Poll: Sept 16 rally finds little traction among Malays

malaysiakini.com | 15-Sept-2015 – The ‘Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu’ rally has found little traction among Malay voters, according to independent pollster Merdeka Centre.

This is despite the rally being touted as a gathering to uphold Malay dignity and to counter the predominantly Chinese Bersih 4, which saw participants stomping on images of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

A telephone survey by Merdeka Centre showed that only 24 percent of respondents supported the rally. Of these, eight percent expressed strong support, while 16 percent of respondents expressed some support.

Meanwhile, 53 percent of respondents do not support the rally, of whom 38 percent said they strongly do not support, while 15 percent somewhat do not support.

A total of 21 percent are unsure about their view on the rally, while another one percent refused to respond.

The survey was conducted between Sept 10 and Sept 15, involving 516 Malay voters across all states in peninsular Malaysia. The margin of error is reported to be ±4.31 percent.

Malay voters more concerned over fundamental issues

Merdeka Centre said in a press release that its findings show that Malay voters are not attracted to the causes of the ‘Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu’, nor the earlier Bersih 4 rally on Aug 29 and 30.

“In our view, Malay voters are at present largely more concerned over fundamental issues such as cost of living, employment and business opportunities as well as the impact of the Goods and Services Tax.

“While the rally may result in a sizable attendance, the survey results suggest that the turnout would be reflective of the mobilisation efforts of its organisers rather than a broad-based participation of the Malay electorate,” it said.

The leading reasons cited for not supporting the rally are concerns that it would create chaos (19 percent), rally did not appear to have clear objectives (13 percent), and concerns that it would create ethnic tensions (seven percent).

On the other hand, 17 percent of respondents say they support the rally to protect dignity of the Malays, which is the stated objective of the organisers.

Another objective, which is to protest against the Bersih 4 rally, was only cited as a reason to support the rally by one percent of respondents, while two percent say they rally to support the government, BN and Umno.

In comparison, in Merdeka Centre’s previous survey on the Bersih 4 rally, only 23 percent of Malays are in favour of the rally while 70 percent are not in favour of it.

The leading reason for Malays to oppose the Bersih 4 rally, it found, was the fear that it could spark violence and chaos (56 percent) and that they do not believe the rally would achieve anything (22 percent).

Curiously, although BN supporters are more likely to support tomorrow’s rally than opposition supporters (36 percent versus 25 percent), the level of non-support for the rally in both groups are similar (56 percent versus 60 percent).

The level of non-support of the rally is also higher amongst respondents without Internet access (61 percent) compared to respondents with Internet access (51 percent).

Meanwhile in urban areas, 25 percent of respondents say they support the rally compared to 52 percent who do not; while in rural areas, the figure is 24 percent and 56 percent respectively.

Umno ‘circling’ for foray into S’wak – By Aidila Razak

Malaysiakini.com | 27-Apr-2011 – The presence of Umno bigwigs and machinery during the BN election campaign in Sarawak has raised questions about the peninsula-based Malay party’s role in the state.

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) political science lecture Andrew Aeria(right) is of the opinion that Umno will eventually move into Sarawak.
“But I dare not say more. I can’t really see it happening yet but the day (Chief Minister Abdul) Taib (Mahmud) moves away from the scene, there will be some serious moves (into Sarawak by Umno),” he said.

Speaking at a forum on the 10th Sarawak election organised by pollster Merdeka Centre in Selangor last night, Aeria said the possibility of Umno in Sarawak “should not be feared” and that there should be more engagement on this front.

Fellow Unimas political scientist Faisal Syam Hazis said Umno will have a hard time making its case to enter Sarawak after PBB – the local party which represents the Malay-Melanau and Muslim community – won all 35 seats it contested.

This also makes it the party which holds the largest proportion of the Sarawak assembly’s 71 seats.

“For Umno to come in, PBB will have to be dissolved. Sarawak BN, including (Dayak-based) PRS and PBDS will try its best to ensure that Umno stays out,” he said.

For Sarawakians, Umno is still very much the bogeyman. This was exemplified in a billboard during the election campaign, showing three sharks marked DAP, PAS and PKR circling Sarawak, while an unmarked shark was depicted taking a bite out of Sabah.

“You would assume that the unmarked shark is Umno and that Sarawak BN was killing two birds with one stone,” he said to laughter from the audience of about 300.

