Q1.  The presidential election occurs on March 8.  The DPP is represented by the team of Hsieh and Su, while the KMT is represented by Ma and Siew.  If the voting were tomorrow, which team are you more likely to vote for?
31%: Hsieh-Su
50%: Ma-Siew
19%: Undecided

Q2.  Did you watch today's televised debate between the presidential candidate?
35%: Yes
65%: No

Q3. Which person performed better during the televised debate this afternoon? (Base: Those who watched the televised debate)
28%: Frank Hsieh
42%: Ma Ying-jeou
30%: No opinion

Q4.  During the televised debate this afternoon, whose policies do you believe meets your needs better? (Base: Those who watched the televised debate)
28%: Frank Hsieh
44%: Ma Ying-jeou
28%: No opinion

(UDN) (937 adults interviewed by telephone on March 9)

Q1.  Did you watch the televised debate between Frank Hsieh and Ma Ying-jeou this afternoon?
40%: Yes
60%: No

Q2.  Who do you think performed better? (Base: Those who watched the televised debate)
46%: Ma Ying-jeou
28%: Frank Hsieh
10%: Tie
16%: No opinion

Q3.  Which team do you support in the presidential election?
52%: Ma-Siew
22%: Hsieh-Su
26%: Undecided

(China Times)  (1,119 adults interviewed by telephone on March 9, 2008)

Q1.  Did you watch the televised debate between Frank Hsieh and Ma Ying-jeou this afternoon?
34%: Yes
66%: No

Q2. Who do you think performed better? (Base: Those who watched the televised debate)
43%: Ma Ying-jeou
27%: Frank Hsieh

Q3.  Which team do you su pport in the presidential election?
49%: Ma-Siew
22%: Hsieh-Su
29%: Undecided

Q4. Did watching this televised debate changed your mind about who you support? (Base: Those who watched the televised debate)
  4%: Yes
86%: No

(Apple Daily)  (1,052 persons interviewed by telephone on March 5-7)  Apple Daily commissioned the National Sun Yat-sen University School of Social Science Public Opinion Research Centre to conduct a poll on March 5-7.  On the direct question of likelihood to vote, 41.3% stated that they will vote for Ma Ying-jeou, 19.8% stated that they will vote for Frank Hsieh and 38.9% are undecided.  The respondents were then asked about six issues: ability to govern, re-vitalization of the economy, degree of non-corruption, level of direct support, the Cross-Strait Common Market and the referenda.

On re-vitalizing the economy, 48% chose Ma Ying-jeou and 17% chose Frank Hsieh.  On non-corruption, 43% chose Ma Ying-jeou and 16% chose Frank Hsieh.  On governance, 39% chose Ma Ying-jeou and 20% chose Frank Hsieh.  On the UN referenda, 47% said that they will refuse to accept the ballot to vote for either, 23% said that will vote for both, 9% said that they will vote for the DPP-sponsored referendum to join the UN and 2% said that they will vote for the KMT-sponsored referendum to rejoin the UN.

Using these six variables as explanatory predictors, it is estimated that 56.4% will vote for Ma Ying-jeou, 29.9% will vote for Frank Hsieh and another 13.7% cannot be predicted clearly.  

Using Elizabeth Noelle-Neumann's theory the Spiral of Silence, the unpredicable people were believed to be mostly Frank Hsieh supporters.  The final estimate is then 56.4% for Ma Ying-jeou and 43.6% for Frank Hsieh.
As for the likely winner of the election regardless of one's personal preference, 54.1% favored Ma Ying-jeou and 10.2% favored Frank Hsieh.

(UDN)  During and after televised debate, some television stations opened their phone lines to allow their viewers to 'vote.'  The vote costs the caller NT$2 for 30 seconds.  The viewers of a television station reflect the political leanings of that station, and they constitute a self-selected sample that is not representative of the general population.  The counts are:
SETV: 52,816 votes for Frank Hsieh; 20,068 votes for Ma Ying-jeou
CTS-TV: 23,290 votes for Ma Ying-jeou; 3,729 votes for Frank Hsieh
ETV-TV: 24,091 votes for Ma Ying-jeou; 3,747 votes for Frank Hsieh.
Given these disparate ratios, the political leanings of the respective television stations should be evident.

