Najib’s approval ratings up (Updated) – By Zedeck Siew

 najibThe Nut Graph | PETALING JAYA, 1 June 2009: Forty-five percent of voters from peninsular Malaysia are satisfied with the performance of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, according to a recent survey by the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research.

The survey, the first to be conducted since Najib came into power in early April, found that support for Najib came from the Malay Malaysian and Indian Malaysian communities, with 53% and 64% expressing satisfaction respectively. Only 24% of Chinese Malaysian respondents said they were satisfied.

The survey also saw 39% of all individuals polled declining to respond to queries about Najib’s performance as premier.

The approval rating is a 1% rise from the ratings a week before Najib’s appointment on 3 April 2009 as Malaysia’s sixth prime minister. Then, 44% of peninsular Malaysians strongly agreed that Najib would make a good prime minister.

To the question about the most important issue Najib had to address, 35% of respondents in the current poll cited economic concerns. Issues of race relations came in second place, preoccupying 12% of respondents.

The peninsular Malaysia voter opinion poll was carried out between 6 and 15 May 2009. It was conducted as the Perak state assembly controversy and the Influenza A(H1N1) outbreak were unfolding.

A total of 1,067 registered voters from peninsular Malaysia were interviewed by telephone. The sample comprised of 56% Malay Malaysians, 34% Chinese Malaysians, and 10% Indian Malaysians.

The survey found that the opinions of peninsular Malaysians were split when it came to whether Malaysia today was heading in the right direction, with 42% responding in the positive. An almost equal number of respondents (41%) believed that Malaysia was heading in the “wrong direction”, while 16% said they didn’t know.

This question was also divided by ethnicity, with 57% of Malay Malaysians answering in the positive, compared to only 43% among Indian Malaysians and 16% among Chinese Malaysians.

“What in your view is the most important issue the prime minister needs to address?”
Breakdown of responses by 1,067 voters:
Address economic issues23%
Don’t know12%
Fair treatment to all races7%
Give assistance to the poor and rural areas/poverty7%
Solve social problems6%
Unite all races/strengthen ethnic relations5%
Reduce prices5%
Fight corruption5%
Solve crime and public safety5%
Stabilise political situation in the country5%
Solve conflicts in Perak3%
Uphold Islam and special Malay privileges2%
Revamp certain policies (PPSMI, ISA, education, etc.)2%
Revamp BN/Umno/administration2%
No response2%
Clear allegations against him/regain the trust of the people1%
No confidence in Najib in solving any problems at all1%


Most respondents thought that economic issues were paramount in Malaysia today (31%), with social issues (12%) and crime and public safety issues (11%) coming in second.

Worries about political infighting have subsided, with only 9% of respondents citing political issues as the most important problem that needed solving.