Whether or not Umno makes a play for Sarawak, Faisal said the fact that BN conceded 16 seats (three times more than 2006) and narrowly won 14 other seats foreshadows strains in federal-state relations.

Ngemah, Telang Usan and Senadin were won with less than 50 percent of votes, while 11 others including Beting Maro, Kedup, Bengoh and Kakus were taken with 50-56 percent of the votes. Most of these seats saw multi-cornered fights.

“With 14 (marginal) seats and 16 seats lost (by BN), there is a genuine threat of losing the two-thirds majority…if the opposition is able to put up a straight fight,” Faisal said.

“The expectation was for Sarawak BN to win 80-90 percent of the seats and when they lost 16 with Taib being the lead cause for that, Kuala Lumpur panicked and called for his head (causing) a strain in federal-state relations from now on.”

PBB power struggle?

However, Faisal believes that Taib will use the fact that he had retained the two-thirds majority support as a reason to stay and will use his succession plan to show Kuala Lumpur who is boss.

“There is a clear indicator that KL wants (PBB deputy chief) Abang Johari (Abang Openg, left) because he is seen as the leader with the less baggage in terms of corruption.

“But Taib was sworn in as chief minister soon after the two-thirds majority was announced, and as a symbolic gesture, the person sitting next to (Taib’s wife that night was PBB vice-president) Awang Tengah.

“Taib is saying: ‘I am not stepping down but even if I do, the choice of a successor is mine. I have been the strongman of Sarawak for 30 years and have delivered the parliamentary seats (to BN) so why should I bow down?’.”

Agreeing with his colleague, Unimas lecturer Neilson Mersat said post-election factional fighting within PBB will be watched for the anticipated “power struggle”, following raised expectations of Taib’s departure.

The chief minister in an interview immediately after results were announced on April 16 had said that he is seeking to retire “mid-term”.

Malaysians clueless on ETP, poll shows – By Leslie Lau

Najib’s various transformation plans have yet to gain traction with Malaysians. — file pic

The Malaysian Insider | KUALA LUMPUR, 24-Dec-2010 — Over half of voters in peninsular Malaysia have little or no knowledge about the Najib administration’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), a recent survey by the independent Merdeka Center shows.

The survey also showed that the majority of Malaysians did not understand such economic initiatives despite their widespread publicity.

Fifty-two per cent of voters surveyed said they were not aware of the ETP, compared to 48 per cent who said they knew of it.

When asked how much of the ETP they understood, 82 per cent said “not very much.”

The poll was conducted in the first two weeks of this month.

Najib’s ambitious plans to build new train lines, taller towers and bigger developments is a major plank of his administration and has been called the country’s largest-ever infrastructure expansion programme.

The government has allocated close to RM100 billion to jump-start a raft of projects.

They range from the controversial RM5 billion 100-storey Warisan Merdeka tower, a RM36 billion mass-rail transit (MRT) network, a new high-speed rail link between Penang and Singapore as well as more new highways and power plants.

Najib’s ETP is estimated to cost RM443 billion and aims to double per capita income to US$15,000 (RM46,500) within 10 years, to propel Malaysia into the ranks of high-income nations.

But criticisms about Najib’s big projects remain, underscoring significant public dissatisfaction with “mega” projects and the perceived cronyism attached to the deals.

Property consultants and private economists have also expressed concerns that huge infrastructure spending could burden the economy and create a property glut that would take years to absorb.

The MRT for Kuala Lumpur will be the first project to kick-start the ETP, with construction expected to start by next year.

MMC-Gamuda Joint Venture Sdn Bhd was recently appointed the project delivery partner (PDP).

Yesterday, it was announced that the finance ministry would set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to raise funds for the RM36 billion MRT project.

Officials have argued that the massive spending plan will create jobs and help the economy grow.

The Merdeka Center survey showed that less than half of those polled — 47 per cent — were confident that the ETP would propel Malaysia into becoming a developed nation.

Broken down by race, the survey showed 61 per cent of Malays polled were confident of the ETP while only 19 per cent of the Chinese sharing the sentiment.

Among Indians surveyed, 55 per cent expressed confidence in the ETP.


By Leslie Lau
Executive Editor


Most Malaysians couldn’t care less for domestic help – By Isabelle Lai

The Star Online | KUALA LUMPUR, 19-Dec-2010 : A large number of Malaysians view their domestic help as servants or maids rather than workers.

