Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s approval rating dropped one per cent

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Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s approval rating dropped one per cent to 64 per cent in June but the government’s approval rating dipped six per cent to 42 per cent in the same month with a major drop in satisfaction coming from Malay voters, a Merdeka Centre survey revealed today.

The opinion survey conducted among voters in peninsular Malaysia showed that satisfaction with the prime minister’s performance declined among Malay and Indian voters from 79 per cent to 75 per cent, and from 72 per cent to 69 per cent, respectively. But Najib’s numbers among Chinese voters rose from 37 per cent in May to 42 per cent in June.

“The mixed views from the communities may likely be influenced by increased concerns over the state of the economy and, among Indian respondents, coupled with dissatisfaction over statements towards civil society activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan,” Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research said in a statement today.

“On the other hand, some respondents may have been well disposed towards the government’s intention to replace the Sedition Act, recognition of the degrees awarded by Tunku Abdul Rahman college as well as easing anger over the response to last April’s Bersih protests,” the country’s most respected polling centre said.

However, the stable and high satisfaction for the prime minister in the same survey was not reflected for the Barisan Nasional (BN) government which will have to call elections by April 2013.

The survey showed voters’ views of the government continued to decline with 42 per cent of respondents reporting that “they were happy with the government”, a drop of six per cent compared to the survey conducted in the middle of May 2012.

The pollster said the decline was particularly noticeable among Malay voters, where responses of those saying “happy” with the government declined from 65 per cent in May to 58 per cent in June 2012.

“In our view, the decline may have less to do with politics or how they perceive the prime minister but with how voters perceive the economy is performing and its effect on their livelihood,” Merdeka Centre said.

The same survey found that concerns over economic issues, particularly cost of living and wages, were topmost on the minds of voters, at 39 per cent of them compared to 33 per cent in May 2012.

This is followed by concerns over crime and social problems at 12 per cent and political issues at eight per cent.

The survey found that rising concerns over the economy may have also dampened the national outlook with 54 per cent saying the country is headed on the right track compared to 58 per cent in April 2012.

The survey was carried out by the Merdeka Centre between June 22 and 29 among 1,010 registered voters comprising 59 per cent Malay, 32 per cent Chinese and nine per cent Indian respondents who were interviewed by telephone in the poll. -KL-Today