As the countdown to the Taiwan presidential election continues, one can read the public opinion polls as well as the politcal futures market.

For the 2004 presidential election, the socioecono-physics research group at Institute of Physics of Academia Sinica established the Taiwan Political Exchange (TAIPEX).  At first, the Lian-Soong (KMT/PFP) team were leading.  From March 12 onwards, the futures price began to fluctuate with the Lian-Soong team clearly weakening.  On March 19, 20 and 21, the Chen-Lu team was clearly leading on the futures market.

Two weeks before the 2008 presidential election, the TAIPEX is predicting 62% for Ma-Siew (KMT) and 37% for Hsieh-Su (DPP). 

Meanwhile over at Swarchy futures trading exchange which is run with the National Chengchi University Predictive Market Research Center, the predictions are (1) Hsieh-Su will receive 42% of the votes and Ma-Siew 58%; (2) the chances of Hsieh-Su winning is 20% compared to 80% for Ma-Siew.

Q1.  There are only two weeks left before the presidential election.  Do you plan to vote?
69%: Definitely
14%: Possibly
  6%: Unsure
11%: Definitely not
(Note: Based upon historical responses to this question compared to actual voter turnout, it is estimated that the voting rate will be 80% this time)

Q2. March 22 is the date of the presidential election.  If the voting were held tomorrow, which candiadte are you more likely to vote for?
28%: Hsieh-Su (DPP)
54%: Ma-Siew (KMT)
18%: Undecided
(Note: Based upon historical reponses, it is estimated that the 18% undecided will break 12% for Hsieh-Su and 6% for Ma-Siew.  This results in 28% + 12% = 40% for Hsieh-Su and 54% + 6% = 60% for Ma-Siew)
(Note: The support rate by party affiliation is:
Hsieh-Su: 82% among DPP supporters, 1% among KMT supporters, 17% among independents; Ma-Siew: 10% among DPP supporters, 97% among KMT supporters, 46% among independents; Undecided: 8% among DPP supporters, 2% among KMT supporters, 37% among independents)

Q3.  Do you agree with Taiwan and mainland China forming a Cross Strait Common Market in the future?
40%: Yes
28%: No
13%: Don't understand what is a Cross Strait Common Market
19%: Don't know

Q4. Do you think that opening cross-strait economic relationships even more is beneficial or harmful to your own finance or liveilhood?
44%: Beneficial
26%: Harmful
31%: Don't know

Q5. Over the past four years, did your personal assets increase or decrease?
  3%: Increased a lot
15%: Increased a bit
19%: Decreased a bit
28%: Decreased a lot
24%: About the same
10%: Don't know

Q6. Recently, a publication named Taiwan Weekly accused Vincent Siew of owning luxury mansions and Mrs. Ma Ying-jeou of stealing newspapers.  Do you think that this publication is connected to the Frank Hsieh campaign team?
35%: Yes
23%: No
10%: Never heard of Taiwan Weekly
31%: Don't know

Q7.  When an entertainer or celebrity endorses a presidential candidate, would that affect which candidate you would support?
  3%: Yes
90%: No
  7%: Don't know

A new Chinese-language newspaper, Taiwan Weekly, currently on a trial run, accused Ma Ying-jeou's wife, Chow Mei-ching, of stealing newspapers from Harvard University's Harvard-Yenching Library when she was a student there and claimed it had evidence to back its claim.  The Ma campaign team's lawyer, Lai Su-ju, also a KMT Taipei city councilor, lashed out at the publisher and spokesperson of the publication for dodging legal responsibility by using pseudonyms.  Lai said the Taipei City Police Department could not find the name of the publisher, listed as Tseng Tien-hsiang, and the spokesperson named Wang Mo-san, when the camp tried to file a lawsuit against the publication on Tuesday.

Wang held a press conference yesterday afternoon and rebutted KMT allegations that Frank Hsieh's campaign team funded the publication.  She did not specify where funding for the newspaper came from.   Wang, a radio host, also denied she used a pseudonym to avoid legal responsibility, noting that she has been using the name for more than 10 years.

