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Growing dissatisfaction with PM, survey shows
A growing number of Malaysians are dissatisfied with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's leadership, according to a survey by independent pollster Merdeka Centre.
Its survey showed that 44 percent of the 1,005 respondents, surveyed between March 7 and March 20 are dissatisfied with Najib's leadership, up four percent from December.
Despite this, Najib's approval rating remains unchanged at 52 percent, which is an all-time low.
This is because the number of those who were unsure or had refused to respond to the question had gone down.
At 44 percent, the level of dissatisfaction against Najib is the highest since Merdeka Centre first tracked his performance in May 2009, a month after he took office.
It is likely driven by concerns over the economic situation, followed by crime, racial issues and political issues.
Most of those surveyed believe that corruption is the top-most issue to be addressed.
Despite Najib's dismal ratings, more people surveyed said they are happy with the government and the BN.
While 42 percent said they are "happy" with the government, up four percent from December, another 38 percent are happy with BN, an increase of three percent.
"In our opinion, the improvements could be attributed to the BR1M cash transfer payments to 5.4 million recipients nationwide which began at the end of February and through March," Merdeka Centre said in a statement today.
BR1M - or Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia - may have raised happiness levels, but pessimism over the nation's direction continues to grow.
Since June 2013 - a month after the 13th general election - fewer and fewer believe that Malaysia is heading in the right direction.
In March, only 38 percent of those surveyed believed Malaysia is going the right way, compared to 54 percent last June, 49 percent last August and 42 percent last December.
Those who feel that the nation is headed the wrong way remained at slightly under half of those surveyed in 12 states and 165 parliamentary constituencies.
'Indians in a state of disillusionment'
Interestingly, compared to other communities, Indian Malaysians appear to be in pronounced headlong disillusionment over Malaysia’s direction.
Only 30 percent of Indians believe Malaysia is moving in the right direction, a deep plunge from 52 percent in December and 63 percent in August.
A huge 63 percent believe Malaysia is going the wrong way.
The dip was not as steep among Malay and Chinese respondents. On the whole, however, more Malays think the nation is heading the right direction. Only 33 percent think the nation is going the wrong way.
Most of those surveyed are employed in the private sector and earn below RM3,000 a month.
However, it is noted that more civil servants or employees of government-linked companies and those who are not formally employed are happy with the government.
Most - or 63 percent - of private sector employees take a dim view of the government, while those who are self-employed are split down the middle on their perception of the state.