Survey shows just over half of Malaysians think country is heading in right direction

The Jalur Gemilang is displayed in Putrajaya in conjunction with Merdeka Day. ― Picture by Shafwan Zaidon | 02-Sept-2020 – KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 2 ― A survey conducted by independent pollster Merdeka Center showed a declining approval rating from voters regarding the direction the country is currently headed.

From a size sample of 3,415 voters, 51 per cent said they felt the country is heading in the right direction, a seven percentage points drop from May, while 34 per cent think it is heading in the wrong direction, an increase of four points since May.

“For those who answered the country is in the right direction, 26 per cent of them have attributed it to good administration of the government while 21 per cent were happy with the leadership.

“Meanwhile, 34 per cent of respondents feel that the country is on the wrong track,” said Merdeka Center programme director Ibrahim Suffian.

“Almost one-third (31 per cent) are frustrated because of the perceived political instability, and 17 per cent complained about economic problems such as unemployment and an adverse business climate.”

Out of the 34 per cent who felt the government was heading in the wrong directions, 32.7 per cent put it down to political instability, 9.9 per cent said it was due to unfavourable economic conditions while 6.3 per cent said it was due to poor leadership.

The survey was conducted from July 15 until August 10 to gauge voters’ perceptions towards the economy, leadership and current issues. Of the 3,415 respondents 52 per cent were Malay, 29 per cent Chinese, 7 per cent Indian, 6 per cent Muslim Bumiputera and 6 per cent Non-Muslim Bumiputera (from Sabah and Sarawak).

The survey showed that Malays had the most significant drop in approval rating for the direction the government is heading. It dropped from 82 per cent in May to 72 per cent in August.

The rating from ethnic Indians dropped two percentage points to 39 per cent while the ethnic Chinese approval ratings dropped five percentage points to 14 per cent in the same time period