Hong Kong’s key social indicators, including those on freedom and rule of law, have registered significant drops, Apple Daily reported on Wednesday, citing a media release from the Public Opinion Programme (POP) of the University of Hong Kong.
A POP survey, based on phone interviews with 1,017 Hong Kong residents from July 21 and 24, revealed that the ratings of all five core social indicators — freedom, prosperity, rule of law, stability and democracy — have dropped, compared with the results of a similar survey conducted in February.
The ratings for freedom, stability and democracy fell to their lowest since April 2004 at 7.13, 6.44 and 5.93 respectively. The perfect rating is 10.
As for the non-core social indicators, only that for equality has slightly gone up while all others have plunged. Those for civilization and public order have recorded significant decreases, while that for corruption-free has dropped to a record low of 6.25. Before that, the lowest was 7.02 in June 1997.
Program director Robert Chung said he would leave it to the Hong Kong people to judge if the recent social events have had any impact on the survey results.
Several developments took place between the surveys in February and July, including the knife attack on former Ming Pao chief editor Kevin Lau in February, the corruption trial of former chief secretary Raphael Hui and top executives of Sun Hung Kai Properties in May, the central government’s white paper on the “one country, two systems” policy in June and the mock polls on universal suffrage in the same month in which some 790,000 people particpated.
Chung said the public sentiment is at risk, but he will leave it to the public to judge who are responsible, the report said.
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