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Leaders score well in hostage test

Colleen Lee

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen is riding a two-year-high level of public support following his handling of the Manila hostage crisis.

Tsang's support rating soared 7.2 points to 58.5 from earlier last month, a telephone survey of 1,010 people by the University of Hong Kong's Public Opinion Programme from August 31 to September 3 showed.

They were asked to indicate their support for Tsang on a scale of 0-100.

Program director Robert Chung Ting-yiu said: "Government officials should make use of this opportunity to get close to the people to help them solve their problems, even when the crisis is over."

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Support for Chief Secretary for Administration Henry Tang Ying-yen was also at a two-year high, surging six points to 58.5 over last month.

Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun- wah edged up 2.1 points to 57.6.

But Secretary for Justice Wong Yan-lung continued to be rated top of the three leading officials. He had 60.7 points, up 1.7 from a month ago.

As for the 12 bureau chiefs, eight saw their approval ratings rise, two suffered falls and two were unchanged.

Among them, the rating for Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Rita Lau Ng Wai-lan was up by seven points to 33, but she stayed in the red zone on the strength of a performance labeled "inconspicuous" by the program team.

Approval ratings for Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong, who led law- enforcement forces to help deal with the aftermath of the Manila crisis, and Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung each put on five points to move to 71 and 54 respectively.

According to program standards, Lee's performance was "ideal" as his approval rating was more than 66 percent.

A poll by the Chinese University of Hong Kong's Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies just days after the August 23 bloodbath found 32.7 percent of 725 respondents pleased with the government. That was a rise of 10.6 percent from July.

Donald Tsang was given a personal score of 54.8, up 4.8 points.

The institute's research assistant, Yip Tin- shang, said the greater trust in leaders is due to the administration's efficient and quick reactions to the hostage crisis.


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