A public opinion survey conducted on 4,864 respondents in the third quarter of last year revealed that they would like Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin the most to continue as the prime minister after the 15th General Election.
For the respondents - all voters - his popularity surpassed that of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The findings of the study conducted by the Electoral Forensic Laboratory of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Social Sciences and Humanities Faculty also showed that the Prime Minister remained a leader loved by many, one who deserves to continue holding the post.
The study led by chief researcher Professor Dr Mohd Fuad Mat Jali showed that Muhyiddin remained calm and focused in discharging his duties despite the tough times caused by Covid-19 and the endless bashing of the Perikatan Nasional-led government from all fronts.
It also showed that as the Prime Minister, part of the catalyst for Muhyiddin's popularity is how he embarked on multiple efforts to safeguard people’s lives and livelihoods.
The study - which was undertaken a year after Perikatan Nasional took over from Pakatan Harapan - aimed to research voter perception and obtain current sentiments on national leadership.
A total of four names - Muhyiddin, Anwar, Ahmad Zahid and Najib - were submitted, and 55% of respondents liked Muhyiddin the most, followed by Anwar at eight percent and Ahmad Zahid and Najib were both at two percent.
The study also found that respondents who are employees of private companies praised how Muhyiddin ran the country, and that when divided by gender women formed the highest percentage of voters who supported Muhyiddin.
Additionally, the findings also indicated that 55% of voters wanted Muhyiddin to continue as the Prime Minister and felt that he is the most qualified for the post.
The survey also concluded that among respondents, Muhyiddin's able leadership had been what people had been hoping and looking for.
It also found that the various policies implemented such as the Employees Provident Fund withdrawals, MySalam Scheme, electricity discounts, the MyRapid unlimited pass and school aid have helped the people to a great extent, bringing them much relief and confidence.
The respondents therefore want Muhyiddin to continue holding the reins of the government and the country and are also of the view that Muhyiddin put in the right measures and policies to defend and assist the people and were grateful for it.
They felt that Muhyiddin did not waste his time politicking; instead he continued moving forward with plans and strategies for economic revival and recovery. People’s lives were prioritised through the direct assistance they obtained from the government.
Overall, the findings of the study indicate that Muhyiddin’s popularity still surpassed that of Anwar, Ahmad Zahid and Najib and Muhyiddin is still wanted to lead the country after the next general election.
There have been quite a few surveys on Muhyiddin and the national leadership. At the end of last year, for instead, the Emir Research survey concluded that Malaysians still preferred Muhyiddin as Prime Minister ahead of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar. Then, another one by the Merdeka Centre put Muhyiddin’s approval rating at 69 percent with Perikatan as the best received political party or coalition.
Of course, everyone has the right to disagree, but I could not help rejoicing at the findings of the UKM survey, simply because I am all for the present governing government.
Caring for the people has been its main guiding principle ever since it took over power at the outset of the pandemic outbreak.
My relatives, families and all others have benefited greatly from the aid and assistance rendered during those times. I have no reason to be disappointed but grateful for all the help given. It is true what the government has said - that it will continue to champion the fate and prioritise the welfare of people.
Hasif Abdullah, Batu Pahat, Johor