Survey: Muhyiddin approval rating at 69pct, PN most popular

The latest Merdeka Centre survey saw most respondents approving of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s performance.

He garnered a 69 percent approval rating.

The survey also suggested that Perikatan Nasional (PN) was the best received political party or coalition – better than Muafakat Nasional or BN.

The majority of Malay respondents also supported Umno and PAS’ participation in PN.

On the Kuala Lumpur High Court decision to convict former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak for pocketing money from SRC International Sdn Bhd, 61 percent of respondents agreed with the verdict while 18 percent disagreed.

Merdeka Centre also noted that 57 percent of Malay respondents agreed with the verdict.

The survey – conducted between July 15 and Aug 10 – involved 3,415 respondents who were selected through random sampling throughout the country to reflect Malaysia’s electorate.

It is apparent from Merdeka Centre’s data that it conducts voter perception surveys monthly, but only conducts periodical public releases. The last release was dated July 26, 2019.

Muhyiddin sits comfortably

Merdeka Centre said the survey results showed Muhyiddin sat in “comfortable and positive” territory.

This was despite rhetoric from opposition parties branding him as a “traitor” who worked with “kleptocrats” to depose a democratically-elected government in late February.

Merdeka Centre noted that only 33 percent of Chinese respondents viewed Muhyiddin positively while he enjoyed overwhelming support from the bumiputera community.

Muhyiddin also had the support of younger respondents, receiving more than 70 percent approval from respondents aged between 21 and 40.

In terms of household income, Muhyiddin was viewed very positively by those with a household income of RM3,999 or less. The level of approval reduces as household income increases.

Muhyiddin also received the support of 91 percent of the civil servants or those in GLCs.

When Merdeka Centre last released its survey findings in July 2019, then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad primarily had the support of older voters. He only had the support of 57 percent of those in civil service or GLCs. He also enjoyed more support from those with household incomes of RM4,000 and above.

PN far more popular than Pakatan Harapan

On political parties or coalitions, the new PN appeared to be the most popular political entity among respondents and was viewed positively by 51 percent of the electorate.

This was followed by BN (40 percent), PAS (39 percent), Muafakat (37 percent), Bersatu (28 percent) and Harapan (25 percent).

This result was surprising since Muafakat, PAS, BN, and Bersatu are all part of the PN government.

“The data seems to indicate that voters favour PN because (the coalition) is a unifying factor.

“It goes beyond the specific party loyalties,” said Merdeka Center executive director Ibrahim Suffian when contacted.

Malay unity

Meanwhile, 74 percent of Malay respondents viewed PN favourably while only 43 percent viewed Bersatu favourably.

Only 17 percent of Malay respondents viewed Harapan favourably.

When asked if Umno and PAS should remain in PN, nearly two-thirds of Malay respondents agreed.

Currently, Umno has not committed to formally joining the PN coalition despite agreeing to form governments with PN component parties.

PN was formed in March and was envisaged as a move to unite Malay political parties and boot the “DAP-led” Harapan from power.

When respondents were asked whether they were confident that the PN government was committed to “bringing justice” on personalities in the previous BN governments, 56 percent of Malay respondents said they were confident while the majority of Chinese and Indian respondents were not confident.

Only 50 percent of respondents working in civil service or GLCs were confident.

However, virtually all segments of respondents were in agreement that the court was right in convicting Najib, a former BN leader.