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Poll on Najib inaccurate
02-Sep-2011, asiaone.com
By Roy Goh, Roy See Wei Zhi, Carisma Kapoor and Michael Murty

Najib’s approval rating has dropped 13 percentage points since last year, according to Merdeka Center. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional leaders criticised the poll on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak by Merdeka Center for Opinion Research as being an inaccurate representation of his popularity. They said the poll was inaccurate because of the methods used to gather the survey results.

They also said the results did not reflect reality, as thousands had flocked to see Najib during his public visits.

The centre's figures showed that Najib's popularity had dropped by six per cent in May to 59 per cent now.

Umno supreme council member Datuk Idris Haron said the results depended heavily on the perspectives of the 1,000-odd respondents.

"We do not know if the centre based its questions on Najib's performance as an administrator for policies, as BN's chairman or as a citizen."

The Tangga Batu member of parliament said the sampling techniques were also questionable as the details were not disclosed.

"For that reason, it cannot be regarded as an accurate gauge of Najib's popularity."

MCA vice-president Datuk Chor Chee Heung said the poll results should not be seen as conclusive and should not be taken seriously.

"The poll acted only as a guide at best and was by no means exhaustive or final. It is not worth losing sleep over," said the housing and local government minister.

He said "survey results fluctuate all the time", and did not determine whether a leader was going to win or lose in an election.

"If the samples were not collected across the board, the results will not be accurate as they do not reflect the entire nation's wishes or opinions."

MIC information chief P. Kama-lanathan said the accuracy of polls depended on how they were carried out and where.

He said the sampling of 1,027 people did not reflect the opinions of a majority of the nation's 28 million population.

"Also, the locations in which the poll was conducted were unknown," said the Hulu Selangor MP.

He said if a survey on Najib's popularity was conducted in an opposition stronghold, the results would be against him.

Sabah Barisan Nasional secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan read the poll results in a more positive light.

He said the results represented a big achievement for Najib and his administration.

"As we know, over the past few months, the opposition has mounted a rigorous anti-Najib campaign and that has given a negative perception of him," said the Kota Belud MP.

"So, it could be a bleep on the radar, but I think the prime minister has been consistent in his approach, and over time, as we approach the election, I think the true support for the prime minister will materialise, and that is what matters."

Parti Bersatu Sabah chief information officer Datuk Johnny Mositun said anybody could conduct a research and anybody could say that someone's popularity was up or down.

"To me, the prime minister is doing his very best to strengthen the confidence of the people and to ensure the country progresses."

Sabah Umno assistant secretary Datuk Masidi Manjun said results from any survey should be taken with a pinch of salt.

"While we respect the work by Merdeka Center, we need to accept the fact that people's popularity go up and down constantly.

"The fluctuations depend on current events in the country," said the state tourism, culture and environment minister.

Sabah Gerakan chief Datuk Gordon Leong said it was hard to accept the survey.

"I am not sure what kind of method they used in getting the opinions, but if you look at the reaction of the people whenever the prime minister visited Sabah, it was clear that he was widely respected."

Opposition leaders, however, defended the poll's integrity and said it was a direct reference to Najib's popularity.

DAP chairman Karpal Singh said the poll results were a clear sign that there had been a shift in support for the opposition.

He said the number of samples collected may be small, but it represented a cross-section of society.

The Bukit Gelugor MP said last year's survey results, which showed that 72 per cent were satisfied with Najib's leadership, were well received despite being tabulated from the same number of respondents.

He said it was odd the government had accepted the poll centre's results in the past, but had questioned the results this time.

"The results are not 100 per cent accurate, but they can still be regarded as substantial."

Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice-president Tian Chua said politicians should not worry about poll results as they "go up and down", but they should not be dismissed completely.

"The prime minister should focus on the reforms that he promised to the people," said the Batu MP.

Pas treasurer and central committee member Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, believed that the survey was balanced and could be trusted because it was based on facts gathered on the-ground.

The Kuala Krai MP said the dip in popularity did not translate into a gain for the opposition.

Hatta said a survey research needed only a small number of respondents across a wide demography.

"If a survey aimed to engage the whole country's population, it would be called a census instead."


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