Hong Kong Christian Service

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Issue 006
2015 Mar

Youths had low confidence in the government
HKCS appealed to setting up communication platforms
to restore mutual trust

Constitutional development is a prime concern among Hong Kong people, and our younger generation (those aged below 29) takes up one quarter of our population 1 and they are the most affected group in the constitutional development. In order to know how they feel towards the second stage of constitutional development, we conducted a survey both in print out questionnaires and online survey to collect their opinion to this consultation. The findings were released on 15 February.

Distrust towards the government Youth pessimism towards the future

The survey exposed distrust towards the government, though the youth population are concern about the constitutional development, they believed that the consultation was just a pseudo one. They doubted if the government really wanted to promote constitutional development. In the survey, 70% of the participants have not read the second stage consultation paper, main reasons include the fact that the government disregards public opinions, the Central Government has already formed their proposal (37.2%) and they are dissatisfied towards the pseudo consultation (35.2%)

Less than 40% of the participants indicated that they would submit their opinions, simply because of freedom of expression and to exercise their civil right. These reflect that youth treasures the Hong Kong’s core value, recognises the importance of civil rights such as freedom of expression. Over 60% stated that they would not submit their opinions and among them (54.9%) disbelief that the government would truly reflect public opinions, lack of trust towards the government (41.4%), and think the Chief Executive would distort public opinions (32.3%). These more or less reflect the gap between the government and youth, and the low level of trust on the government's credibility among the youth population.

Regarding the performance of the government in the consultation, 60% felt the government has performed poorly (in a scale of 10, the grading is 2 or even less), the overall rating is just 2.34 which almost hit the bottom. All these are disturbing signs, if the government does not narrow down the communication gap and to rebuild trust, it is unfavourable in winning the support from the youth population.

What cannot be overlooked is that more than 60% pointed out that if the election of the Chief Executive is as stated in the second stage of the consultation, they felt the future of Hong Kong is doomed. Another finding was that the hope for a non-screen election of Chief Executive has become dim and would adversely affect the overall development of Hong Kong. All these show that constitutional reform is important to how the younger generation feel towards the future Hong Kong. It is also a strong signal that if the government continues to ignore public opinion, the so-called trust is just superficial.

Should listen to what the younger generations say Restoring communication and mutual trust

Actually, the government is obliged to listen to his people by heart without any presumption nor agenda and responding to them genuinely, this is how the consultation framework should work. We believe communication promotes changes, strengthen trust. We suggest that before the consultation ends, the government holds exchange sessions and platforms in all districts to listen to the youth population in order to reach rational and in-depth communication. While at the same time, HKCS appeals the Central Government and the Hong Kong SAR governments to face the expectation of the general public in this constitutional development, to reconsider an election for the Chief Executive without screening.

1. According to 2014 statistics report, total population of young people aged below 29 exceeds 174 millions.

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