Former CCPL Director, Puja Kapai, shares findings of her study, Future Directions in Hong Kong’s Governance, with Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung and LegCo Members
Puja Kapai recently published Future Directions in Hong Kong’s Governance, findings from a public opinion survey conducted between August and September 2017 with a sample of 500 randomly selected respondents aged 18 or above living in Hong Kong. The household surveys were administered through face-to-face interviews. The study sought to understand Hong Kong people’s priorities and life satisfaction levels as well as their attitudes towards and expectations of politics and governance in Hong Kong. Specifically, the survey included items on public trust towards political parties, institutions, the government, and individuals of diverse backgrounds as well as the public’s prioritisation between economic and livelihood issues and democratic governance. In synthesising the data, the study also mapped the correlation between various demographic factors such as gender, age, education, and income levels and attitudes towards politics, governance, priorities, and life satisfaction.
The survey tool used was based on research instruments that are global in nature but adapted to the Hong Kong context. These include, for example, the Asian Barometer Survey, which itself is a derivative of the World Values Survey that has been carried out in 84 countries and carries global weight and rigour.
The project’s underlying objectives are timely and of significance at this juncture in Hong Kong’s political journey. The findings are distinct from other public opinion polls carried out to date in that they are obtained from face-to-face rather than telephone interviews. They also shed light on the underlying variables which appear to be determinative of public opinion on specific challenges facing Hong Kong at this time.
Future policy development that efficaciously engages all constituencies and speaks directly to their concerns is critical to building a political atmosphere that enables good governance and to avoid further societal divisions in Hong Kong. The findings are a reflection of where we are, and where we need to go together as a community. The data set is rich, providing unique insights pertaining to the sentiments, priorities and expectations of Hong Kongers towards democratization. The data is intricate and serves as an evidence-based foundation for legitimizing future courses of policy and action. Such an approach is critical to inform the effective future of governance in Hong Kong.
Offering data-driven recommendations to guide the agenda of political parties, their leaders, and most importantly, the incumbent administration, the project seeks to underscore the importance of creating conditions and prioritising areas that are conducive to the effective engagement and governance of Hong Kong people going forward.
The findings have been summarised and presented in two segments to distinguish the overall outcomes of the study from the distinct voices of Hong Kong’s youth, who portrayed a significantly different perspective on a range of issues, warranting a separate and focused analysis. Therefore, in addition to the Report presenting the Core Findings of the research, a dedicated report on Youth Perspectives has also been produced, offering a focused review of youth voices in Hong Kong, which are vital to any conversation on the future of governance in Hong Kong given the role of the youth in shaping Hong Kong’s future.
Between May and June 2018, these Reports and the recommendations therein were presented to Mr Matthew Cheung, Chief Secretary for the Administration of the HKSAR, members of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, a range of consular representatives from different countries in Hong Kong, and youth groups. The presentations were conducted in small groups and generated much discussion and reflection on the part of all stakeholders engaged.
Core Findings Report (English)
Core Findings Report (Chinese 中文版)
Youth Perspectives Report (English)
Youth Perspectives Report (Chinese 中文版)