary for Security

Lai Tung-kwok as Secretary for Security

John Lee as Secretary for Security

Appropriate

80%

93%

89%

95%

72%

77%

62+/-6%

60%

Inappropriate

11%

3%

12%

22+/-5%

Don’t know

10%

8%

16%

16+/-4%

Net value[9]

69%

86%

60%

39%

Not applicable

Carrie Lam as Secretary for Development

Mak Chai-kwong as Secretary for Development

Michael Wong as Secretary for Development

Appropriate

59%

85%

44%

43%

58+/-6%

51%

Inappropriate

11%

20%

21+/-5%

Don’t know

30%

37%

21+/-5%

Net value[9]

48%

24%

37%

Sarah Liao as Secretary for the Environment, Transport and Works

Edward Yau as Secretary for

the Environment

Wong Kam-sing as Secretary for

the Environment

Wong Kam-sing as Secretary for

the Environment

Appropriate

49%

46%

56%

31%

58%

53%

62+/-5%

87%

Inappropriate

13%

9%

15%

26+/-4%

Don’t know

38%

36%

27%

12+/-3%

Net value[9]

36%

47%

43%

36%

Arthur Li as Secretary for Education and Manpower

Michael Suen as Secretary for Education

Eddie Ng as Secretary for Education

Kevin Yeung as Secretary for Education

Appropriate

66%

70%

46%

97%

42%

56%

56+/-6%

56%

Inappropriate

13%

35%

27%

25+/-5%

Don’t know

21%

19%

30%

19+/-5%

Net value[9]

53%

11%

15%

31%

Frederick Ma as Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

Ceajer Chan as Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

Ceajer Chan as Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

James Henry Lau as Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

Appropriate

54%

52%

70%

46%

55%

73%

52+/-6%

48%

Inappropriate

15%

6%

23%

26+/-6%

Don’t know

31%

24%

22%

21+/-5%

Net value[9]

39%

64%

32%[10]

26%

Michael Suen as Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands

Eva Cheng as Secretary for Transport and Housing

Anthony Cheung as Secretary for Transport and Housing

Frank Chan as Secretary for Transport and Housing

Appropriate

54%

82%

57%

44%

54%

72%

51+/-6%

53%

Inappropriate

22%

14%

22%

27+/-5%

Don’t know

24%

29%

24%

22+/-5%

Net value[9]

32%

43%

32%[10]

24%

Not applicable

Not applicable

Not applicable

Nicholas Yang as Secretary for Innovation and Technology

Appropriate

48+/-5%

69%

Inappropriate

34+/-5%

Don’t know

17+/-4%

Net value[9]

14%

Patrick Ho as Secretary for Home Affairs

Tsang Tak-sing as Secretary for Home Affairs

Tsang Tak-sing as Secretary for Home Affairs

Lau Kong-wah as Secretary for Home Affairs

Appropriate

36%

53%

52%

68%

44%

88%

39+/-5%

93%

Inappropriate

32%

16%

41%

53+/-5%

Don’t know

32%

32%

15%

8+/-2%

Net value[9]

4%

36%

3%

-14%

Average percentages of Principal Official designates

Appropriate

57%

65%

57%

58%

Inappropriate

17%

13%

21%

25%

Don’t know

25%

23%

23%

17%

Net value[9]

40%

52%

36%

33%

Recog rate

68%

75%

69%

66%

Average percentages of all 16 Principal Official designates

Appropriate

58%

66%

57%

56%

Inappropriate

19%

12%

22%

28%

Don’t know

23%

23%

22%

16%

Net value[9]

39%

54%

35%

28%

Recog rate

74%

78%

72%

71%

[7] "95% confidence level" means that if we were to repeat a certain survey 100 times, using the same questions each time but with different random samples, we would expect 95 times getting a figure within the error margins specified. Media can state “sampling error of percentages not more than +/-4 at 95% confidence level” when quoting the above figures.

[8] Figures are estimated from the sub-sample after deducing those who claimed “not familiar with XXX”, so direct comparison should not be made.

[9] “Net Value” is the percentage of “appropriate” minus “inappropriate”.

[10] In 1 decimal place, the net suitability value of Ceajer Chan as Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury is 32.0% whereas that of Anthony Cheung as Secretary for Transport and Housing is 31.5%. Thus, Ceajer Chan ranks 7th and Anthony Cheung ranks 8th.

