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Economy weighs on Malaysian's minds

By Sunday May 31st, 2009 No Comments

A recently-released survey by independent public opinion and socio-economic research firm Merdeka Center for Opinion Research reveals that the biggest worry on the minds of the average Malaysian voter is crime and the economy.

Bread-and-butter issues above all

The survey shows that a total of 31% of voters from various backgrounds are more concerned about general economic issues, with “unfavourable economic conditions in general” topping the list at 15%.

Crime also bothers 11% of voters who cite “crime and public safety in general” as the most important cause for concern. Twelve percent of voters cite social issues as a worry, while 9% and 6% say political and racial issues respectively are causes for concern. Corruption accounts for only two percent of the votes.

It should be noted that, while the survey was carried out during during the same time frame as the Perak state-government controversy, only 1% of respondents vote it as their most worrying issue.

Najib’s approval ratings

The opinion poll is the first carried out since Malaysia’s of sixth Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, took office on April 3.

Najib’s approval ratings of 44% on April 2, 2009 crept up to 45% after assuming office as prime minister.

Slightly more than a year earlier his approval ratings stood at 46% and, in between, they hovered a little above the 40% mark although they briefly dipped to 34% twice last year.

Overall, respondents are quite satisfied with Najib’s performance as prime minister. Forty five percent of  Chinese respondents, 53% of Indian respondents and 64% of Malay respondents report being satisfied with his performance.

Respondents reiterate their sentiments about the economy with 23% of them saying that Najib should address economic issues first, while the issues of fair treatment for all races and assistance to the poor and rural folk both gathered 7% of votes respectively.

Freeing the services and financial sector

The survey found that only 36% of respondents are aware of the prime minister’s announcement in early May of measures to liberalise the services and financial sector.

Fifty-two percent of all respondents agree with the proposed liberalisation, versus 17% who did not agree with the liberalisation announcement. Of the respondents, 70% and 69% of Chinese and Indians respectively, support the announcement. Only 37% of Malay respondents agreed.

Fifty-eight per cent of Chinese respondents were confident that the liberalisation of the services factor would bring more investment and job opportunities, compared with 67% of Indian respondents and 53% of Malay respondents. In total, 56% of respondents were confident.

Source : The Edge Malaysia

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