Hong Kong Politics & Protest

Polls may be unreliable due to series of phone scams, says CY amid record low popularity

Popularity polls may not be reliable anymore after a series of phone scams last year, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has said.

Leung was speaking on an RTHK English radio programme on Friday discussing his latest policy address. Satisfaction rates related to him and the policy address are at a record low since the handover in 1997, according to a poll by the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong.

Leung Chun-ying at a RTHK English programme.

Leung Chun-ying at a RTHK English programme.

“You have to ask the question whether the leader, in this particular context in Hong Kong, should think about his or her popularity all the time in running [the] government,” said Leung.

“They [the polls] are provided to me by my colleagues, but I don’t really study them seriously,” Leung added. “I’ve read a number of reports on polls – there are quite a few popularity pollsters in Hong Kong, they ask different questions, they get different results and different trends, and so on. There are many theories, and I am not making excuses, there are theories about how reliable some of these polls are, particularly after these series of phone scams,” Leung said.

“We need to do the right thing for Hong Kong, not just short term, but also long term, people don’t understand, people may have issues with Belt and Road, but I think it’s important for Hong Kong.”

Between January and July 2015, the police received 2,371 reports of phone scams. In 378 cases, fraudsters successfully cheated victims out of money. Around HK$126 million have been defrauded.

Hong Kong police previously sent a widely distributed text message containing a warning about ongoing phone scams. Despite this, lawmaker Cheung Wah-fung was cheated of HK$90,000 by a swindler impersonating his property tycoon friend Wong Cho-bau last December.

In Leung’s policy address, he mentioned the Belt and Road Initiative more than 40 times.

The One Belt, One Road development strategy was unveiled by Chinese president Xi Jinping in 2013. It involves rejuvenating a land-based “silk road”, in tandem with a new “maritime silk road”, as part of an effort to increase China’s role on the world stage, increase its exports and connect countries across Eurasia.

HKFP has reached out to HKUPOP for comment.

Polls may be unreliable due to series of phone scams, says CY amid record low popularity