Posted by elizabethwong in Race Relations, Note2Self, Democracy, Readings, Politics, Current Affairs. trackback
For those without access to Malaysiakini - an interesting poll which some of us looked at yesterday… and groaned.
So, before you break out the champagne or light fireworks, please analyse the voting demographics of each constituency, esp. those who harbour Parliamentarian dreams. Also bear in mind, there are always BN-block votes in each constituency.
Too much emphasis had been put on an earlier poll, which also also indicated the so-called ‘Chinese-swing” votes. This is exactly why the “Chinese”-component parties of BN have been asking for a later date for General Elections, but Umno has decided that setting aside their concerns will still give them the majority of seats in Parliament.
Those with 70% or more of Chinese voters will do well, but not the rest. This also means that Opposition parties who hold these coveted seats will allocate them to their Chosen Ones. The rest will have to fight it out as hard as, if not harder, like during 2004.
Opposition MPs-wanna-be’s have to do so much more work.
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi still enjoys popular support despite public disgruntlement over the country’s sluggish economy, according to a survey conducted by the Merdeka Center.
However, although the premier receives a pat on the back from the general population, the Chinese are less than impressed with his performance.
In the survey carried out through phone interviews involving 1,022 respondents throughout Peninsular Malaysia, Abdullah on average enjoys 71 percent support. Only 21 percent of respondents disapproved.
The poll which include a random selection of respondents aged 21 and above from all states was done over one week between June 14-20.
According to Merdeka Centre director Ibrahim Suffian, the public’s approval of Abdullah is expected to hover at approximately 70 percent, with Malays and Indians largely supportive of his administration. The Chinese however perceive the prime minister as “sub-par”, he said.
“And the announcement of salary increment for civil servants and the prime minister’s marriage (to Jeanne Abdullah) did not bring about a higher approval rating as claimed by the media,” said Ibrahim at a talk organised by University of Malaya faculty of economics and administration and Transparency International Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur last night.
The survey was to gauge voter sentiments on a variety of national issues.
He said the Chinese “once again showed higher expectations” for political leaders as compared to the Malays and Indians.
Election promises not kept
Overall, the Chinese have a lower approval for Abdullah’s performance as prime minister, he said.
“The majority of the Chinese think Abdullah did not keep most of his election promises. They’re less confident with the government’s ability in fulfilling the people’s aspirations,” he said.
“More Chinese also think that the problem of the sluggish Malaysian economy can be addressed by having more opposition leaders in Parliament,” he added.
Abdullah’s approval rating has dropped from 91 percent in November 2004 to 73 percent in June this year, according to the survey.
Abdullah’s two major plummets in his approval were in March 2006 (68 percent) when the oil price hike was announced and in September 2006 (63 percent) and when former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad stepped up his criticisms of the prime minister.
His approval rating climbed to 70 the following month and 72 percent in November when Umno held its annual general assembly. It was also during this time when Mahathir was hospitalised from a heart attack.
“The assembly won a lot of support from the grassroots. It also consolidated Umno and Abdullah’s leadership,” said Ibrahim.
Although the premier’s approval rating is high, only 8 percent of the Chinese felt Abdullah kept his 2004 election pledges to fight corruption and to improve the public service’s delivery system, compared to the Malays (57 percent) and Indians (37 percent).
On a question regarding the country’s situation, 58 percent felt that status quo should remain, while 33 percent said the country needs more opposition leaders.
Seventy-three percent of Malays felt “Malaysia is lagging behind other countries in economic terms but the programmes and current efforts by the government will help the country catch up” Thirty-eight percent of the Chinese and 47 percent of Indians felt the same.
In comparison, 45 percent of Indians, 44 percent of the Chinese and 24 percent of Malays felt that “the problems of the sluggish Malaysian economy can be addressed if there are more leaders from the opposition”
Asked if they were satisfied with the ability of the government to meet the aspirations of the people, 33 percent of Chinese said they were, compared to the Malays (76 percent) and Indians (63 percent).
Asked if the country needs a stronger opposition, 82 percent of the Chinese agreed, compared to the Malays (62 percent) and Indians (74 percent).
“The Chinese are more in favour of having a stronger opposition and their desire increases steadily. However, such desires do not translate necessarily translate into votes for a particular party,” said Ibrahim.
According to the survey, PAS remains accepted by the Malays but retains minimal Chinese support. Increase in Chinese acceptance is more a sign of dissatisfaction with the ruling government.
DAP gets most Chinese support
On voter's likelihood to vote for PAS, only 30 percent of Malays said they are willing to vote for the party. Twenty-three percent of the Chinese and 27 percent of the Indians felt the same.
PKR seemed more acceptable by the Chinese and Indians despite being labelled a Malay party, while DAP remains popular among the Chinese but has hardly made any inroads into the Malay communities, said Ibrahim.
Forty-two percent of the Chinese said they are willing to vote for PKR, compared to the Malays (25 percent) and Indians (26 percent).
For DAP, 62 percent of the Chinese said they are willing to vote for the party, while only 8 percent of Malays felt the same. Thirty-three percent of Indians said they are willing to vote DAP.
Meanwhile, a separate survey on Kelantanese respondents revealed that 90 percent are concerned with social issues affecting youths. The national average is 61 percent.
On the support of Kelantanese to the PAS-led state government, Ibrahim said: “The perceptions of the economy is actually positive, much more positive than in Terengganu. One serious problem there is the lack of jobs. There aren’t enough jobs to go around. But in terms of perceptions of the state government, it has actually improved,” he said.
He said the state government-run insurance programmes and schemes for the lower income group have influenced support for the opposition party.