Wang Mo-San (photo from United Daily News)

(UDN, Apple Daily)  In the debut issue of Taiwan Weekly, it was pointed out that the children of KMT vice-president Vincent Siew owned luxury mansions.  Given that Vincent Siew was living off a public servant's salary, where did the children get the money to buy those mansions?  In the second issue of Taiwan Weekly, Ma Ying-jeou's wife Chow Mei-ching was caught stealing publications from the Harvard-Yenching Library.  Taiwan Weekly says that an associate professor at a certain Boston medical teacher hospital had personally seen the confession written by Chow.  The four publications stolen by Chow were: Observing the Spring Breeze, Taiwan Independence Monthly, Independent Taiwan and Taiwan Youth.  Another story in the second issue was about how the mainland Chinese market has broken up one-third of all marriages in Taiwan as prostitutes flooded the streets everywhere.  In the third and upcoming issue of Taiwan Weekly, there will be a sensational report on an extra-marital affair of Ma Ying-jeou's late dad.  The allegations will come from the ex-husband of Ma's dad's mistress.

(TVBS)  At the press conference held by Taiwan Weekly spokesperson Wang Mo-san, there was a support team of two women wearing baseball caps with one hearing sunglasses indoors.  They made applauses but otherwise did not say a word.  This left the press corps quite intrigued.

Following is a question by the Hon Sin Chung-kai and a reply by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Frederick Ma, in the Legislative Council today (March 5):


    It has been reported that concerning the recent incidents of photos on the Internet purported to be of artistes, the Commissioner of Police said last month that people in possession of obscene or indecent photos might commit an offence; an Assistant Commissioner of Police, however, said that the transmission of obscene photos among friends was not a contravention of the law, but these explanations of the law were challenged by the legal sector.  On the other hand, any person who possesses for the purpose of publication an indecent article under the circumstances as referred to in section 27A of the Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance commits an offence.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether it has examined the accuracy of the above explanations of the law; if it has, of the outcome of the examination; and

(b) of the respective numbers of prosecutions and convictions under the above Ordinance in the past three years; and, among them, the respective numbers of those involving possession of obscene or indecent articles in a computer for publication on the Internet, as well as the prosecution policy and investigation method of the Police Force in those cases?


Madam President,

(a) According to section 21(1)(b) of the existing Control of Obscene and Indecent Articles Ordinance (the Ordinance) (Cap 390), possessing for the purpose of publication any obscene article is an offence, irrespective of whether or not the person involved knows that it is an obscene article.  According to section 27A of the Ordinance, possessing for the purpose of publication of any indecent article in contravention of the relevant restrictions or conditions under the Ordinance is an offence, irrespective of whether or not the person involved knows that it is an indecent article.  Under section 2(4)(a) of the Ordinance, a person publishes an article if he distributes, circulates, sells, hires, gives or lends the article to the public or a section of the public. 

    Whether or not the possession of an obscene or indecent article is in breach of the Ordinance mainly depends on whether or not the possession of the article is for the purpose of publication to the public or a section of the public.  Generally, whether or not the possession of an article is for the purpose of publication and whether or not "friends" can be excluded from the definition of "the public" or "a section of the public" depend on all the relevant facts of the individual case.  The court makes a decision based on the law and the relevant facts. 

    In view of technological advancement, with particular regard to the characteristics and popularity of the Internet, as well as public concern about the operation of the Ordinance, we are conducting a comprehensive review of the provisions in the Ordinance.  The Government plans to consult the public in the second half of this year on ways to amend the Ordinance, including the development of criteria for assessing the content of an article and the assessment system itself, in order to keep pace with the development of our society.

(b) Enforcement of the Ordinance rests with the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority (TELA), Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF) and Customs and Excise Department according to their respective purviews.  In the past three years, the enforcement departments instituted a total of 1,876 prosecutions, with 1,829 convictions secured.  Among these, a total of 1,198 prosecutions and 1,178 convictions involve possession of obscene or indecent articles for publication.

    Given the vast volume and transient nature of information transmitted over the Internet, TELA and HKPF adopt a complaint-driven approach in dealing with obscene and indecent Internet content.  Enforcement departments will examine the Internet content upon receipt of complaints.  Generally speaking, if the content is likely to be indecent, TELA will seek cooperation from Internet service providers so that the service providers or webmasters concerned can quickly add a warning or remove the websites or articles involved.  If the case is serious (for example, the content is likely to be obscene), HKPF will take appropriate follow-up and enforcement action.  In the past three years, the enforcement departments instituted 5 prosecutions against publication of obscene or indecent articles over the Internet and all were convicted.

