PETALING JAYA: Public approval for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin remains stable at 67% amidst concern over the Covid-19 pandemic, says a recently-concluded national survey of Peninsular Malaysia voters.
The results of the survey by Merdeka Centre also showed that the Prime Minister retained strong support from the Malay electorate at 83%; Chinese, 30%; and Indian, 66%.
This showed an improvement over the 63% approval rating recorded at the end of January this year.
A total of 2,111 respondents aged 21 and above were surveyed from March 31 to April 21.
The survey also found that public mood about the direction of the country was mixed with 41% expressing that the country was “moving in the right direction”, while 46% felt the country was “headed in the wrong direction”.
These views showed a marked change since January, when 32% felt the country was headed in the right direction, and 54% believing things were going in the wrong direction.
"Those who expressed the view that the country was headed in the right direction cited positive feelings towards the administration as well as recognition that the public’s welfare was being taken care of," said the centre.
Those who felt the country was headed in the wrong direction cited concerns over political stability and unfavourable economic conditions.
In terms of issues of personal concern to voters, economic conditions remain topmost at 57% followed by the pandemic at 16%, while politics was a distant third, only to 2.4% of those polled.
This also pointed to concerns over the economy being underpinned by voters’ personal financial conditions, where 57% reported that their conditions were “worse off” compared to a year ago, before the full impact of the pandemic-imposed movement controls.
"With respect to their views of the national economy, 68% felt that national economic conditions were negative compared to one year ago.
"These sentiments weigh highly on voters’ views on the government’s handling of the economy," said Merdeka Centre.
The survey found 51% were satisfied with the government’s management of the economy while 43% were dissatisfied.
With respect to the Covid-19 pandemic, the same survey found that a majority of voters, 70%, were satisfied with how the government was handling the problem.
This represents an improvement from the low of 53% observed in January, at the point in time when daily infections of Covid-19 exceeded 4,000 cases.