Perak Crisis : Nizar Is Still More Popular Than Zambry! – Merdeka Centre Survey

Merdeka Center conducted a survey of 805 registered voters from Perak and asked them about their views on the direction of the state, its current economic conditions, their views on government leaders and the changes that they have seen since the Barisan Nasional takeover in February 2009.


Only 38% of the voters in Perak feel that the state is headed in the right direction while 44% felt that it was headed in the wrong direction. There was a marked difference along ethnic lines where 57% of Malay respondents and 48% of Indians but only 12% of Chinese respondents believed that the state was headed in the right direction.

It is useful to note however that number of people saying that the state is in the right direction has marginally increased from April 2009, i.e. from 31% to 38%.

Voter sentiments relating to the economy remains mixed and ethnically polarized. Overall however, only 42% of Perakians say that present economic conditions are favorable. With respect to the future, voters are again split with 42% optimistic about the economy while 43% was not optimistic.

The same sentiments were also expressed with the voters’ confidence in the state government’s management of the economy. The survey found that while 60% of Malay respondents were confident, only 19% of ethnic Chinese respondents say that they were confident.

Approval Ratings

De facto Menteri Besar Dr Zambry Abdul Kader state-wide approval rating is 43% drawn largely from the Malay and one-half of the ethnic Indian electorate. Meanwhile, Pakatan Rakyat Menteri Besar Nizar Jamaluddin has an approval rating of 46% drawn largely from a majority of the ethnic Chinese, one-half of ethnic Indians and slightly over one-third of the Malay electorate.

Developments since February 2009

A large majority – 74% – of the voters interviewed continue to feel that state-wide elections remain the best way to resolve the political problems in Perak today. This sentiment was detected in all ethnic groups. 2

More importantly, 65% of the respondents, comprising large majorities from each ethnic group feel that the Perak political issue remains relevant today, one year since the events took place.

When asked about the impact of the takeover on a number of factors ranging from the state economy to the performance of the state bureaucracy, less than 40% of the respondents felt that the takeover has had a positive impact on the items asked.

Interestingly, only 45% of the Malay voters agreed that the takeover has improved the political position of the Malays in the state as opposed to 15% who felt that things remained unchanged, and the 28% who felt that things have worsened.

When asked to choose between giving the economy a priority or ensuring that the government was democratically elected, 60% of the respondents (including 58% of Malays) felt that democratic elections were more important. – merdeka centre


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