Media tycoon Jimmy Lai is the most highly opposed pro-democracy political figure in Hong Kong, according to a survey commissioned by a conservative pro-Beijing group.

Pro-Beijing political group Silent Majority For Hong Kong commissioned the Hong Kong Research Association to conduct a survey that is based on Hongkongers’ indication of support or opposition towards 20 pan-democrat lawmakers and a further seven pro-democracy political figures.

In its findings, Jimmy Lai, founder of Next Media—which publishes Apple Daily, among other Chinese publications—was found to be the most highly opposed non-lawmaking political figure.

jimmy lai
File photo of Jimmy Lai. 

The survey asked respondents to say whether they were in support of, or opposed to, a list of lawmakers and political figures. After garnering numbers for both sides, the final results—showing net percentages—were calculated by subtracting the percentage of opposition an individual has received from their percentage of support.

Lai scored a net percentage of -17 percent. Below him are founder of last year’s pro-democracy Occupy movement Benny Tai at -10.7 percent, closely followed by Scholarism convener Joshua Wong at -10.2 percent.

In a Facebook post sharing the survey’s findings, Silent Majority For Hong Kong wrote that the “high percentages in opposition” towards the three shows that “Hongkongers do indeed hate them.”

"Silent Majority For HK" at the press conference.
Members of Silent Majority For Hong Kong at a press conference announcing the findings of the survey. Photo: Silent Majority For Hong Kong Facebook page.

The other political figures in the poll include Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, who scored -4.9 percent. Director of HKU’s Public Opinion Programme Robert Chung and Civic Party founding member Audrey Eu were among the non-lawmakers who scored positive net percentages.

Under the lawmaker category, independent lawmaker Raymond “Mad Dog” Wong Yuk-man scored the lowest net percentage at -12.2 percent. The Association for Democracy and People’s Livelihood’s Frederick Fung Kin-kee and Democratic Party chairwoman Emily Lau Wai-hing were among the highest-rated lawmakers.

The survey was conducted over two phases in July this year. There were 1,064 and 1,032 respondents respectively. Respondents were all Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong residents over 18 years old.

Silent Majority For Hong Kong was founded by former radio host Robert Chow in 2013. The group is known for its outspoken opposition of the pro-democracy Occupy protests.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.