Young people in Hong Kong are largely unhappy with the government’s performance and they also have little faith in the administration, a survey shows.
According to a poll conducted by the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, over six in ten Hongkongers aged between 15 and 29 feel the government didn’t do a good job.
Roughly the same number said they don’t trust the government, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Sixty-six percent of the respondents expressed dissatisfaction at the government’s performance, while 63.5 percent said they don’t trust the current regime.
For the survey entitled “Youth Political Participation and Social Media Use in Hong Kong”, researchers from the Centre for Youth Studies at the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies interviewed 829 people by phone between end-October and end-November last year.
While the survey showed that most young people did not like the government, it found that only 44 percent had participated in political campaigns, such as rallies or petitions through joint signatures, over the past year.
Anthony Fung, director of CUHK’s School of Journalism and Communications, said the results suggest that young people are not as radical as the public tends to believe.
Many young people confine themselves to making their views clear, rather than take concrete action to achieve what they want, Fung said, according to Ming Pao Daily.
Stephen Chiu, a professor at CUHK’s Department of Sociology, agreed that worries that the current crop of young people are more radical than their previous generation are unfounded.
According to the survey, only 39.1 percent of the respondents said they did not feel antipathy towards those with radical stances in politics. The figure suggests that young people were less tolerant of political radicals in general.
On other matters, nearly half of the respondents said their major sources of information about public affairs were social media platforms, including Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
Among those who said they mainly get their news from social media websites, 77.7 percent said they did not trust the government. The corresponding figure was 51.1 percent among those who said they depended on other sources for their news.
Wilson Wong, an associate professor at the Department of Government and Public Administration at CUHK, said the high dissatisfaction ratio among those who rely on social media is not surprising, given the fact that most messages on social media tend to be anti-establishment.
The matter is something that the government should take note of, he said.
While the government keeps saying that it wants to enhance contacts with young people, it hasn’t done enough to engage with them through social media platforms, Wong noted.
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