More Malays disapprove of Najib administration, survey shows (17.10.15)

A national poll has found that the approval level for Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration in August stood at 23%. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, October 17, 2015. - See more at:

A national poll has found that the approval level for Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration in August stood at 23%. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, October 17, 2015. – See more at:

Malaysian voters overwhelmingly disapprove of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s government, with the number of dissatisfied Malays also increasing, according to an independent poll, the Singapore Straits Times reported today.

A national poll conducted by Merdeka Center in August found that support from the Malay vote bank for Putrajaya stood at just 31%, which was a massive drop from the 52% registered in January.

The overall approval level in the August survey stood at 23%, another double-digit drop from 38% in January.

The Chinese community also expressed their dissatisfaction, registering only a 5% approval of the Najib administration, against 11% in January.

The survey was conducted just weeks after the Cabinet reshuffle in July, when Najib dropped his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and another minister, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.

According to the Singapore daily, the results of the survey were presented by Merdeka Center to financial sector analysts last week.

The independent pollster said their research also showed an even higher majority were disappointed with the government’s handling of the economy, with only 17% expressing their approval.

Some 78% were dissatisfied with the government over the economy. This was attributed mainly to issues such as the cost of living, unemployment and the impact of the goods and services tax (GST), which came in to effect in April.

The performance of the ringgit was also a contributing factor, being Asia’s worst-performing currency this year.

Merdeka Center polls have consistently shown that Malaysians are more concerned over cost of living issues, jobs and housing than politics.

In a January survey, 62% of respondents cited these as issues they were most worried about, whereas only 3% said they were concerned over political issues.

The same survey showed that Najib’s personal approval rating had dipped to 44%, his lowest since taking office in 2009.

The prime minister has faced increasing calls to step down over the financial scandal linked to state-owned investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which amassed a RM42 billion debt since it began operations in 2009.

The revelation by The Wall Street Journal that RM2.6 billion, allegedly linked to 1MDB, was deposited into Najib’s personal accounts in March 2013 intensified the attacks, with his fiercest critic being former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission announced later that the money was a donation from a Middle Eastern individual.

The prime minister has also denied using public money, including from 1MDB, for personal benefit, though questions surround the source and purpose of the funds. – October 17, 2015.

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