    For all cases involving breaches of the Ordinance, whether arising from the Internet or not, all enforcement agencies including HKPF will take enforcement action in a conscious and fair manner and in strict accordance with the law.  Upon receipt of report or complaint, HKPF will first make a preliminary assessment and collect further information as necessary before deciding whether and how the case should be followed up.  In the light of evidences obtained in the follow-up investigation and, if necessary, legal advice sought from the Department of Justice, it will then decide whether prosecution should be instituted.  All prosecutions initiated by the Police will be based on sufficient evidence to support the charge.  It will also be ensured that the prosecution is in compliance with the statutory requirements and procedures, and is administered in accordance with the principle of equality before the law.

One reason why public opinion polls cannot predict election outcomes is that some voters will not express their preferences.  In order to evaluate the election outcomes of recent years, the key is to understand the phenomenon of "blue open, green hidden."

In a public opinion poll, the voters are either "hidden" or "open."  The "open" voters are those who are willing to openly express which candidates they support, but the "hidden" voters will not do so.

In the past ten public opinion polls that UDN has made on the 2008 presidential election, 25% of the respondents were unwilling to express their preferences.  This is a slight increase of 2% over our public opinion polls for the 2004 presidential election.

Ordinarily, research organizations will only report the preferences of those who indicate such.  In our polls, the "open" voters have consistently preferred the Ma-Siew team over the Hsieh-Su team.  While the Ma-Siew seemed to have a huge lead, there is the worry that the result of the election may hinge on the "hidden" voters in the public opinion polls.  If the "hidden voters" are mostly pan-green supporters, then the Ma-Siew situation is not as optimistic as it might seem.

How to determine the blue/green composition of the "hidden" voters?  An analysis of the 307 public opinion polls conducted by UDN over the past eight years about political party support rate provided some clues.

The tendency is for the expression of support for political parties to fluctuate with the political atmosphere.  In the 2000 presidential election, the number of people who said that they supported the Kuomintang was higher by at least 9% over those who said that they supported the Democratic Progressive Party, because the Kuomintang had been the ruling party for the longest time.

When Chen Shui-bian was elected president, there was a huge shift in the expressed public opinion.  The percentage of people willing to express support for the Kuomintang dropped by more than 10% to be surpassed by the percentage of people willing to express support for the Democratic Progressive Party.  Thus the "hidden" green supporters decreased in numbers.

In 2005, there came the scandals over the Kaohsiung Rapid Transit, the SOGO gift vouchers, the secret state fees and son on.  The DPP supporters shifted from "open support" into "low profile" once more.  Fewer than 20% of the people were willing to admit to lean politically towards the Democratic Progressive Party to set a new low.  In the last two years, the support for the DPP has recovered basically to the level of 2000 before the changing of the ruling party.

The above indicated that the public opinion depends subtly on the overall political atmosphere.

Meanwhile, our pre-election polling over the past six months show that non-expression does not mean the lack of a stance.  Among those who have not expressed their views on the presidential election, 70% are green supporters.  The rate of "hidden" preferences also achieved the highest level after the huge Kuomintang victory in the Legislative Yuan elections as the green supporter reached the highest "low profile" status in history.  Thus, while our public opinion polls have consistently shown that the Hsieh-Su team has a support rate between 18% an 27%, the green supporters have not necessarily disappeared.  The issue is whether they want to express their views and how they will actually vote (if at all).

... Overall, with 25% of the voters not expressing their preferences yet, it is necessary to consider their structure and tendencies in interpreting the public opinion results in order to come up with an accurate prediction about the election outcome.

(Guangzhou Daily via 6Park)

According to eyewitness Ah Feng, he had just got off work around the Daliang Honggang industrial park, Shende city, Guangdong province at around 9pm on the night before yesterday when he came across several hundred people surrounding a temporary performance stage.  A male master of ceremony was screaming: "Ladies and gentlemen, the singers Han Hong and Edison Chen will be performing in Guangzhou on March 8.  Tonight, they are here in Shende to promote the event.  You will be able to hear them singing as well as receive an opportunity to win free concert tickets.

Next, a woman got on stage and sang <Heavenly Road>.  Eyewitness Ah Feng said, "She sang well.  The lights were dim and we actually believed that she was Han Hong." After this act, a man who resembled Edison Chen stepped up and waved to the crowd.  The master of ceremony said, "Edison Chen will be singing soon.  Please give him a warm applause ...

