PETALING JAYA: Poor economic planning, rising prices and corruption are among the top three concerns raised by respondents of a survey in Cameron Highlands.
The survey by the Institute of Strategic Analysis and Policy Research (Insap) involved 300 respondents of ethnic Chinese background who were interviewed during a two-day period in the first week of the by-election campaign in the parliamentary seat.
“Among the top issues cited by respondents were lack of comprehensive economic planning in the country (64.6%), rising cost of living despite the abolition of GST (63.6%) and corruption (48.8%),” said Insap deputy chairman Dr Pamela Yong.
The survey found that voter turnout among the Chinese is likely to be high with 86.6% of respondents stating their intention to cast their ballots on Saturday.
The voters comprise about 34% Malays, 30% Chinese and 15% Indians, with other groups – mostly the orang asli – making up the remaining 21%.
Yong said many respondents who were farmers lamented the fact that prices of their produce had not gone up nor did the farmers receive any assistance following the change of federal government and the implementation of the Sales and Service Tax, and other budgetary reviews by the government.
“Many had hoped for better prices of vegetables and a better system of distribution to assist the marketing of their produce, which would have increased earnings with the change of regime.
“On the contrary, many feel that the present government has not done enough to address the rising cost of living amongst farmers in particular,” said Yong in a statement on the results of the survey.
The respondents, she said, also highlighted that the Pakatan government had reneged on its general election promise to recognise the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) within the first 60 days of it taking office.
“This survey seems to reaffirm that education remains a matter close to the heart of Chinese voters in Cameron Highlands, whereby a significant 83.6% of respondents agreed that the government should immediately recognise the UEC as promised.”
Yong said 66.7% of respondents felt that the Pakatan government should not have reduced the allocation for Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC).
“Some respondents even related personally how their children and grandchildren had benefited from the affordable high-quality tertiary education in TAR UC and yet knowingly cast their vote for the Pakatan government.”