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Monday, August 29, 2011

Merdeka: Najib's approval rating plunges to 59% due to rising prices, Bersih

Merdeka: Najib's approval rating plunges to 59% due to rising prices, Bersih

Prime Minister Najib Razak’s approval rating has plunged sharply by 6 percentage points to 59%, based on an August survey conducted by the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research.

59% of the Malaysians polled said that they were satisfied with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s performance in this survey which is 6% lower compared to 65% recorded in May 2011. Broken down into ethnic groups, the survey found 69% of Malays, 38% of Chinese and 69% of Indian respondents expressed satisfaction.

From the survey, we note that the significantly reduced approval rating may be due to the increased concerns over cost of living related matters as ordinary citizens begin to feel the impact of hikes in the price of fuel and electricity. Besides pocket book issues, the poll result also suggests some linkage with adverse public perception of how the government handled events and public discourse arising from the BERSIH 2.0 rally and other related events.

One half of Malaysians say country headed in the right direction

At the same time, the survey found that 51% of the electorate felt that the country was headed in the right direction down slightly from 54% in May 2011.

With respect to issues, the survey found that the public’s topmost concern remained the economy mentioned by an aggregate comprising 38% of respondents, followed by concerns over social problems at 10%. Worries over political related matters ranked third at 9% of the public mindscape, while concerns over public safety and crime stood at 7%.

Majority welcome electoral reform proposals

Close to half (49%) of the respondents claimed they understood about the demands of BERSIH 2.0, the banned coalition of non-government organizations demanding for free and fair election in Malaysia. 39% of respondents expressed satisfaction with the way government handled the issues regarding BERSIH, while 48% of the respondents were dissatisfied.

When queried on some of the reforms proposed by BERSIH, the survey found more than two-thirds of all respondents expressed agreement with some of the demands as noted below:

Suggested Electoral Reform %Agree %Disagree Net support

Allowing foreign and local observers to monitor elections 70% 23% 47%

Allowing opposition parties access to government-owned
TV & radio networks for at least one hour a day during the
campaign period 68% 24% 44%

Using indelible ink on voters 70% 19% 51%

Review and “clean up” the electoral roll 88% 6% 82%

The Peninsular Malaysia wide telephone survey of 1,027 randomly selected Malaysian registered voters aged 21 and above was carried out between 11th – 27th August 2011. Respondents were selected using the random, stratified sampling method and structured along the national electorate profile and specifically proportional to gender, ethnicity, age groups and state of residence.

(Merdeka Center for Opinion Research is an independent, non-partisan organization and readers can view the top-line, respondents’ profile and other findings at www.merdeka.org)

- Malaysia Chronicle

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