"Edison Chen is here!"  Suddenly, everyone in the Honggang industrial park converged to this scene.  Ah Feng called his girlfriend and other friends to come.

The so-called Han Hong sang a few more songs and then vanished.  The master of ceremony then said, "The Han Hong-Edison Chen concert is sponsored by a jewelry company.  Tonight, the company has donated a set of jewelry worth 1,280 yuan, two large posters of the stars and a set of three jewelry pieces.  We are now going to draw the prizes.  All those who win jewelry and posters can swap them for concert tickets." The workers then bought out the prize box and put in the poster, necklaces, rings, etc.

When the crowd saw the jewelry and concert tickets, they went crazy.  The master of ceremony said, "Things are getting too hot here.  We are concerned that some of you might only want to sell your tickets.  If you are serious, you put up 100 yuan and the workers will deliver your lucky draw right to you.  If you win a cash prize of 100 yuan or 50 yuan, you will received two more cash prizes.  So hundreds of people began handing over 100 yuan bills to the workers.

Ah Feng and his girlfriend both put up 100 yuan and they both drew cash prizes of 1 yuan each.  His girlfriend put up another 100 yuan and drew a cash prize of 1 yuan once again.

Then someone who drew a necklace yelled out, "This is a fake!  The necklaces and rings are all fake." The person took out a magnet and it attracted all the jewelry which were made of iron.  Some of the audience members then yelled to the organizers: "The jewelry is fake!  We want our money back!  This is a scam!"

Chaos ensued immediately.  Around a dozen men including the man who resembled Edison Chen appeared with steel rods in hand and proceeded to beat the loudest complainants in the audience.  Ah Feng said, "I dodged one blow which landed on the two people standing behind me."

Someone called the police.  Within two minutes, the police arrived and arrested the perpetrators.  The police registered all those who were swindled and told them to come down to the police station the next day at noon to claim their lost money.  The police said that this was a band of travelling swindlers who have been capitalizing on the lack of sophistication and social awareness among their marks.

Recently, a video clip from the BTV3 program <At A Time of Rule of Law> drew 200,000 viewings in less than a day and more than 1,000 comments.  This television episode was about a case in the western district of Beijing about the uploading of certain obscene photographs.  The chief defendant named Luo was the manager in charge of Internet business operations at a certain information technology company.  Luo directed subordinates Yang, Ruan and Ding to distribute obscene photos via the mobile phone WAP technology.

According to an examination of the electronic data, a total of 28 photos had been uploaded resulting in more than 250,000 hits.  The existing law metes out punishment based upon the circulation of such obscene articles, and 250,000 plus hits can result theoretically in a jail sentence of ten or more years.

Netizens wrote: "The chief judge should not adhere to the rigid law code.  He needs to consider the environment of the Chinese Internet.  A hit count of more 250,000 does not mean that 250,000 different persons saw it.  That is to say, the number of people exposed should not be estimated from a simple technical method."  A lawyer said, "There is no doubt that these people distributed obscene articles for reason of profit, but ten years in jail appear to be too draconian.  Under the current Internet technology, a person can cause mulitple hits on a single photo because of failures due to network congestion.  Therefore, the number of hits is not the same as the number of unique viewers.  The 250,000 figure ought to be discounted, and that should be the basis by which the penalty is determined.

In the 2004 Greatest Sichuan Internet Pornography Case, the chief judge had declared that the prosecutor presented insufficient evidence when the "hit count" was taken as the audience size.  Since the hit rate and the view rate are not equivalent, the hit rate cannot be used to determine the penalty.  In that case, the defendant was sentenced to 18 months for distribution of obscene material on the Internet.

The issue of whether and how the South China photos can be discussed during the Two Congresses has become a problem.  According to the news reports, the Shaanxi Provincial Department of Forestry has been going back on its words, stalling for time and slighting public opinion and this has brought the affair back into the public focus right before the Two Congresses.  But most of the netizens do not want to see Premier Wen Jiabao being asked this question at the press conference.

