By John Isaac
TAN Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is the prime minister of choice among Malaysians with an overwhelming 65 per cent majority support, according to an independent poll.
Emir Research, an independent think-tank, in its Quarterly Poll for the Third Quarter of 2020 (3Q20) – Part 2 found that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad came in second with 10 per cent of support followed by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with an eight per cent support.
“Similar patterns of support were recorded within various demographic groups. However, Muhyiddin had greater support among the urban respondents (68 per cent). Muhyiddin was the preferred vote across the states except in Penang, where Dr Mahathir received the greatest support.
“Gender-wise, the female group of respondents (73 per cent) has also shown stronger support for Muhyiddin. In terms of age, he (Muhyiddin) gained more support among the younger groups. He also enjoyed greater support among the Malays and Bumiputeras of Sabah and Sarawak,” Emir Research said in its media release today.
Unexpectedly, support for Muhyiddin from the Chinese and Indians was quite strong with 50 per cent and 49 per cent within the ethnic groups respectively, the think-thank said.
“Second highest support within these two ethnic groups was given to Anwar while the higher educated are reliably associated with positive support for Muhyiddin,” it said.
The fact that even Chinese and Indian groups of respondents indicated their strongest support for Muhyiddin as Prime Minister of their choice inspired more data exploration, the think-thank said.
“For Chinese and Indian groups, government satisfaction was not a driver for their choice of political leader. In contrast, Malay and Bumiputera respondents who supported Muhyiddin registered significantly higher level of satisfaction with the government, in agreement with what Voters’ Worry-Satisfaction Valence model postulates – greater satisfaction with the incumbent government leads to its greater support by the rakyat,” it said.
According to the think-thank, one possible explanation to these perplexing results could be the unanimous yearning for government stability which was one of the most pronounced themes in these qualitative research study.
The discussants across all the Focus Group Discussions (FGD) reiterated on numerous occasions that government stability is the most crucial in these trying times.
“As one of the discussants sums it up: Many people said that this current government is the government that we need, not the government that you want, not the government that we have chosen,” it said.
The state-wide survey was conducted in August involving 2,096 respondents comprising Malaysians from all states including Sabah, Sarawak and the Federal Territory.
In a disclaimer, Emir Research states that since the FGD was conducted in July and the survey was in August, the poll does not take into account the latest happenings in the country which include the surge in COVID-19 new infections with the third wave that began in late September.
Emir Research also states the poll does not take into account the intense of politicking among politicians that has led to attempts at power grab culminating in the Sabah state election on Sept 26 and Anwar’s bombshell that he has the majority to carry him to Putrajaya, and finally the call for a state of emergency to be declared which was denied by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. — Bernama