PUTRAJAYA: Despite Merdeka Centre’s survey indicating declining popularity in the one-year administration of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, PKR’s internal polls have shown otherwise, said party Deputy President Rafizi Ramli.
According to Rafizi, PKR’s own survey showed Anwar’s popularity had surged after he was appointed Prime Minister in November last year, and it only declined in May this year, when the ringgit depreciated.
He added that the survey showed a slight increase in Anwar’s popularity in July and August after the Unity Government launched several policy papers such as Madani Economy, the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR), the New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP) and the mid-term review on the 12th Malaysian Plan.
“Based on this survey, which guided PKR since 2016 till the formation of the government now, it reflected a status quo situation,” said Rafizi during a press conference at the PKR annual national congress at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre on Saturday (Nov 25).
Rafizi, who appeared unfazed over Merdeka Centre’s survey, said PKR is a party that is based on data and surveys.
“The difference is that we used to publish the surveys, and now we don’t. We kept it (survey) internally. Because that is our weapon,” added Rafizi.
Rafizi also said that PKR believes that the Unity Government and Anwar’s leadership are in the most stable position ever.
“Internal politics is stable, and public support remains at status quo, though it saw a slight increase of between 1 to 2%,” he said.
“Moving forward, looking at all elements, the unity government is rock solid and public approval rating is increasing, albeit not incrementally,” added Rafizi.
However, Rafizi said Perikatan Nasional is in “tatters”, and he doubts that the Opposition will be able to maintain its momentum in the previous six state elections in August this year.
“All eggs were placed in one basket, where the only bet they had in the last year was that the government would fall.
“By now, even your own crowd will feel ‘let’s be pragmatic, it is not going to happen’,” added Rafizi.
Rafizi said the internal instability within Bersatu, where its leaders had switched allegiances to Anwar over recent weeks, would affect PAS’ support for the opposition.
The challenge now, said Rafizi, is the ability of the Unity Government to improve the present economy, which is also seeing positive recovery.
“For the first time in six years, we saw a quarter-to-quarter growth. We have never seen that before, and inflation is also at its lowest - 1.8%.
“Next year is expected to be a better year because of a better global economy (projection). With all this, I don’t feel that Merdeka Centre has earth-shattering findings for the public and the government,” added Rafizi.
Rafizi said Merdeka Centre’s popularity rating on Anwar should be compared with the previous administrations of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
“Their (former prime ministers’) approval rating started with high support and will decrease after six months to a year. So it is nothing out of the ordinary,” said Rafizi.
“That report has to be read and understood in the right context,” added Rafizi.
Merdeka Centre had said Anwar’s personal approval rating slipped to 50% amid rising economic concerns.
According to the independent pollster, 47% of its 1,200 respondents said that they were unhappy with Anwar’s administration.
It said only 31% of voters think the country is headed in the right direction.