PM’s approval rating at 68%, Merdeka Center survey finds

Slightly more than half of the respondents were happy with the performance of the unity government led by Anwar Ibrahim while 25% expressed dissatisfaction. (Bernama pic) | 10-Feb-2023 : PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim had an approval rating of 68% two months after the 15th general election (GE15), a survey has found.

The survey by Merdeka Center, held from Dec 26 to Jan 15, involved 1,209 voters across all ethnic groups.

It found that 54% of the respondents were satisfied with the performance of the unity government while 25% expressed dissatisfaction.

Nearly a quarter of them refrained from giving their views, which the research centre said was indicative of cautiousness after four years of political instability in the country.

It said although the sense of cautiousness prevailed, there were still signs of optimism, with 48% of the respondents saying the country was moving in the right direction compared with 20% last October.

Merdeka Center said 43% of the respondents expressed optimism about the national economy in the coming year, and 38% were optimistic about their personal financial prospects.

“The ‘wait-and-see’ attitude is likely underpinned by strong voter concerns about economic growth and cost of living, which were mentioned by nearly 20% and 19%, respectively, as issues the new government should focus on,” it said.

The survey also found that 79% of the respondents welcomed the results of GE15, with 77% believing the unity government can bring about stability and inclusiveness in the country’s politics.

“The survey results show a Malaysian electorate that is keen to put the instability that had mired the country’s politics in the past, and move on to provide room for the new leadership to prove themselves.

“While many accept the unity government, the public is also reserving their assessment of the new government,” it said.

Merdeka Center said how well the government resolves economic problems and rising costs of living will determine public satisfaction towards it.

It said public reception of the reworked federal budget, set to be tabled in Parliament on Feb 24, will be an important factor in driving public response towards the new administration.