PETALING JAYA, 8 Oct 2009: A new Merdeka Center for Opinion Research poll has found that the majority of Malaysians reject political leaders who have been tainted by money politics or sex scandals.
In a press release today, Merdeka Center said a total of 87% of respondents in a poll conducted in Peninsular Malaysia from 29 Sept to 4 Oct did not want leaders who have been involved in money politics to stand for elections.
Whether the same sentiment towards less-than-honest candidates will have a bearing on the Barisan Nasional (BN)’s performance in the 11 Oct Bagan Pinang by-election is left to be seen. The BN candidate is former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Tan Sri Isa Samad, who was previously suspended from Umno for money politics.
The same Merdeka Center poll also found that 75% of respondents rejected leaders who were tainted by sex scandals. At the same time, 25.2% of respondents said Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat should lead the MCA, while only 5.8% threw their support behind Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
Chua was scandalised by a secret video recording of his affair with a woman who was not his wife, and was sacked from the party for damaging the party’s image.
OngThe majority of respondents (39%) also said the MCA should resolve the infighting between Ong and Chua. This was followed by wanting the party to focus on winning back the confidence of all Malaysians (27%).
The MIC fared much worse in public perception. According to the poll, 59% of respondents viewed the party unfavourable after its September polls; 26% had no opinion; and only 15% viewed the largest Indian Malaysian party in the BN favourably.
The highest percentage of Malaysians who viewed the MIC negatively was Indians (68%), followed by Malays (63%), and Chinese (49%).
In a survey conducted from 4 to 14 Sept among 1,027 respondents, 56% of Malaysians said they were satisfied with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s performance in his sixth month in office.
While Najib remains in positive territory, his popularity has dipped from the 65% approval rating he received in mid-June 2009, Merdeka Center noted.
Among the respondents, the highest percentage of satisfied Malaysians were the Malays (63%), followed by the Indians (62%), and the Chinese (40%). In fact, more Chinese Malaysians were dissatisfied than satisfied with the premier.
Overall, however, the survey found that the number of people who were dissatisfied with his performance remained similar at 23%, compared with 22% in June 2009.
The survey also found that a majority of people were satisfied with the prime minister’s efforts to improve the education system and government efficiency, and in managing the economy. But many found the efforts in reducing crime and corruption still wanting.
At the same time, Malaysians remained split over the country’s direction, with 47% saying it was in the “right direction”, while 34% saying it was in the “wrong direction”.
“With respect to the Pakatan Rakyat, the survey [from 29 Sept to 4 Oct] found that 47% of the people were not convinced that it could be ‘a viable alternative’ to the BN at the federal level,” Merdeka Center said.
At the same time, the survey also found that 46% of the people were satisfied with the performance of the four Pakatan Rakyat-held states of Kedah, Penang, Selangor and Kelantan.
With regard to reforms within the BN, the same survey found that a majority of respondents (34%) felt that “unless Umno reforms extensively, changes in other component parties mean little”.
The Nut Graph needs your support