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Thursday, July 20, 2017

'Voters more worried about bread-and-butter issues than 1MDB'

Voters are five times more concerned about bread-and butter-issues than corruption scandals such as 1MDB, a survey by PKR-linked Invoke has found.
In the survey, 47.7 percent of Malays, 29.1 percent of Chinese, and 47.6 percent of Indians are concerned about the cost of living and the impact of the goods and services tax.
In addition, 10.4 percent of Malays, 4.9 percent of Chinese, and 6.6 percent of Indians also expressed concerns about employment and wages.
The economy, meanwhile, is a cause for concern for four percent of Malays, 16.5 percent of Chinese, and 8.9 percent of Indians.
In comparison, corruption and scandals only weighed on the minds of 13.6 percent of Malays, 15.1 percent of Chinese, and 9.9 percent of Indians.
"For every one person who talks about 1MDB, another five talk about the economy," Invoke coordinator Rafizi Ramli said.
A total of 17,107 people responded to the Invoke survey, of whom 69 percent were Malays, 20 percent Chinese, six percent Sabah and Sarawak bumiputera, and five percent Indians.
The survey was conducted from June 5 to July 14.
The answers of the Sabah and Sarawak bumiputera were added together with the Malay respondents.
Rafizi (photo) explained that this was because the Sabah and Sarawak bumiputeras were too diverse ethnically, and separating the result would give only insignificant percentages.
He also reasoned that the East Malaysian bumiputera and Malays gave similar answers.
While 1MDB weighed low on people's concerns compared to the cost of living, one of the survey questions indicated that there might be some correlation on the matter.
Respondents were asked whether people had to pay for GST to cover the government's losses from scandals such as 1MDB.
A total of 64 percent of Indians, 59 percent (Malays) and 50 percent (Chinese) agreed to this question.
Don't focus solely on 1MDB scandal
Based on the survey findings, Rafizi said the opposition should do more to address and provide solutions to economic concerns, and not focus solely on the 1MDB scandal.
The PKR vice-president warned that BN has an advantage in addressing these issues through the next budget, by either lowering the GST, or giving out goodies.
"If you focus only on anger towards Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, while BN gives out goodies, there's a chance that fence-sitters would swing to BN," he said.
Overall, based on the survey, the top three issues that concerned Malays were low wages (73 percent), fuel and subsidies (69 percent), and the influx of migrant workers (65 percent)
For the Chinese, it was low wages (65 percent), fuel and subsidies (61 percent), and having to pay GST because of scandals (50 percent)

As for Indians, the top concern was migrant workers (76 percent), followed by fuel and subsidies (73 percent), and low wages (68 percent).
Respondents were also asked about amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act, to gauge their interest on the issue.
However, many respondents declined to answer the question, with 29 percent of Malays, 58 percent of Chinese, and 51 percent of Indians not answering whether they agreed that Najib was using Act 355 to split the opposition.
Rafizi said this could be because the issue was deemed to be a sensitive one. - Mkini

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