Food and hygiene chief's popularity takes hit after public feud

May 13, 2015 13:26
Ko Wing-man is paying for an exchange with a Ngau Tau Kok resident (inset) in a lower net approval rating. Photo: HKEJ, RTHK

A senior Hong Kong official continues to feel the heat a week after a public spat with a resident during a neighborhood visit to promote political reform.

And now, there are some numbers to show how much -- or how little -- he has suffered.

Secretary for Food and Environmental Hygiene Ko Wing-man saw his net approval rating plummet nine points in a survey by the University of Hong Kong (HKU), Apple Daily reported Wednesday.

However, Ko's 66 percent net popularity rating is still the highest among government officials.

Ko lost his temper during a heated exchange with a Ngau Tau Kok resident over the government's election reform proposal and later said he should have handled the matter differently.

The survey by the HKU Public Opinion Program interviewed 1,003 respondents between May 4 and 7.

It shows a seven percentage-point fall in the job approval rating of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to negative 37.

Leung's public support rating slipped to 43.2 and continues to hover below the 45-point red line.  

Chief Secretary Carrie Lam has a public support rating of 57.4. She has a job approval rating of 54 percent against a disapproval rating of 17 percent for a net popularity rating of positive 37 percentage points, down 6 percent from a previous survey.

Financial Secretary John Tsang remains the most popular department secretary with a 58.2 percent public support rating. He has a job approval rating of 49 percent against a disapproval rating of 13 percent for a net popularity rating of positive 36 percentage points.

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen has a 50.1 public support rating, a job approval rating of 35 percent and disapproval rating of 22 percent for a net approval rating of positive 13 percentage points.

Seven of 12 bureau directors saw their net approval ratings go up from the previous month. The rest went down.

Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok and Secretary for Education Eddie Ng registered significant increases of 13 and 7 percentage points, respectively, in net approval rating.

Their net popularity ratings were 17 points and negative 26 points, respectively.

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