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Most back elections for local councils
17-June-2010, NST Online
By Minderjeet Kaur
KUALA LUMPUR: Over 70 per cent of Malaysians want elections for local government, according to a Merdeka Center survey last month.
However, the survey also found that slightly less than half of the respondents or 45 per cent of them fully understood what was meant by local government elections.
Merdeka Center director Ibrahim Suffian said in a statement yesterday that those aged 61 and above were aware that local government elections in Malaysia were last held in 1964 while the younger age group had the lowest understanding at 37 per cent.
The survey was done by telephone in Peninsular Malaysia between May 6 and 16. It randomly picked 1,028 registered voters aged 21 and above.
"It showed 54 per cent of voters did not understand the different jurisdictions between the federal and state governments over public services," he said.
The survey also asked respondents about the responsibilities of the federal and state governments over seven public services such as roads in housing areas, water supply, public transport, interconnecting roads, public health, building of schools and public safety.
Generally, respondents had mixed understanding of federal and state jurisdictions over these public services. But 66 per cent felt that there was too much power in the hands of the Federal Government"
"With respect to the role of elected representatives, the survey found 29 per cent of respondents viewed that the main responsibility of their member of parliament was to attend to local issues in the constituencies such as drainage problems," Ibrahim said.
Merdeka Center for Opinion Research is an independent, non-partisan organisation focused on public opinion research and socio-economic analysis.