New survey shows four in 10 Malaysians thought Pakatan govt more into political disputes than managing country

KUALA LUMPUR, July 26 : A recent survey by a think tank found Malaysians almost evenly split on how well the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition ran the government during its two years in Putrajaya.

A poll of 2,002 Malaysians in 19 parliamentary constituencies by Emir Research — led by Bersatu supreme council member Datuk Rais Hussin — and conducted between January 15 and February 25 this year found 38 per cent or almost four in 10 agreeing that PH was more involved in political disputes than in managing the country.null

55 per cent of those polled agreed that internal disputes within PH were a major problem for the coalition’s leadership. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
55 per cent of those polled agreed that internal disputes within PH were a major problem for the coalition’s leadership. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Those who disagreed only constituted 19 per cent while 43 per cent said they were unsure, according to the survey findings released yesterday.

Just over half or 55 per cent of those polled agreed that internal disputes within PH were a major problem for the coalition’s leadership. Slightly more (56 per cent) felt disputes among PH leaders were a big problem for the government of the day.

“If the sample adequately represents the population of voters in Malaysia, at least five out of every 10 Malaysians viewed ‘disputes among PH leaders’ and ‘disputes among PH components’ as giving problems to the government.null

“Additionally, about four out of every 10 Malaysians perceived PH leaders as more involved in politics than presumably in managing the country,” Emir Research said in a statement accompanying its findings.

The survey also showed significant differences between the Malays/Bumiputeras and non-Malays with the former demographic group saying the problem with the PH government and its leaders was underpinned by their disputes. This was less of a concern for the non-Malay demographic group, particularly among Indian Malaysians.

Emir Research, which also asked Malaysians to rate the PH government’s management of several economic sectors based on its 2018 election manifesto generally found one in 10 expressing satisfaction.

It said about one-third of the 2,002 polled were also satisfied with the implementation of petrol subsidies, the management of the ringgit, the cost of health services, the price stability of basic necessities and the management and supply of rice, a food staple in Malaysia.

However, less than one-quarter were happy with PH’s handling of monopolies by big companies.

“In general, at least one-third of the sample indicated satisfaction in the implementation of the economic-related initiatives as offered in PH’s GE14 manifesto, except for the handling of big companies in which less than one-quarter of respondents were satisfied.

“While the highest frequency of satisfaction was recorded for the management of supply of goods, one-third of the sample was not satisfied with the government’s handling of big companies.

“Uncertainty prevailed among the respondents regarding seven economic-related initiatives, as indicated by ‘not sure’ responses that ranged from 28 per cent (supply of goods) to 43 per cent (handling of big companies’ monopoly) of the sample,” Emir Research said.

Dissatisfaction gap across urban-rural divide

Data extracted from the opinion poll also showed a wide gap in the satisfaction levels of Malaysians living in cities and those in the countryside on six economic items the PH election manifesto.

Emir Research said the frequency of satisfaction among urbanites was lower compared to their rural counterparts.

This was underscored in the seven economic indicators based on PH’s electoral promises.

“Invariably a higher frequency of satisfied responses was observed among the rural sample than in the urban sample in terms of satisfaction towards the management of supply of goods, petrol subsidy, issue of Malaysian Ringgit, and price of basic necessities.

“More of the urban respondents indicated uncertainty in their feelings towards the fulfillment of the four promises by the ruling government,” Emir Research said.

It added that its latest survey findings in the first quarter of 2020 contradicted the results of its inaugural poll carried out last September.

The September poll showed a higher number of urbanites expressing satisfaction with the PH government’s delivery of its electoral promises.

Emir Research said the survey was aimed at gauging the public’s wellbeing in terms of their perceptions, expectations, and worries.

The survey was conducted between January 15 and February 25, 2020.

EMIR Research Quarterly Poll – First Quarter 2020 (1Q20)The value of this current survey lies in its predictive power in giving the various backdrops to the fall of the PH government.


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