A recent survey found that a majority of them disagreed with giving workers a day off each week or pay allowances if they were to work more than 14 hours a day.

These findings were among the results revealed in a research report launched by non-governmental organisations Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility Asia (CARAM-Asia) and Tenaganita.

The Merdeka Centre carried out the survey on their behalf through phone interviews with 283 randomly selected employers in the country.

It discovered that only 6% were adequately informed about their foreign domestic workers’ legal rights under the Employment Act.

CARAM-Asia regional coordinator Mohammad Harun Al Rashid said that the survey provided disturbing insights.

“Some disagreed that punitive measures be taken against exploitative employers,” he said at a press conference held in conjunction with International Migrant Day yesterday.

“They appeared ready to condone behaviour that denies the foreign workers their basic rights.”

In contrast, Hong Kong employers’ attitudes toward foreign help was far better. At least 47% showed awareness of the laws.

“Hong Kong employment laws provide a standardised contract that covers the workers’ basic rights,” said Harun, adding that Hong Kong had been chosen for comparison due to its stringent laws on foreign workers.

“Malaysia, on the other hand, has no such contract, and this has led to much abuse of the foreign workers’ rights,” he said.

He added that one should be created under the Employment Act and stipulate the foreigner’s scope of work, place of employment, duration term, rest days, annual leave and others.

“Another step is to change the term ‘servant’ to ‘domestic worker’. This will accord workers the same rights given to all other categories of workers,” he said

Harun also suggested that the Labour Department carry out random checks to ensure employers adhered to regulations.

“Lastly, the Passport Act needs to be strictly enforced,” he said. “It is a crime to hold another person’s passport.”

Sarawak will remain with BN

TheNut Graph | KUALA LUMPUR, 14-July-2010 : The Barisan Nasional (BN) will continue to rule Sarawak for at least two more state elections, said a Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) political scientist.

Citing the latest Merdeka Center for Opinion Research poll on Malaysian political values, Faisal S Hazis said the perception that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) could take control of Sarawak was unjustified.

“Sarawak will remain with the BN for one, maybe two more decades,” Faisal, who is Unimas’s political and international relations department head, said today at a Kuala Lumpur forum by Merdeka Center to present the poll results.

He said despite doubts about the BN’s grip on Sarawak, especially after the Sibu by-election, 64.1% of the Sarawakian respondents in the poll indicated support for the BN.
This, he noted, was an increase by 1.1% of the popular vote that the BN secured in the 2006 state election.

Sarawak must hold a state election by the middle of 2011, although talk has been rife that it will be called earlier.

The BN has consistently won at least 55% of the popular vote in Sarawak since 1974. It won 71.2% of the popular vote in the 2001 election. However, this dropped to 62.9% in 2006. Still, voter support remains substantial.

Massive swing needed

Faisal said the 2006 election data showed that there were only 12 marginal seats out of 71 in Sarawak.

“If there was a 5% vote swing towards the opposition, it would only give them five more seats. A 10% vote swing would give the opposition 12 more seats and a total of 21 seats in the state assembly,” said Faisal.

However, for the opposition to capture 36 seats and take over the government, it would require a vote swing of 20%, which Faisal categorised as “ridiculously impossible” by the next election.

Faisal also said Sarawak’s size and terrain was challenging for the opposition, especially since the state government controlled most of the resources. An average-sized constituency such as Krian is about the size of Singapore, whereas the largest constituency, Belaga, is the size of Pahang.

Faisal said an opposition candidate told him that just to bring supporters to polling centres on polling day cost RM50,000.

Desire for change


However, all is not gloomy for the opposition. While between 70% and 80% of respondents had a positive perception of the BN, many of them were at the same time skeptical of the government.

“More than half believed that the government’s aid would not reach the needy, while almost half felt that the government is not spending money prudently,” said Faisal.

He added that a high percentage, 65.7%, said they were having trouble making ends meet. Many respondents also wanted to see an increased level of democracy, and for the government to be free from corruption.

There were also some positive indicators for the opposition. This included endorsement of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership; increasing popularity of the new media; and a strong sense of skepticism and distrust towards the ruling party.

“If a unified opposition can exploit the people’s grievances and their desire for change, the coming state election could become a feisty affair,” said Faisal.

Less racial politics

Faisal noted that racial politics was not played out in Sarawak as much as in Peninsular Malaysia. “All the BN parties in Sarawak are multiracial parties. So are all the opposition parties,” he said.