[11] In 1 decimal place, the net suitability value of Patrick Nip as Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs is 41.3% whereas that of Edward Yau as Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development is 40.6%. Thus, Patrick Nip ranks 4th and Edward Yau ranks 5th.


Regarding Directors of the 13 Bureaux, 74% of the respondents thought Law Chi-kwong’s appointment as Secretary for Labour and Welfare fit while 13% considered it unfit, giving a net suitability of positive 60 percentage points. 70% of the respondents considered the appointment of Sophia Chan as Secretary for Food and Health appropriate while 19% held the opposite view, giving a net suitability of positive 51 percentage points. 62% agreed that Joshua Law was appropriate Secretary for the Civil Service while 16% did not share the view, giving a net suitability of positive 46 percentage points. 60% considered the appointment of Patrick Nip as Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs suitable while 19% thought the opposite, giving a net suitability of positive 41 percentage points. Concerning Edward Yau commencing as Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, 62% agreed that he was suitable while 22% disagreed, giving a net suitability of positive 41 percentage points. 62% of the respondents agreed that John Lee was suitable as Secretary for Security while 22% disagreed, giving a net suitability of positive 39 percentage points. Concerning Michael Wong’s appointment as Secretary for Development, 58% of the respondents thought he was suitable but 21% did not share the same view, giving a net suitability of positive 37 percentage points. On the appointment of Wong Kam-sing as Secretary for the Environment, 62% of the respondents thought it was fit while 26% did not think so, giving a net suitability of positive 36 percentage points. Meanwhile, on the appointment of Kevin Yeung as Secretary for Education, 56% thought it was appropriate while 25% did not think so, giving a net suitability of positive 31 percentage points. On the suitability of James Henry Lau as Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, 52% regarded him as an appropriate candidate while 26% did not, giving a net suitability of positive 26 percentage points. While 51% of the respondents regarded Frank Chan as appropriate Secretary for Transport and Housing, 27% did not share the view, giving a net suitability of positive 24 percentage points. On the appointment of Nicholas Yang as Secretary for Innovation and Technology, 48% of the respondents thought he was fit while 34% did not think so, giving a net suitability of positive 14 percentage points. Finally, on Lau Kong-wah’s appointment as Secretary for Home Affairs, 39% thought it was appropriate while 53% opposed, giving a net suitability of negative 14 percentage points. Overall speaking, the average suitability rate for the thirteen positions is 58%.

With respect to the whole cabinet, 56% considered the 16 designate Principal Officials appropriate candidates for their positions, while 28% thought the opposite and 16% did not know. The average recognition rate was 71%. As for the survey in 2012, 57% considered the 15 designate Principal Officials appropriate candidates for their positions, while 22% thought the opposite and 22% did not know. The average recognition rate was 72%. As for the survey in 2007, 66% considered the 15 designate Principal Officials appropriate candidates for their positions, while 12% thought the opposite and 23% did not know. The average recognition rate was 78%. As far as the survey in 2002, 58% considered the 14 designate Principal Officials appropriate candidates for their positions, while 19% thought the opposite and 23% did not know. The average recognition rate was 74%.

Commentary

Frank Lee Wai-kin, Research Manager of Public Opinion Programme, observed, “In terms of average net suitability values, the new cabinet led by Carrie Lam is the lowest across our four surveys. The figures are 39% in 2002, 54% in 2007, 35% in 2012 and 28% this time. This shows that the new cabinet is having a more difficult start than before, in terms of popularity. In terms of net suitability, the five officials with highest popularity are Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong, Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan, Secretary for the Civil Service Joshua Law, Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Patrick Nip and Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau. Except for Financial Secretary Paul Chan and Secretary for Home Affairs Lau Kong-wah, all principal officials have net suitability values on the positive side. It is noteworthy that as some of these officials were quite new to the general public, e.g. Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury James Henry Lau and Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Patrick Nip with less than 50% recognition rates. Of course, these are only initial appraisals by the people. Time will tell whether they are right or wrong, and how they would further develop.”

Future Releases (Tentative)

  • June 29, 2017 (Thursday) 1pm to 2pm: Public Sentiment Index
  • June 30, 2017 (Friday) 1pm to 2pm: HKSAR anniversary survey
  • July 4, 2017 (Tuesday) 1pm to 2pm: People’s appraisal of society’s conditions