Hong Kong Poll Shows Dissatisfaction with Budget Proposal Rising Scholars

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 Hong Kong Poll Shows Dissatisfaction with Budget Proposal Rising Scholars
After the announcement of the first budget of the current Hong Kong government, a new public opinion survey found that the number of dissatisfied people increased compared with the same survey last year, and as high as 96% of the respondents did not participate in the prior public consultation. Some scholars have analyzed that this phenomenon reflects the nature of the authoritarian government’s unwillingness to listen to public opinion, describing the policy-making process as just a “ceremony” and due to insufficient relief efforts, the poll score is only 52.5 points.

After Chan Mao-po, Financial Secretary of Hong Kong (February 22), announced the first budget of the new Chief Executive Li Jiachao government in the Legislative Council, the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute successfully interviewed 3,637 Hong Kong citizens over the age of 18 by email. The results showed that 96% of the respondents were The interviewees did not participate in the public consultation to express their views. In addition, those who are satisfied also decreased by 5 percentage points to 32%, which is close to the 31% who are dissatisfied.

Chen Jialuo criticizes the consultation and salutes as a ritual, reflecting the nature of an authoritarian government

Chen Jialuo, an associate professor of the Department of Politics and International Relations of Hong Kong Baptist University who attended the press conference for the announcement of the results of the poll, criticized that the survey showed that the public participation in the budget was extremely low, and that the government's public consultation was just "ceremony", reflecting the nature of an authoritarian government unwilling to listen to public opinion.

Chen Jialuo said: "For officials who are in politics or those who are sitting on public funds, our taxpayers' resources, and the people's heart and anointing of Hong Kong people, if they feel that there is no need to take two more steps to 'explain (speak)', it is just right. It is to go back to the question I just mentioned. It (the government) has the actions, attitudes, or gestures of consulting, but in fact its decisions are the decisions of an authoritarian regime, that is, it has its decisions. You (citizens) ) is up to you to speak, and it has to do it. If what you say is not faithful, it can tell you in minutes that I (the government) will not be threatened by you, and I will not listen to you. What is the level or level of governance? What? We all know it well."

Affected by the epidemic for three consecutive years, the relief measures in this year's budget, commonly known as "candy distribution", have been significantly reduced compared with last year. The most obvious is the distribution of electronic consumer coupons to Hong Kong residents aged 18 or above, which has increased from last year's HK$10,000 (nearly HK$10,000). 1,300 US dollars), halving to 5,000 Hong Kong dollars (about 650 US dollars) this year.

After the democrats in the new Legislative Council were "zeroed out", 55% of the respondents believed that the establishment party had exerted influence in the formulation of the budget; only 17% believed that the government had listened to the views of the democrats .

Xie Dongcheng, a student of the Baptist University who also attended the press conference, commented that even if the opinions of the establishment party were listened to, this did not reflect the overall expectations of the real Hong Kong people, because in the past Legislative Council elections with democratic candidates participated, more than 60% of voters voted for it.

Xie Dongcheng said: "But because they (democrats) cannot enter the Legislative Council, they (democrats) cannot vote in this budget, whether they pass, oppose, or abstain, so they are made to vote in this budget. It doesn't have as much power to influence the whole budget."

According to the survey, the most respondents agree that "modifying housing, education and medical policies" is the most important, with 62%; followed by "stimulating the economy and promoting Hong Kong's industrial development", with 45%; "issuing consumer coupons to all Hong Kong residents" followed This was followed by 34%; and the least important policy among the respondents was "attracting tourists and striving for large-scale international events to be held in Hong Kong", only 14%.

Tung-cheng Hsieh said that the government ignores the wishes of the citizens and focuses more on measures such as "Happy Hong Kong" to attract tourists and large-scale international events.
Xie Dongcheng said: "However, citizens want to improve their lives and have more opportunities for social mobility, but the government is now only focusing on these relatively "great achievements" activities, so it may not really reflect the citizens' interest in this situation. The economy has not yet fully returned to normal, and we still have to face more economic pressures, such as electricity tariff increases, and so on. "

University students say the government's public consultation is quite " hidden"

He Yongxi also pointed out that the government intends to reduce the degree of participation in public consultation, especially the large-scale reclamation plan of "Lantau Tomorrow" at the end of last year, involving a budget of up to 580 billion Hong Kong dollars (more than 74.3 billion U.S. dollars). "To describe.
Ho Wing-hee said: "Some members of the Legislative Council don't even know that the public consultation has been carried out. How can Hong Kong citizens really participate in some policy decisions of the government? Actually, I don't think this is possible. It is said that the political participation of Hong Kong citizens is low, but on the contrary, it may be because the government itself has some, I would say, some administrative means to make citizens feel that I have actually expressed my voice, but the government does not accept it.”

Scholars point out that not publishing the details of the national security budget violates the value of civilized society

Chen Jialuo, associate professor of the Department of Politics and International Relations at Hong Kong Baptist University, said that the national security expenditure of 8 billion Hong Kong dollars is a serious issue. Such a huge figure and the government still insists on not releasing details, which violates the most basic values ??of modern civilized society.

Chen Jialuo said: "It is a modern civilized society. If you are so confident in your own safety and feel that we are one of the safest countries or cities in the world, you can speak frankly and try your best to say what you have used. Where is the money (National Security Budget)? It is not just a large number that will never be explained. This is the third time that it is unwilling to explain. communicated."

The government should face up to police discipline and social order

In addition, the police force expenditure in this year's budget reached a record high of 26.8 billion Hong Kong dollars (more than 3.4 billion U.S. dollars), which is also the highest among all disciplined forces. Chen Jialuo believes that the expenditure of the police force continues to increase, but the social order in Hong Kong has not improved significantly. There are even frequent street attacks and "beheading" attacks. Crimes and scandals involving police officers have also increased. He believes that the government should face up to Police discipline and public security issues.

Chen Jialuo said: "So increasing (police force) resources itself can be a very neutral issue, but after the resources are increased, what will those resources be used for? This is really not just a policy issue, it also involves the image. The question is a political question, but I don't think these questions are asked in today's parliamentary culture."

The survey also asked the respondents how to look forward to their life in the coming year. More than 60% of the respondents thought it was "almost", nearly 20% of the respondents expected that life would get worse, and only 15% of the respondents thought it would get better.

Chen Jialuo criticized the insufficient bailout measures in the budget and failed to make Hong Kong people have expectations for the future, so that the score of the poll was only 52.5 points.

Chen Jialuo said: "Although this budget has such a large deficit (close to 18 billion US dollars), it is still very 'small repairs' in its policies; in terms of support, it is 'a drop in the bucket'; in many it thinks It is the theme, the main focus, robbing talents, robbing enterprises, etc., for the time being, it is still a very abstract and direction-oriented stage. I will not blame Hong Kong people for only giving half of the rating of this budget. half' level."

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