“This is because Sarawak is a multiracial state. A race-based political party which focuses only on one race would not survive.”

Faisal, however, pointed out that racial and religious issues “imported” from Peninsular Malaysia could be divisive.

He cited the “Allah” controversy as one example. “In Sarawak, Christians have been using ‘Allah’ for ages, so it’s a non-issue. But during the Sibu by-election, the opposition managed to exploit the issue by saying that the electorate should teach peninsular Malaysians to be as accommodating as the bumiputera in Sarawak. It played an important role in moving the fence-sitters,” he said.

The Merdeka Center survey, which looked at voters’ views about unity, government spending, interest in politics and race-based affirmative action, polled 3,141 adults nationwide between January and April 2010. Out of that figure, 518 were Sarawakians.

Skewed leaders main threat

The Star/Asia News Network | KUALA LUMPUR, 14-July-2010 : Corrupt leaders are the main threat to the position of the Malays and bumiputras, a survey here found.

Only 20% of the respondents in the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research poll felt that the bumiputras’ position was threatened by demands made by other races.

The telephone survey, conducted among 3,141 people nationwide between Jan 21 and April 26, said 70% of Malay and bumiputra respondents agreed that the main threat to their position was corruption among their leaders.

In general, the public perceived the corruption problem as serious but 69% were optimistic that it can be resolved.

A view that was consistent across ethnic lines, region and urban/rural setting was the lack of confidence in government aid programmes reaching the needy.

Some 63% expressed dissatisfaction on the delivery system.

The survey also found 72% of the Malay and bumiputra respondents felt they still needed help to move ahead while 59% believed the special rights accorded to them should continue.

The respondents in the survey, aged 19 years and above, comprised Malays (51%), Chinese (26%), Indians (7%), Muslim bumiputra (9%) and non-Muslim bumiputra (7%).

Merdeka Center director Ibrahim Suffian and researcher Lee Lih Qing presented the findings.

“There are limitations, such as not being able to reach to those deep in the rural areas.

“And we can only get hold of rural people who have mobile phones.

‘That itself says something about their socio-economic status,” Ibrahim said, adding that the margin of error was 1.75%

Poll: Pakatan has little prospect in S’wak

TheNut Graph | 14-July-2010 – A mere 11.2 percent of Sarawakians are willing to vote for the opposition, according to a survey by independent pollsters Merdeka Centre in collaboration with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).

This may dismiss belief that the recent Sibu by-election, which saw a surprise win by opposition DAP, was a precursor for more BN defeats in the upcoming state elections which must be called before mid-2011.

The survey of 518 Sarawakians – comprising of respondents reflecting the state ethnic makeup – showed that 64.1 percent of respondents were willing to vote BN, which is an 1.1 percent more than the popular vote received by the coalition during the 2006 state elections.

Though the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition’s figurehead Anwar Ibrahim (right) may be a top draw in the peninsula, the survey results suggest he wields little influence in Sarawak, with only 21.1 percent of respondents endorsing his leadership.

Moreover, there appears to be a general negative impression of the opposition, with most citing a lack of unity (33.6 percent), followed by lack of ideas on economic development (26.6), corruption (11.4), weak administration (7.5) and weak leadership (4.8).

Meanwhile, the survey saw between 70 to 80 percent having a positive perception towards BN’s policies and actions, albeit recognising that it has weaknesses, which include poor leadership, intra-party rivalry and money politics.

20% swing needed for Pakatan win

However, the surveyors noted that it was possible that Pakatan could pull an upset, provided that it manages a massive 20 percent swing in the popular votes which would result in 30 more seats to the current six.

A possible opposition swing could be fueled by an increasing popularity of the alternative media and increasing distrust towards BN, with a third of respondents believing that government programs only benefit the rich and half believing that government aid never reaches the needy.

Another possible problem for BN was the significant number of respondents who are seeking myriad changes such as increased levels of democracy (31.5 percent), less graft (21), a better education system (19.5), high income levels (18) and lower crime rates (14.9).

As proven during the Sibu by-election, the opposition can count on the support of the Chinese voters, as 36 percent of Chinese respondents said they were willing to lend them support.

However, 33.3 percent of Chinese voters identified themselves as fence-sitters.

On the economy, 45 percent of respondents are not satisfied with the economy but 59 percent are optimistic with the future outlook of the economy, while 65 percent feel secure of their jobs.

