25 June 2019
Hong Kong students have cited political issues as the main source of their discontent. Photo: HKEJ
Hong Kong students have cited political issues as the main source of their discontent. Photo: HKEJ

Political issues top concern among students now: survey

Political issues top the list of things causing discontent among students in Hong Kong, edging out other grievances such as those related to housing, a survey has shown.

In a survey conducted by Ming Pao Daily, 47 percent of student respondents said what they are most unhappy about at the moment is the way the government is dealing with political issues.

Disputes on the political system, failure to ensure “Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy” and the shortcomings of local officials were among the factors cited by the students.

As for other issues, 15 percent expressed discontent over the government’s response to high home prices. About 20 percent said housing should be top priority in the administration’s agenda.

The survey was conducted in late November on students from eight universities and two community colleges, as well as senior form students from three secondary schools. A total of 1,032 youth were interviewed. 

Asked about how the Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying is performing, 79 percent said he is failing in job, with 43 percent saying they are highly unsatisfied. Only 3 percent gave a thumbs-up to Leung’s performance.

Sixty percent of the respondents said the Occupy campaign has prompted them to spend more time on social movements than ever, and also enhanced their desire to vote in the future elections.

Victor Wong, a professor at the Hong Kong Baptist University’s Department of Social Work, said it is clear that young people in Hong Kong are no longer indifferent about politics.

The government needs to address political as well as livelihood issues at the same time if it wants to soothe the youth discontent, he said.

Some observers believe the government will unveil several livelihood-related measures in the 2015 Policy Address next month. Expected measures include an increase in home supply and enhanced support to young people to help them move up the ladder in society.

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