Nearly half of voters polled in a recent survey said they lacked confidence in the government’s handing of financial scandals involving Putrajaya’s strategic development fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd, while 33% said they were unsure.
Only 18% expressed confidence in the government’s ability to handle the issue, the survey by independent pollster Merdeka Center and business radio station BFM found.
Overall, the survey revealed that younger voters were more likely to report a lack of confidence in Putrajaya’s handling of the debt-ridden fund, compared with older voters.
Those who reported having no confidence among younger voters were 57% compared with 40% among those 60 years old and above.
Meanwhile, nearly 70% of those polled – comprising mostly voters from the low income group – were unaware as to what the 1MDB controversy was all about.
The survey also revealed that 75% did not know what the role of 1MDB was supposed to be.
This figure was highest among Malay voters (at 81%), those without internet access (87%), those from households below RM3,000 a month (87%) and those who relied upon the mainstream media for their news (at 65%).
Asked who they felt was responsible for the 1MDB controversy, 52% of voters said they were unsure, while 6% said they did not know.
Of the remainder, 18% felt the prime minister was responsible, 16% said the federal government, while 5% named the 1MDB management.
The survey was conducted between March 12 and 27 this year and involved 1,011 registered voters. They comprised 60% Malays, 30% Chinese and 10% Indian in Peninsular Malaysia and were polled through telephone.
The survey found that lower income respondents were more likely to answer that they did not know when asked about the government’s handling of 1MDB, compared with those from higher income groups.
It showed that 50% among households earning less than RM1,500 per month reported uncertainty compared with 21% among those from households earning RM5,000 per month or higher.
The findings also revealed that 33% felt they were personally affected by the scandal, with this group coming mainly from upper income households, ethnic Chinese voters, and those from the private sector and business owners.
However, 36% felt they were not affected, while 31% polled said they were uncertain.
Merdeka Center’s programme director Ibrahim Suffian (pic) said the survey’s findings on the lack of awareness about 1MDB was due to the issue’s complex nature, as well as the lack of coverage in the mainstream media.
“Malaysian political history is awash with past instances of alleged financial scandals over which a considerable amount of public funds were committed towards their rehabilitation.
A personal opinion:
Not until recently when Tun Mahathir assumed the mantle leading the charge of the onslaught of the 1MDB opaque management and highly dubious dealings – that ,finally, the Malaysian public across all political affiliations has started to take the allegations seriously.
Up to then ,only the opposition has been taking swipes at the 1MDB fund for years,but were mainly brushed off as another gimmicky tactic to discredit the Najib administration.
And PM Najib has gone to the extent of suing lawmakers from the opposition for defamation ,namely Tony Pua -on their criticism and allegations of impropriety in the management of the 1MDB fund.
A counter productive and ill advised measure for the PM but intriguing for the general public.Who knows what else can be dredged up and what testimonies will come forward to present more validity to the allegations of dubious dealings.
If this defamation suit holds water,it ll mean Najib will have to jointly or in a separate suit -go after TDM for defaming him as well -since the Tun is doing far more damage to Najib’s competency ,credibility and reputation than Tony Pua can ever hoped for.
And in the same light ,sue also Rafizi and the other MPs and hundreds of Malaysians who have been heavily critical of the facts in 1MDB and have made their criticism known via social media…
TDM might just make a great material witness for the 1MDB issue-,who knows what other incriminating details he is holding close to his chest,or if he is agreeable,a witness to vouch for the validity of the 1MDB criticism..
And it doesn’t seem he is going to silence himself anytime soon on his damning criticism –
Only thing Najib can sue Tony is for the remark that nobody dares to stand up to the PM in UMNO/BN.
Guess TDM proved the inaccuracy of the remark.! So perhaps thats the only erroneous point Tony can apologize for and stand corrected !
But as for the 1MDB details.Tony must stand his ground defending the veracity of the criticisms.
Truth hurts PM Najib, but this bitter medicine must be dispensed and swallowed for the well being of the nation.
In the meantime ,the Malaysian public across the political divide has finally sat up and taken notice of the less than stellar performance of the Najib administration.The current PM has to be the most scandal tainted and controversial ridden premier in Malaysia’s UMNO/BN 60 year run of the country..
Even before his ascension to the top post ,he already carried the baggage of a mystifying murder mystery of a Mongolian lady (Altantuya),who was blown to smithereens with C4 explosives after being shot in the head- by assassins who just happened to be Special Branch policemen on the then Defence Minister Najib’s security detail .
Not a very auspicious start to a leader of an entire nation with such aspersions hanging over his head.
A grisly murder that stumped the public -for it was never established what the motives were and who in fact commisioned the deed.And the imagination of the public on the PM’s invovlement was allowed to exarcebate. No credible attempts were made to pacify the public and win back their confidence on the sinister insinuations.
In between the murder aspersions and the current mis-management of the 1MDB fund -there has been numerous controversies and scandals -religious controversies , ethnic frictions,,cover ups of corruption ,broken promises to the people and over zealous abuse of law enforcement (cow-gate and TBH , sedition act, off timing imposition of GST etc etc) that just doesn’t augur well for the credibility of a strong firm and skilled manager of a country’s affairs.
On the contrary ,it serves to re-enforce public perception of an inept administration who can’t tell the right hand from the left-
Clueless ,disoriented , by and large mostly lacking of substance in the quality of the ministers -if there are words to associate to the Najib administration.
And now if there is anything that may rally public opinion against this current administration ,it might be the collective dis taste on how the 1MDB fund is seen to be mis-used and beneficial to no one but selective individuals and is draining the country’s financial resources that can be diverted to so much productive usage to alleviate hardships or enrich the lower to middle classes. Creating jobs ,business opportunities ,entrepreneurial courses.,development of nation’s infrastructure,or park the billions somewhere credible ,advised by local economist /financial consultants -acknowledged by all as transparent and earning interests/forex on the side.
Even some die hard UMNO pa ciks mak ciks in the kampungs know about 1MDB and that it is not a good thing for the country.Goes without saying the urban dwellers who know much more.
It is just a matter of time until the tie -in to the current goverment administration and competence or lack of- leadership will click in these mindsets.,if it hasn’t happen already.
Especially when Tun M has lent his voice to create awareness among those that has always been firmly entrenched in UMNO as the champion of their interests..
The battle for hearts and minds and public perception across the political /ethnic divide of the common citizenry now has Najib;s faction on the vulnerable defensive.
1MDB may be the Achilles heel that weakens and eventually leads to the unravelling or worst ,demise of the current administration and especially the current person in charge.