Similar to earlier survey results in Peninsula Malaysia, Chinese Sarawakians are the least optimistic about the economy while Muslim bumiputras are the most optimistic.

BN will win next 2-3 state polls

Speaking to reporters at briefing on the survey results, Unimas lecturer Dr Faisal S Hazis believe that the BN will win the upcoming state polls hands down.

“I expect BN to be strong for another two to three elections, but the campaigning will be feisty,” he said.

Elaborating, Faisal said opposition coalition face a complicated scenerio where Dayak professionals were sympathetic towards PKR but to a much lesser extent favours the Chinese-dominated DAP.

“Racial politics is not played up in Sarawak with all four BN component parties being multi-racial, but there are elements of racial politics imported from the peninsula,” he said.

Pakatan needs 20pc swing to capture Sarawak – By Debra Chong

The Malaysian Insider | KUALA LUMPUR, 14-July-2010 — A five per cent voter swing in Election 2008 saw Pakatan Rakyat (PR) take charge of five state governments in peninsular Malaysia, but the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) rivals in Sarawak will need four times that to unseat the ruling front.

Political analyst Faizal Hazis said today that PR’s dream of taking over Putrajaya by capturing Sarawak in the coming state polls, widely expected to be held soon, is “ridiculous”.

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud has been ruling the state under the BN banner for the past 29 years.

The Opposition bloc in Malaysia’s largest state only has eight out of 71 seats in the Sarawak Legislative Assembly.

The DAP holds the lion’s share with six seats, with one seat each belonging to PKR and Sarawak National Party (Snap).

“To change the state government, it will need at least a 20 per cent voter swing…which equals 36 seats,” the Universiti Sarawak (Unimas) department head of political and international relations told reporters here today.

The lecturer recently teamed up with the independent Merdeka Center to present an analysis of voting behaviour in Sarawak.

In his paper titled “Between Continuity and Change”, Faisal noted there were 12 “marginal seats” or those that showed a greater likelihood of falling to PR.

With the eight already in PR’s hands, the new total would “still not be enough to deny the ruling party a two-thirds majority’ in the state legislative assembly, he said.

While Sarawak’s politics is not racially-driven, Faisal said the electorate had generally voted along party lines.

The voters, especially the Bumiputera, want a party that can fulfil their development needs.

“Generally, this means Barisan Nasional,” he said, adding that the ruling front’s traditional strategy of dishing out development projects will likely remain an effective tool in ensuring it wins substantial votes.

Certain short-term factors could still tip the scales in PR’s favour, Faisal said, pointing to the Bersih and Hindraf rallies in West Malaysia and more recently, the DAP’s “Allah” campaign in the Sibu by-election two months ago as examples.

But it may not be enough, as voters in Sarawak still look at the candidate’s credentials in elections.

A recent public opinion survey by the Merdeka Center showed 64 per cent of the electorate firmly backing the BN, because they believed the ruling coalition was capable of delivering reforms.

But both Faisal and the Merdeka Center admitted the survey was not definitive.

“The poll did not ask Sarawakians whether they wanted Taib Mahmud to be CM though,” Faisal quipped.

BN will win Sarawak, poll shows – By Debra Chong

The Malaysian Insider | KUALA LUMPUR, 14-July-2010 – A public opinion poll has predicted Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) will win big in state polls expected soon, suggesting a recent DAP win in the Sibu by-election two months ago did not indicate waning support for Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud’s 29 year rule.

Sixty-four per cent out of 518 respondents polled by the independent Merdeka Center backed BN for the next state elections, a one per cent increase from the last elections in Sarawak in 2006.

However, several factors could still swing the vote in favour of the Opposition, said the head of politics and international relations in Universiti Sarawak’s (Unimas) social science faculty.

In his paper titled “Between Continuity and Change”, Unimas’s Dr Faisal Hazis, who worked with the Merdeka Center to provide an analysis of the survey results, noted the growing popularity of the alternative media among the urban electorate and an increased appetite to see a higher level of democratic practice in government as key forces that could tilt the balance.

“If the local opposition parties can get their act together to form a unified coalition and exploit the grievances and desire for change, the coming state elections could be a feisty affair,” he briefed reporters here today.

Faisal pointed out that while the Chinese community felt they were being sidelined by the ruling front, the Bumiputera voters in Sarawak strongly identified with the BN.