According to reporters, the Xinhua forum sections "I have a question for the Premier," "Recommendations for the Two Congresses" and "Recommendations to the Department of Forestry" have all featured the South China tiger affair as a hot topic.  "But if a foreign reporter should question the Premier about why it took so long to verify one photograph, it would be so embarrassing!" Some netizens feel that they lose face if this were to happen.

I believe that there are several ways to interpret this stance.  Firstly, the netizens are being sarcastic about a Grand Nation not being able to verify one photograph.  Secondly, they are warning the Shaanxi Provincial Department of Forestry that if they embarrass the Premier, they would have hell to pay.  Thirdly, they are egging the foreigner reporters to make a move since the Chinese media won't posed that question to the Premier.  Fourthly, they are genuinely afraid that the foreign reporters might actually ask the question and cause a huge loss of face.

No matter what the interpretation is, there are two basic judgments: First, the South China tiger photo is a big deal which should be brought up during the Two Congresses.  Secondly, if the foreign reporters ask the question, the affair escalates into an affair with international impact and the consequences will be severe.  That is why there is a debate over whether the question ought to be posed at the Premier's press conference, especially by foreign reporters.

I do not think that everybody agrees that the South China tiger photo should be an issue at the Two Congresses.  First of all, the Shaanxi provincial officials (especially those from the Shaanxi provincial Department of Forestry) must want to disappear this whole affair since they are the ones with suspected interests tied into the case.  Next, the Shaanxi provincial representatives at the Two Congresses are in a more complex situation.  I guess that some of them do not want to discuss the issue while others were stopped from discussion.  During the Two Congresses in Shaanxi pavonine, the South China tiger affair was red hot at the local forums with the netizens calling for their representatives to pose question.  But those calls fell on the deaf ears of the representatives.

Some representatives and citizens sincerely think that the Two Congresses are solemn meetings in which grand problems such as education, medical care and the price of goods ought to be discussed as opposed to a piece of trivia such as the South China tiger photo.  But they may not realize that the most important character of a government is trust and responsibility.  Why would you discuss education, medical care and the price of goods with someone whom you distrust and consider irresponsible?  When Richard Nixon's Watergate affair and Bill Clinton's Zippergate affair were exposed, many Chinese fail to comprehend: So what if a president sends someone to install a few listening devices?  So what if a president does not want to expose his private life?  But over there, this was the most important thing.  It is alright not to achieve victory in Vietnam, but you can sneak around; it is alright to have a personal affair, but you cannot lie to law enforcement people during an investigation.

Therefore, it is worthwhile to ask the Premier about the South China tiger photo, because its significance is no less than education, medical care and the price of goods.  As one National People's Congress representative has already recognized: "The South China tiger photo has become a public affair.  In the face of public doubts, the government can no longer maintain a silence.  It has the responsibility to clarify the matter to the public." I do not believe that the role of the Shaanxi provincial government was only to prod its Department of Forestry to verify the photo.  Rather, it should have handled the matter directly.  Firstly, the public is suspicious of the Shaanxi provincial Department of Forestry, which cannot possibly be asked to establish its own guilt.  Secondly, the emergence of the wall calendar tiger photo has made the truth known to everyone and there is no need to find an "official authority" to verify the obvious.  How many wrongful cases have "official authorities" perpetrated already?

If the Shaanxi provincial government won't deal with the case, then should the Premier be asked?  I think so.  First, this will give an explanation to the dubious Chinese citizens out there and not for a foreign audience.  Therefore, it should be the Chinese reporters who ought to ask that question and not some foreign reporters.  The foreign reporters should be concerned about weightier things that might interest their own compatriots.  Thirdly, no matter whether foreign reporters ask the question or not, this case should be handled based upon its own merits.

In real life, there are many things that can be solved but the government is unwilling to do so.  Firstly, if we keep counting on international opinion to solve our  problems, then this case will be solved similarly and it will representative a loss on the part of Chinese opinion, governance and judiciary.  Secondly, if there is anything embarrassing here, it will be the loss mentioned above and not because foreigners know about it.  Thirdly, there is no internal or external distinction because all public opinion is positive with respect to something bad.

