Malaysiakini.com | 01-Apr-2014 – Majority of Malaysians are unhappy at the manner in which the government is handling the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 crisis, according to a survey by pollster Merdeka Center.
The survey found 50 percent of respondents to be dissatisfied at the crisis management, while 43 percent said they were satisfied.
The question was posed to 513 respondents between the period of March 13 to March 20.
However, approval towards the government’s handling of the incident vary distinctly according to racial lines.
Majority of Chinese and Indian respondents were dissatisfied, at 74 percent and 59 percent respectively. Only 18 percent of Chinese and 36 percent of Indian polled said they were satisfied.
In contrast, 63 percent of Malay respondents said they were satisfied with the handling compared to 30 percent which said they were not.
Younger group mostly dissatisfied, polls find
When broken down further, the poll finds that among a demography where the respondents are younger, have higher income and internet access, the majority are dissatisfied, while the result is reversed for the opposite demography.
For example, in the age group of 21-30, only 35 percent are satisfied at the Malaysian government handling of MH370, compared to 56 percent who are dissatisfied.
Likewise, for the 31-40 age group, only 36 percent are satisfied compared to 58 percent who are not.
But for age group 41-50, 51-60 and above 60, 51 percent, 53 percent and 44 percent respectively express their satisfaction with the government. This is compared to 44 percent, 41 percent and 44 percent respectively said otherwise.
For those with Internet access, 56 percent are dissatisfied compared to 38 percent who are satisfied while of those without internet access, 54 percent are satisfied compared to 39 percent who are not.
Sentiments according to income group are as follow: Below RM1,500 (58 percent happy, 34 percent unhappy), RM1,500-RM3,000 (52 percent happy, 43 percent unhappy), RM3,000-RM5,000 (29 percent happy, 60 percent unhappy) and above RM5,000 (27 percent happy, 68 percent unhappy).
Merdeka Center executive director Ibrahim Suffian, when contacted about the racial divide on the issue, said this could be due to the different language of the news they consume.
“Perhaps it is strongly influenced by media reporting of the issue.
“Chinese and English-language reporting online seems to be more critical (of the issue) while Malay-language reporting seems to be more sympathetic towards the government,” he told Malaysiakini in an email.
He added this trend is also reflected in various other issues.