A high 65.6 per cent of respondents were confident they could keep their jobs for the next year while 59.2 per cent were upbeat about the country’s future, even though almost half of those polled expressed a general dissatisfaction with the economy.

More than two thirds of those polled viewed BN in a positive light.

While they were not blind to the coalition’s shortcomings — 68 per cent cited weak political leadership, intra-party rivalry (66 per cent), and money politics (61.4 per cent) — they also generally believed BN was capable of change.

Notably, 65.9 per cent wanted the government to dissolve the affirmative action policy, which is geared at protecting Malay/ Bumiputera interest.

More than half of the respondents did not believe that government aid would reach the needy with 37.1 per cent saying government programmes only benefited the rich.

Close to half said the government was not careful in spending public money and nearly three quarters cited corruption as a major problem in the country.

In contrast, only 11.2 per cent strongly backed the Opposition, with 36 per cent support from the Chinese community.

However, about one-third of the respondents appeared to be open to voting for the Opposition.

About a third of the respondents attributed their poor perception of the Opposition to the lack of unity among the different parties, while 26.6 per cent said the BN rival lacked ideas on economic development.

But Dr Faisal noted that 21.1 per cent of the respondents saw PKR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership in a positive light.

He put it down to the growing popularity of the alternative media — namely the Internet and partisan newspapers — among a significant portion of the electorate (almost 20 per cent) in the more urban seats in the state, especially from the Dayak professionals; as well as scepticism and mistrust of the BN from some quarters.

In his analysis, Dr Faisal said the survey results disproved the myth that Sarawakian voters were parochial in their approach to politics, but showed instead that the local electorate took a healthy interest in national issues.

While the odds were heavily stacked against the Opposition, he did not discount the possibility of a sudden swing in their favour, noting the DAP’s successful campaign leading up to the May by-election.

“Sarawak is more accommodating [on racial and religious issues] than in the Peninsula,” he said, referring to how the DAP had played up the “Allah” dispute ongoing in West Malaysia by asking the locals to “help us teach Peninsula to be more accommodating”.

If the Opposition could exploit such current issues again when the state elections come around, the results “would not be as what the polls show”.

If not, the Opposition may have to wait for at least another “one or two decades” to break the BN’s stranglehold on Malaysia’s largest state, said Dr Faisal.

BN Still The Choice For Sarawakians, Survey Shows – By Alan Ting

Bernama Online | KUALA LUMPUR, 13-July-2010 — The Sibu by-election held last May raised some doubts as to Barisan Nasional’s grip over Sarawak but recent poll conducted by an independent body has proved otherwise.

According to the survey by the Merdeka Center, the findings of which were released Tuesday, most Sarawakians still support the BN.

“A total of 64.1 percent of the respondents threw their support behind the BN, an increase of 1.1 percent over the popular votes received by the ruling party in the 2006 state election,” said Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) lecturer Faisal S. Hazis, who had conducted the survey titled “Between Continuity and Change: An Analysis of Voting Behavior in Sarawak 2010” for Merdeka Center.

Speaking at a media briefing here, Faisal said the survey conducted from January to April involved 518 respondents in Sarawak aimed at assessing their perception towards both the Barisan Nasional (BN) and opposition parties.

“In terms of perception towards BN, between 70 per cent to 80 per cent of those surveyed said they had positive perception of the BN’s policies and actions.

However, he said respondents pointed out several shortcomings in the BN, such as internal rivalry and money politics.

“A total of 65.9 percent wanted the BN to take affirmative action (to resolve the problems) while 74 percent of them believed that corruption was a major problem in the country,” he said.

Faisal said only 11.2 per cent of the respondents admitted that they were willing to vote for the opposition.

There were also negative impressions towards the opposition by respondents such as lack of unity, lack of ideas on economic development, corruption (11.4 per cent), weakness in administration (7.5 per cent), and weak leadership (4.8 per cent).

On factors influencing voting behavior in Sarawak, Faisal said 36.9 per cent of the respondents chose contesting parties as the main factor, particularly the ones that could bring about development to the state.

“The other factors were issues related to the voters while choice of candidates remained as the third most important factor,” he said.

Faisal also said it remained an uphill task for the opposition to take over the state as they needed to capture a minimum of 36 out of the 71 seats in the state.

“But there are only 12 marginal seats,” he added.

At present, the opposition only holds nine state seats in Sarawak, with DAP (6), PKR (1) and Independent (2).


Merdeka Center