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Monday, June 30, 2014

Minister doubts integrity of Umcedel polls


Housing, Local Government and Urban Well-being Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan says the polls carried out by the Universiti Malaya Centre for Democracy and Elections (Umcedel) are biased and that he doubts Umcedel’s integrity.

Rahman (right), who joined the debate on Twitter over Umcedel director Prof Mohd Redzuan Othman being asked to resign from heading the centre, questioned how is it that asking a professor to leave a polling agency is an affront to academic freedom.

"Umcedel surveys do poke both sides. But I doubt the integrity of their survey methodology. Umcedel surveys sometimes touch on subjective political issues. Way beyond the normal academic scope.

"Political surveys do have bias," Rahman said in his tweet, adding that those who attended the Umcedel forums would always come back feeling how biased the centre was in its survey approach and methodologies.

Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong of the DAP then tweeted his opinion alleging that Rahman does not understand academia.

The Umno supreme council member further questioned Umcedel’s methods by saying sometimes their sample size and quality and their rather “framing” questions could lead to particular bias.

To back his argument, the minister linked to an economist's blog questioning a survey which showed BN would win the 13th general election.

However, DAP's Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming pointed out that the critique was referring to a survey done by another body, headed by one of PM Najib Abdul Razak's advisors.

But Rahman said that he used that as an example to show that sampling and sample size is important.

Rahman also received brickbats from fellow Umno man and former deputy higher education minister Saifuddin Abdullah, who quit as UM fellow in solidarity with Redzuan.

Saifuddin: So I take it you have seen the works.

Rahman: Political surveys are basically dishing out questionnaires to the public. It's hardly heavy academic research as we know it. I think dismissing a polling agency head is hardly an academic interference Dato! No need to overreact.

Saifuddin: If you know what actually happen, you would not say that YB. I happen to know.

YB, Since the findings are complimentary to BN, its leaders accept, when it is not, they do not accept . There is a media statement.

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