The Financial Secretary announced tax concessions which included lowering salaries tax by 1 percentage-point to 15%, providing one-off grant of $3,000 to each elderly, subsidizing each domestic electricity account with $1,800, providing one additional month of payments for CSSA recipients and disabled persons and so on. Do you think these measures are sufficient?
68%: Enough
27%: Not enough
  5%: Don't know/hard to say

In this year's budget, there are mostly one-off measures, e.g. providing one additional month of payments for CSSA recipients and providing $3,000 to each elderly, etc. Do you agree or disagree to these measures?
62%: Agree
16%: Half/half
21%: Disagree
  2%: Don't know/hard to say

(Chinese Univesity of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies) (806 persons age 18 or over interviewed by telephoneFebruary 27-29)

Satisfaction rate with Hong Kong SAR government:
  9.8%: Dissatisfied
52.7%: So-so/half-and-half
36.1%: Satisfied
 1.4%: Don't know

Rating of Hong Kong SAR Chief Executive (0-100)

Satisaction rate with the Beijing Central Government
10.3%: Dissatisfied
41.7%: So-so/half-and-half
42.9%: Satisfied
   5.1%: Don't know

Are you satisfied with the government budget?
  3.7%: Dissatisfied
29.0%: So-so
63.3%: Satisfied
  4.0%: Don't know/hard to say

Did the budget take care of the socially vulnerable groups?
22%: Not enough
45%: So-so
29%: Enough
  4%: Don't know/hard to say

Did the budget take care of the middle class?
   9%: Not enough
36^%: So-so
51%: Enough
  5%: Don't know/hard to say

Did the budget increase your confidence in the HK SAR government?
34%: Did not increase
58%: Increase
  8%: Don't know/hard to say

(Hong Kong Research Association)

Q1. What is your overall satisfaction with the government budget?
64%: Satisfied
26%: So-so
  6%: Dissatisfied
  4%: No opinion

Q2. Are you satisfied with the performance of the government?
44%: Satisfied
42%: So-so
  9%: Dissatisfied
  5%: No opinion

Q3.  Within the budget, which are you satisfied with?
  7%: Increasing employment
21%: Helping the socially vulnerable groups
37%: Tax reductions
  1%: Environment protection
  5%: Education
  7%: Trade development
  5%: Others
17%: No opinion

Q4.  Do you think that the tax reductions are appropriae?
54%: Satisfied
17%: Too much
10%: Too little
19%: No opinion

Q5. Do you approve the HKD 3,000 given to senior citizens on a one-time-only basis?
63%: Approve
20%: Disapprove
17%: No opinion

Q6. The budget returns a HKD 1,800 subsidy to each electricity-using household.  Do you approve?
83%: Approve
  8%: Disapprove
  9%: No opinion

Q7. The budget gives HKD 6,000 to each employed/self-employed person who earns less than HKD 10,000 per month.  Do you approve?
64%: Approve
19%: Disapprove
17%: No opinion

Q8.  The budget reserves HKD 50 billion for healthcare reform.  Do you approve?
79%: Approve
  7%: Disapprove
14%: No opinion

Q9. Which social group does this government budget relieve the pressure on the most?
11%: Socially vulnerable groups
27%: Low income group
33%: Middle-class group
  8%: High income group
  4%: Others
17%: No opinion

Q10.  What is your view of the economic prospects for Hong Kong?
28%: Optimistic
57%: So-so
10%: Pessimistic
  5%: No opinion

Q1.  There is only three weeks left until the presidential election.  Will you be voting?
67%: Definitely yes
16%: Likely
  5%: Not likely
11%: Definitely not
[Note: Based upon previous historical patterns, the predicted turnout is 80%]\

Q2.  In the presidential election of March 22, the DPP will field Hsieh-Su and the KMT will field Ma-Siew.  If the election were  held tomorrow, which team are you more likely to vote for?
30%: Hsieh-Su (compared to 29% on 2/24/2008)
54%: Ma-Siew (compared to 49% on 2/24/2008
16%: Undecided (compared to 22% on 2/24/2008)

Based upon previous historical pattens, the predicted distribution of the 16% undecided votes will be 10% for Hsieh-Su and 6% for Ma-Siew.  The grand totals are then 30%+10% = 40% for Hsieh-Su and 54% + 6% = 60% for Ma-Siew.

