Hong Kong people deem public order and rule of law as the most important for the city, rather than democracy, a survey suggests.
According to a study commissioned by a non-governmental organization, Hongkongers rated “public order”, “the rule of law” and “corruption-free practices” as the three most important among 12 social indicators.
Each of the three indicators obtained a mean score of importance rating of 9.2, with 10 the full marks.
The “democracy” indictor obtained a mean score of 8.0 in the importance rating and 6.0 in the performance ratings, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Looking at eight core items, the respondents regarded “judicial independence”, “international financial center” and “social justice” as the three most important items in relation to the importance rating, giving a mean score of 8.7, 8.5 and 8.2 respectively.
The importance of “Chief Executive and Legislative Council returned by universal suffrage” was even graded with 7.4, the lowest among the eight core items.
The “Public Perception Survey on Hong Kong’s Characteristics” was conducted by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Programme (HKUPOP) on behalf of NGO and registered charity Project Citizens Foundation.
It was aimed at determining the characteristics Hongkongers treasure the most, and their appraisals on the importance of different characteristics.
More than a thousand people were interviewed in a random telephone survey between April 27 and May 7.
The target population of the survey, which comprised 25 questions, was Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong citizens aged 18 or above.
Unveiling the findings on Thursday, HKUPOP director Dr. Robert Chung Ting-yiu said “democracy” and “universal suffrage” were considered less important than other indicators, possibly because there had been no huge progress in Hong Kong’s democracy development.
Chung noted that “democracy” and “universal suffrage” both obtained mean scores of 6.0 out of 10 in performance rating, demonstrating disappointment among Hong Kong people with regard to democracy development.
“Fairness”, “equality” and “democracy” were the least performance indicators, obtaining mean scores of 5.9, 6.1 and 6.0 respectively.
Respondents in the 18 to 29 age group were more dissatisfied with “fairness”, “equality”, “rule of law” and “corruption-free practices”, giving lower mean scores of performance across these four indicators than those given by other age groups.
In another question asking the interviewees to list the most valuable characteristics of Hong Kong, in a wide realm of classification, 47 percent of them regarded “history and culture” as the city’s most valuable characteristic, 37 percent said “core values” including freedom and the rule of law, followed by 30 percent suggesting Hong Kong’s “international status”.
While responding to the question of which characteristics will be the most important to Hong Kong going forward, 34 percent of the respondents said “core values”, while 33 percent said “history and culture” and 23 percent said “international status”.
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