Najib’s approval rating slips to 44%, says Merdeka Center

According to the independent pollster, the latest decline in Najib’s support was rooted in Malaysia’s lagging economy, as well as the impending implementation of the GST in April.

The Malaysian Insider | 27-Feb–2015 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s approval rating dropped to 44% in January from 48% in October 2014 as more people felt his government was headed in the wrong direction in economic matters, according to the latest Merdeka Center poll.

The independent pollster said Najib’s Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s approval rating remains at 38% in January, the same as the last poll done last October.

But on Najib himself, it found that 46% of people in its January 2015 survey disapproved of the prime minister’s handling of his job. (see graphics below)

Of those surveyed, 47% also felt that Malaysia was “headed in the wrong direction”, while 39% said it was on the right track.
The pollster said that those who felt positive about the country said so based on their sense of peace and security, economic conditions and the government’s provision of infrastructure and welfare assistance.

But broken down into perceived feelings, 38% of respondents said they were “dissatisfied” with the government’s performance, and 5% said they were “angry”.

Merdeka Centre noted that these sentiments were driven by concerns over higher living costs, the overall economic situation and worries over the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), which will be enforced in April.

It noted other reasons as well, including perceived poor administration and continued racial polarisation as factors which fueled negative perceptions towards the government.

The survey conducted between January 21 and January 30 among 1,008 registered voters also found that their topmost concern remained the economy.

Among those who said the country was going in the wrong direction, 19% cited inflation and higher living costs as a major reason while 15% cited generally unfavourable economic conditions.

Only 4% cited racial inequality, general political instability and the GST, respectively.

Overall, however, there was a drop in percentage of those who ranked the economy as their biggest worry, to 62% in January from 71% who said the same in October last year.

Merdeka Center said this drop could be due to lower fuel prices and increased attention on the massive floods in the east coast of the peninsula and other parts of the country in December last year.

By ethnicity, the voters surveyed comprised 60% Malay, 30% Chinese and 10% Indian. – February 27, 2015.