Anwar, unity govt’s approval rating down, claims Merdeka Center

Merdeka Center said the rating for Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s government presently stands at 41% compared with 54% in December. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s approval rating has dropped a year into his administration, says research house Merdeka Center.

Comparing the results of its late October 2023 survey with numbers in December 2022, Merdeka Center said half of Malaysian voters gave Anwar a positive rating, compared with the previous 68%.

Noting that the federal government’s rating presently stands at 41% compared with 54% in December, it also said that dissatisfaction, particularly over the economy, rose to 43% from 19%.

Merdeka Center said that only 31% of the voters think the country is heading in the right direction, while 60% think it is heading in the wrong direction.

“The major reasons (for those who think the country is heading in the wrong direction) are economic issues (56%), political instability (13%) and poor administration (9%),” it said in a statement.

Merdeka Center also said economic issues topped voter concerns, with 78% citing the economy as the number one issue faced by the people today.

“In our opinion, the survey reflects the expectations held by the electorate on the administration to regenerate economic growth, as well as address longstanding anxiety over inflation and tepid wage growth.

“Other issues that will shape public opinion into the future will include the form and substance of potential subsidy withdrawals, new taxation, as well as a revamp of the cash transfers programme,” it said.

Merdeka Center said that its survey, which was self-funded, polled 1,220 registered voters comprising 52% Malays, 29% Chinese, 7% Indians, 6% Muslim Bumiputeras, and 6% non-Muslim Bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak, reflective of the national electoral profile.

“Respondents were selected on the basis of random stratified sampling along age group, ethnicity, gender and state constituency,” it said.