Survey: 60% of M’sians Dissatisfied With Country’s Direction, Anwar’s Approval Rating Falls to 50%

Feat Image Anwar Sapot Plummet | 23-Nov-2023: Independent public opinion research firm Merdeka Center yesterday (22 November) published its latest poll report which won’t make for kind reading for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the Unity Government.

Source: Afiq Hambali/Prime Minister’s Office of Malaysia

In Merdeka Center’s latest report titled ‘One Year After GE15 Survey Report‘, it was found that a majority of Malaysians were dissatisfied with our country’s direction. Specifically, 60% of respondents think that Malaysia is headed in the wrong direction, with 18% of respondents strongly agreeing with the statement.

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Source: Merdeka Center
On the flip side, 31% of respondents think that Malaysia is heading in the right direction, with only a meagre 3% strongly agreeing with this statement. Meanwhile, the remaining 9% refused to comment on this or simply said they didn’t know.


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Source: Merdeka Center

As for the major reasons behind Malaysians believing that our country is heading in the wrong direction, 56% of respondents point toward economic issues, 13% to political instability, 9% to poor administration, 2% to racial issues and 5% were unsure.

Clarifying the aforementioned economic issues, 28.3% of respondents said that the current economic condition in general is unfavourable, 22.4% bemoaned the high cost of living, 1.8% on the weakening ringgit and 1.5% on minimum income.

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Source: Merdeka Center

As for the biggest problem facing the country, 77.8% of respondents or nearly 4 out of 5 cited the economy. The respondents’ top 5 economic concerns from highest to lowest are:

  • Unfavourable economic conditions in general
  • High cost of living
  • Weakening of ringgit
  • Minimum income
  • Economy development
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Source: Merdeka Center

Moving toward government ratings and leadership, the Unity Government is currently at its lowest approval rating since coming into power at 41%. For reference, Merdeka Center’s survey in December 2023 found that the Unity Government’s approval rating was at 54%.

However, the approval rating is still higher than the two previous federal governments at the ends of their tenure, with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) – Barisan Nasional (BN) administration at 31% in October 2023 and the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government at 30% in February 2020.

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Source: Merdeka Center

Furthermore, Anwar Ibrahim’s approval rating also plummeted from when he first became Prime Minister. Currently, his approval rating is at 50% compared to the 68% rating he recorded in December 2022.

In fact, Anwar’s approval rating is now lower than former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was when he resigned in August 2021 which was at 58%.
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Source: Merdeka Center

For this survey, Merdeka Center interviewed 1,220 registered voters by telephone from October 4 to October 24 in proportions reflective of the national electoral profile regarding their perception of current developments. Moreover, random stratified sampling was used to select respondents along categories of age group, ethnicity, gender, and state constituency.