Q3.  Would you say that your support for Hsieh-Su is firm, or will you watch how things develop?  (Base: Hsieh-Su supporters)
67%:  Very firm
29%: Wait and see
  4%: Don't know

Q4.  Would you say that your support for Ma-Siew is firm, or will you watch how things develop? (Base: Ma-Siew supporters)
73%: Very firm
25%: Wait and see
  3%: Don't know

Q5.  Regardless of whom you vote for, do you like Frank Hsieh?
10%: Like a lot
27%: Like somewhat
20%: Dislike somewhat
17%: Dislike a lot
26%: No opinion

Q6.  Regardless of whom you vote for, do you like Ma Ying-jeou
15%: Like a lot
39%: Like somewhat
14%: Dislike somewhat
11%: Dislike a lot
21%: No opinion

Q7. Overall, do you think Frank Hsieh is corrupt or not?
34%: Clean
33%: Corrupt
33%: Don't know

Q8. Overall, do you think Ma Ying-jeou is corrupt or not?
51%: Clean
22%: Corrupt
27%: Don't know

Q9.  Overall, do you think Frank Hsieh is competent?
16%: Very competent
40%: Somewhat competent
13%: Somewhat incompetent
  7%: Very incompetent
24%: Don't know

Q10.  Overall, do you think Ma Ying-jeou is competent?
11%: Very competent
42%: Somewhat competent
17%: Somewhat incompetent
  9%: Very incompetent
21%: Don't know

Q11.  Do you think that Frank Hsieh can defend Taiwan's interests in handling cross-strait relationship?
43%: Yes
29%: No
28%: Don't know

Q12.  Do you think that Ma Ying-jeou can defend Taiwan's interests in handling cross-strait relationship?
52%: Yes
24%: No
24%: Don't know

Q13.  Based upon what you know, do you think the slurs and smears in this presidential election are severe?
61%: Yes (compared to 75% in 2004/1/9)
21%: No (compared to 13% in 2004/1/9)
18%: Don't know

Q14.  Up to now, which side has been attacking the other side more?
50%: Hsieh camp (compared to 35% for Chen camp in 2004)
13%: Ma camp (compared to 23% for Lian camp in 2004)
37%: Don't know (compared to 42% in 2004)

2006/08/09:  The Sun published a column by a person using a pen name.  The essay called for "just hit hard at the treacherous political parties and not bother with debate."  The writer accused the "oppositionists" and "treacherous parties" of employing delay tactics at the Legislative Council (such as repeating the same speeches and offering more than 100 amendments) to make sure that it took more than 50 hours to pass certain laws.

2007/11/01: Three police officers from the Taipo Police Station showed up at the Oriental Press Center in Taipo and asked the newspaper to provide information on the columnist as well as an explanation of how such essays are reviewed at The Sun.

2007/11/05: Oriental Press Group wrote to Police of Commission Tang King-shing and asked for an explanation of the incident.

2007/11/08: The police replied to Oriental Press Group the first time and admitted that there was insufficient evidence to treat the case as a criminal investigation.  The police disclosed that they had received five email complaints from citizens between October 19 to 21, 2007 about that essay.  The police ignored the other questions posed by Oriental Press Group.

2007/11/10: Oriental Press Group writes the police again and posed the unanswered questions again.

2007/11/21: The police replied the second second.  They admitted that they have re-considered the relevant evidence and did not think that there was a criminal case.

2008/01/08: At a Legislative Council hearing, the police cited "estabilsihed procedures" five times to explain why they went to the Oriental Press Center on that day.  The police representative even admitted that he was uncertain that the police officers had read the relevant column.

2008/02/29: Assistant Commission of Police (Crime) Wong Fook-chuen appeared at a Legislative Council hearing.

Wong explained that in the future, all complaints against the media will be reviewed by himself personally and he will then appoint the appropriate units to follow up.  Legislator Councilor Choi So-yuk asked Wong that the revision of the procedures would imply the previous action had been wrong, so how an apology to the newspaper?  Wong would not admit that anything was wrong.

Legislator Councilor Cheung Man-kwong asked Wong if the police action was too hasty, excessive and untimely.  Wong said that the police went to the newspaper office to inform them about the citizen complaints and to learn about how the newspaper handles such cases.  Cheung said: "What do the police care about newspaper contents?  Have the police become the Department of Culture?"

Legislator Councilor James To tried an indirect approach by posing a hypothetical question: "If the police had to do this all over again, would they do the same thing?"  Wong answered: "I dare say that if I had to look at this case again, we would have avoided going to the newspaper office if possible."