Youth I.D.E.A.S. 25
Governance and Constitutional Development
Building Public Trust in the Government
21 December, 2017
Trust is a precious resource in facilitating interactions among people in any kind of society, including those between the government and its people. It is also a major concern when it comes to good governance. Yet, when looking around the world, challenges to the mutual trust between the government and the public are common. An international survey noted that in 21 out of the 28 countries or areas polled in the survey, people’s trust in government was rated under 50%.
In Hong Kong, the percentage of people having trust in the SAR Government hovered around 20% over the past few years. Despite the fact there has been a breakthrough in recent months with the percentage reaching more than 30%, the percentage is still under the average, 42%, found in another international survey. The surveys of the HKFYG in 2015 and 2016 noted that more than 60% of young respondents did not think that they trusted the SAR Government. The trust relationship between the SAR Government and the Hong Kong public is our concern.
In her speech at the Inaugural Ceremony of the Fifth Term Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, said that strengthening people’s trust in the SAR Government was a key task for her and her team. Yet, building trust cannot be achieved in a single day; rather, it is a long and continuous process where challenges emerge unceasingly.
At a point where the new government has just started to operate, this research was conducted in an attempt to explore what the SAR Government could do to strengthen trust and confidence among the public. In conducting this research, data were collected for analysis through an on-site survey of 525 young people, aged 15 to 34, in early November 2017. In October 2017, five parallel discussion groups were conducted with a total of 20 young people. Interviews with five experts or academics were also conducted from October to November.
 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer Global Report.
 The Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, various press releases from July 2012 to May 2016.
 Gallup World Poll.
 The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, Youth I.D.E.A.S., Reports, Sept 2015, and May 2016.
 Chief Executive’s speech at Inauguration Ceremony of Fifth Term Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, July 1, 2017.