PETALING JAYA: The country’s economy remains the top concern among voters, with 64% stating so in a survey carried out by Merdeka Center between Aug 7 and 14.
The polling outfit also noted that concerns on race and religious rights increased to 21%, up from 12% when it had conducted a pre-election poll in April this year.
On the whole, however, two-thirds of voters surveyed by Merdeka Center gave the Pakatan Harapan government positive ratings, with 71% satisfied with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s performance as Prime Minister.
However, Deputy Prime Minister and Women, Community and Family Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (pic) recorded 75% voter satisfaction.
Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali recorded 64% voter satisfaction, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin got 62%, while Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng polled 60% satisfaction.
While the survey noted a slight decline in public approval since the Pakatan government’s formation, there were strong positive indicators, Merdeka Center noted.
This includes the increase in voters who believe Malaysia is now heading in the right direction, 55% compared to 38% in April earlier, while 60% expressed satisfaction in the government’s management of the economy.
While similar numbers or higher were recorded on initiatives such as institutional reform and measures to improve inter-ethnic harmony, only 48% surveyed were satisfied with the government on its methods of growing the economy.
A total of 55% of voters surveyed were dissatisfied with the measures to address cost of living pressures.
It believes the results showed that the Pakatan government had won over a majority of the electorate despite having less than 50% of the popular vote on May 9.
This was due to the promised reform agenda and dissatisfaction with the previous administration.
While a majority of voters could accept that some promises could not be fulfilled in the first 100 days of government, Merdeka Center noted that the new administration would face several challenges.
They included race and religious rhetoric raised by the opposition parties, and managing coalition politics within Pakatan itself.
Merdeka Center also suggested that the government faces a Malay electorate more cautious than their fellow non-Malay citizens.
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