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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Only 45% of voters satisfied with Najib, survey says

Despite the global financial crisis and a political stalemate in Perak under his belt, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was given a performance score card of a 45-percent satisfaction rate by voters in Peninsular Malaysia. merdeka center survey najib performance 010609 02 In an opinion poll conducted by opinion research firm Merdeka Centre from May 6-15 on 1,067 registered voters, it specifically asked the voters’ views on Najib’s performance in the areas of politics, economy and social issues after he took office as the sixth prime minister on April 3. Surprisingly, the Indian community gave the most support with a 64-percent satisfaction rate on Najib after he took over from former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. The Malay voters followed suit with 53 percent saying they are satisfied with Najib. merdeka center survey najib performance 010609 06 pg15 On the flip side, the Chinese community were largely non-responsive, as 53 percent refused to respond to the question, with only 24 percent expressing satisfaction to Najib’s performance. It’s not about politics Events relating to the political turmoil in Perak, arrests made under the Sedition Act and the release of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders as well as the outbreak of the influenza A(H1N1) virus were amongst matters taken into consideration in the poll. merdeka center survey najib performance 010609 03 In analysing the survey, the Merdeka Centre said voters’ concerns were not so much on matters relating to politics but rather on the management of the economy and their financial status. When quizzed on the important issues that need to be addressed, 31 percent of those polled said that the unfavourable economic conditions, price hikes and lack of employment were among the problems that needed the most attention. Similarly, 35 percent of those polled said the prime minister needs to focus on economic issues. In the poll overview, more voters now - 39 percent compared to 24 percent in March - felt confident that the economy was headed in the right direction. Merdeka Center conducted a similar survey in March. merdeka center survey najib performance 010609 05 pg13Likewise, the poll also stated that 47 percent of voters said that the economy will improve in the coming year. Meanwhile, issues such as social ills and the rate of crime also topped the survey. About 12 percent of voters said that social problems among the youth, ‘Mat Rempit’ menace (illegal motorcycle racing), moral decline, drug abuse and neglect of religious teaching were problems that needed attention. Only 9 percent of voters were worried over political problems such as the change of governments in Perak, undemocratic practices such as the Internal Security Act (ISA) and political power struggles. Economy liberalisation a positive impact The survey also investigated the position of voters on theliberalisation measures undertaken by the government in April. Najib had announced that the government would be lifting the 30 percent Bumiputra equity requirement for 27 sub-sectors in the services industry including the financial sectors as part of Malaysia’s commitments to international free trade agreements. merdeka center survey najib performance 010609 04 The polls found that a mere 36 percent of those polled were aware of the announcement. Almost 77 percent of the Malays were unaware of the liberalisation. However, the Chinese and the Indian voters said they were 55 percent and 51 percent respectively familiar with such moves. In relation, the liberalisation policy received the highest number of understanding from the Chinese and Indian voters, but only 37 percent of the Malay voters expressed positively towards the policy. Of those polled, 56 percent said the liberalisation of the service sectors would bring in more investment and job opportunities. Meanwhile, 55 percent revealed that the freeing up of the financial sector by allowing higher foreign ownership equity will also boost inflow of funds and create more jobs.

Source: Anwar Ibrahim Club



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