Saturday, January 23

Survey: Formation of PN government saved Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR: The formation of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government has saved Malaysia, according to an independent poll.

Emir Research, an independent think-tank, in its Quarterly Poll for the Third Quarter of 2020 (3Q20) found that 55 per cent of the respondents think the formation of the new government has been Malaysia’s saviour and only a minuscule nine per cent doubt the saviour role of PN.

On the ability of the PN government to solve national problems, slightly more than half of Malaysian (53 per cent) have faith in that ability, while again a minuscule seven per cent does not have that faith.

“The Bumiputera of Sabah and Sarawak are the biggest supporter of the formation of the PN government (74 per cent) and they have an unshakeable faith in the current government’s ability to solve national issues (72 per cent),” Emir Research said in its media release yesterday.

The rural dwellers appear to be on the current government’s side as 67 per cent supported the formation of the PN government, while a lower share of 51 per cent amongst the urbanites think so – a significant 16.5 per cent difference.

When asked whether the people living condition will be better in the future, 58 per cent of the respondents answered in the affirmative.

“Their sense of confidence and optimism for the future are very much likely due to their endorsement of the government’s effort to balance lives and livelihoods by reopening the economy and announcing stimulus packages while balancing the measures to mitigate Covid-19 infection and searching for vaccines,” it said.

Some 43 per cent Malaysians believe the PN government is a viable one, compared to only a smaller proportion of nine per cent who believe otherwise.

“The difference of 34 per cent is indeed statistically significant and substantial,” it said.

Some 38 per cent Malaysians categorically said that the country’s future direction under the PN government is on the right track, while eight per cent disagreed and 54 per cent not sure.

This corroborates the findings of the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) in which discussants consistently reiterated the same belief if the current government has not taken over power, Malaysians might be witnessing more severe problems by now.

On the economy, surprisingly despite the Covid-19 pandemic which has caused an economic downturn which in turn has increased the sufferings of the rakyat, the poll found that there is a 12-percentage point increase in the proportion of Malaysians who think the economy is on a strong footing – from 19 per cent during the first quarter poll to 31 per cent in the third quarter poll.

“This compares with 26 per cent who said so in 4Q19 when there was no Covid-19 and a reduced 19 per cent who said so in 1Q20 when the Covid-19 virus has not reared its ugly head yet,” it said.

According to the media release, the top eight socio-economic issues that are of the highest concerns among the rakyat are fighting corruption in enforcement agencies (69 per cent), the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English (57 per cent), reinstatement of the mandatory death penalty (55 per cent), the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures among civil servants (55 per cent), a single national education system (53 per cent), high cost of education (50 per cent), moral problems among political leaders (49 per cent) and keeping vernacular schools (48 per cent).

The survey was conducted in August involving 2,096 respondents from all states in Malaysia and the research body adopted an evidence-based methodology which features two important components – the qualitative and quantitative state-of-the-art analysis.

In a disclaimer, Emir Research states that since the FGD was conducted in July and the survey was in August, the poll does not take into account the latest happenings in the country which include the surge in Covid-19 cases and the intense politicking among politicians that led to attempts at power grab culminating in the Sabah state election on Sept 26. — Bernama