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Poll: Malaysians clueless about 1MDB scandal, but concerned with Putrajaya’s handling
17-Apr-2015, Malay Mail Online
|According to a study, nearly three-quarters of Malaysians did not even know the role played by the Putrajaya-owned1 Malaysia
Development Bhd (1MDB). ― File pic
KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 ― Sixty-nine per cent of Malaysians said they were uninformed on controversies surrounding 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), according to study by independent pollster Merdeka Center and business radio channel BFM.
The result of the study released today also showed that nearly three-quarters of Malaysians did not even know the role played by the Putrajaya-owned strategic investment fund.
Despite that, nearly half of the respondents, or 49 per cent, expressed their lack of confidence in the government’s handling of the 1MDB issue.
Illustrating the opacity of the controversy, 52 per cent said they have no idea who should be held responsible for 1MDB’s issues. Just 18 per cent thought the prime minister should be accountable, while 16 per cent blamed the government.
“In our opinion, the lack of awareness of the 1MDB issue stems from the relatively complex nature of the issue as well as the lack of coverage in the mainstream media,” said a press release which accompanied the poll result.
“Malaysian political history is awash with past instances of alleged financial scandals over which a considerable amount of public funds were committed towards their rehabilitation,” it added.
“Perhaps the country’s small tax base (less than 20 per cent) means that the vast majority of citizens are not invested in the impact of the government’s pecuniary conduct hence did not follow the issue closely.”
Merdeka Center said it found that those who lacked awareness of the 1MDB matter were mostly low-income voters without internet access, who also made up the majority of voters.
Malay voters were the least informed about 1MDB’s role, with 81 per cent saying they were unaware, followed by those without internet access (87 per cent), households earning below RM3,000 monthly (87 per cent), and those who relied on the mainstream media for news (65 per cent).
One in three respondents said they were affected by the 1MDB scandal, mostly from the upper income households, ethnic Chinese voters, and those from the private sector and business owners.
The survey polled 1,011 registered voters between March 12 and 27 this year, comprising 60 per cent Malays, 30 per cent ethnic Chinese, and 10 per cent ethnic Indians.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak last month ordered the Auditor-General and Public Accounts Committee to investigate 1MDB, amid growing demands for explanations over the firm's allegedly opaque investment decisions and for amassing a reported RM42 billion debt pile.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar also had announced that a high-powered team comprising officials from the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the police will investigate any wrongdoing discovered in 1MDB.