Najib’s popularity dips even as polls beckon, survey shows

The Malaysian Insider
Jun 01, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s popularity has slipped in recent months, an opinion poll showed today, as he lost support among Chinese and middle-class voters ahead of a general election that he could call within months.

Najib is facing a dilemma over the timing of the election as his Barisan Nasional coalition seeks to reverse a dismal showing four years ago that deprived it of its two-thirds majority in parliament for the first time.

The 58-year-old leader has enjoyed high personal approval ratings, but analysts say it is unclear whether that will translate into increased support for his less popular Umno party and its allies.

Support for Najib slid to 65 per cent in the May poll from 69 per cent in March, according to the Merdeka Center, the country’s most respected polling firm.

The dip may add to speculation that Najib may choose to delay elections until after presenting the budget on September 28.

“The small gain in Malay voter satisfaction towards the PM appears to have been outweighed by the large negative swing among Chinese voters,” Merdeka Center said in a statement.

The poll found that approval for Najib was weakest among the Chinese, tumbling 19 percentage points to 37 per cent. Among those in the middle income bracket, this fell 18 percentage points to 50 per cent. His popularity among Malays, who form the majority of Malaysia’s population, rose 5 percentage points to 79 per cent.

Voters’ views on the government remained lukewarm, with approval staying unchanged at 48 per cent.

The survey was carried out between May 10 and May 18 among 1,019 registered voters to gauge sentiment after an anti-government protest in April.

Najib’s popularity has been lifted by giveaways to lower-income households and reforms to repressive security laws. He announced Malaysia’s first national minimum wage at the end of April in another boost for poorer voters.

He has faced a tougher struggle winning over middle class voters, however. At least 25,000 demonstrators rallied in Kuala Lumpur in April to demand reforms to an electoral system they say favours the ruling coalition.

The protest ended in chaos after police fired teargas and water cannon to disperse crowds. Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was charged in May for defying a court order related to the protest and could be disqualified from parliament if convicted.

A separate Merdeka Center poll after the protest showed that 92 per cent of Malaysians want shortcomings in the country’s electoral rolls to be fixed before the election. That survey also found that only 44 per cent of respondents were confident of a free and fair election process. — Reuters

  1. #1 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 2 June 2012 - 8:06 am

    Chua Soi Lek is beginning to look like a pareeeah in Penang after what Ong Tee Keat said: Penang Port was not going to be privatised under OTK’s watch.

    Hello, CSL, the Chinese have this saying: Better to eat humble porridge than to be an opulent pareeeah. You don’t know-ah? Becos u englsh-educATed, uneducated, non-Chinese or simply stupid? Tick any one of the above or all of the above.

  2. #2 by yhsiew on Saturday, 2 June 2012 - 8:07 am

    If he delays elections, more scandals will be divulged by the French court and the Malaysian economy may slip into recession.

  3. #3 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 2 June 2012 - 8:42 am

    The revelation of selling state secrets to the French puts UMNO-Perkasa/BN as confirmed ENEMY OF THE STATE..UMNO-Perkasa/BN is no longer just clear and present danger to the state – they are have attacked the state – we are at war with UMNO-Perkasa/BN..

  4. #4 by Winston on Saturday, 2 June 2012 - 9:56 am

    With the series of serious misdeeds so continuously publicised, even in the the MSM, it is very surprising that he even has any popularity left!!!
    Even the handling out of goodies should not raise his popularity, given the very serious malicious shenanigans that have been going on.
    All this can mean only one thing.
    That PR is NOT doing its job in convincing the people, especially the Malays, of the clear and present dangers facing them and this country.
    In fact, these info, in the hands of a capable propagandist will be a God-send!!!!

  5. #5 by Godfather on Saturday, 2 June 2012 - 10:26 am

    Oh dear, Najib needs to get his approval rating back up to 69 pct before calling for elections…but then everything is falling apart at the seams….

  6. #6 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 2 June 2012 - 11:04 am

    I looked into the crystal ball this morning….and I see najib is a has-been.

  7. #7 by boh-liao on Saturday, 2 June 2012 - 11:38 am

    2 make himself n his char bor popular among our youths, he spent, spent, spent taxpayers’ $$$$ (>RM10 mil) 2 entertain our youths (wonder how much UmnoB/BN sapu?)

  8. #8 by dagen wanna "ABU" on Saturday, 2 June 2012 - 11:50 am

    Umno will not regain two third majority. I am quite certain. Umno will either secure a much narrower win or suffer a narrow defeat. Of course with bersih in place the outcome in all likelihood bo a comfortable victory for pakatan. Between a narrow win and the narrow defeat what would umno do? Jib gave us an indication. There would be crushed bodies and lost lives, he pronounced. Now that is worrying. But seeing how umno leaders conduct themselves lately, i think umno is too fragmented to undertake any serious effort to crush the bodies and rob the lives of others. In other words, umno would just disintegrate.

    So more than fighting umno in ge13 we must stand our ground. Stand firm. Do not concede even an inch.

  9. #9 by boh-liao on Saturday, 2 June 2012 - 11:53 am

    Rice d Yes Minister told ahCheatkor, no worry master, d Himpunan Hijau ke Putrajaya in Alor Setar attended only by 1000 PAS supporters, U r still very popular n much loved

  10. #10 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 2 June 2012 - 8:46 pm

    Naajib, if you are jantan enough, debate Anwar Ibrahim. Yes, ask BBC Sackur or anyone else to be moderator.

    If you are not jantan enough, don’t forever tok kok. And don’t keep issuing hints you are going to cause trouble after losing the elections. We don’t like bad losers. Pergi main jauh-jauh.

  11. #11 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 2 June 2012 - 9:00 pm

    BTW, Najib, when FGVH lists, my friends and I will not buy any shares.

    1) Top of the list, I don’t trust Mohd Isa, ex-NS MB to run FELDA. Yikes!

    2) I feel like many do that FELDA settlers are being ‘defrauded’. Hello, Felda is settlers, settlers is felda. Period. How did Isa & his UMNO macai come into the equation?

    O anjib, fikir-lah fikir dulu.

  12. #12 by monsterball on Saturday, 2 June 2012 - 10:48 pm

    I do not believe Najib has 69% support from voters.
    Maybe from innocent school children.
    If he had that strong support…he will not hesitate one minute to announce 13th GE date.
    Just look at how he insults the real patriots…the BERSIH participants.
    He must win with dirty tactics and cheating for the love of his life.

  13. #13 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 3 June 2012 - 1:04 am

    The Malays just love Najib because he has a baby-face with pink lips unlike the other fellow who looks like Rasputin with his janggut.

    Najib smiles more unlike this other fellow who hardly smile but just talk, yell, talk, yell about things that don’t interest these simple folks.

    Its all about appearance for many of them who will vote based on who looks better, not who can deliver, who is trustworthy or who has a purer heart. If they like your looks, they will vote for you, period.

  14. #14 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 3 June 2012 - 1:09 am

    So you need to work on charming these people not on trying to discuss issues with them. This is why Wanita UMNO can be very effective at times.

  15. #15 by k1980 on Sunday, 3 June 2012 - 7:21 am

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