PKR-linked Invoke Centre for Policy Initiatives (Invoke) revealed some interesting findings of a survey.
- Primary voter concerns: rising cost of living, GST, stagnant wages, influx of foreign labour
- “Malay” support for PH and BN almost even at 36% and 35% respectively
- Chinese and Indian support for PH and BN at 53% and 42% respectively
- Invoke claims survey findings show PH may be able to win the next election
The nationwide survey was conducted through random phone calls made by Invoke from Jun 5 to Jul 14. The exercise reached out to more than 2.67 million registered voters but only 17,107 provided answers to all the questions asked.
The 17,107 respondents comprised 11,769 Malays (69%), 3,377 Chinese (20%), 1,046 Sabah and Sarawak Bumiputera (6%) and 915 Indians (5%).
The research polled voters on their sentiments towards key issues ahead of the general election and to gauge their political leanings.
Respondents were asked about various topics, including the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue, the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the move to increase Shariah punishments in Malaysia
In a press conference yesterday, PKR vice-president and Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli said that voters, especially those still sitting on the fence, care less about corruption and 1MDB than they do about the rising cost of living and the GST.
According to Rafizi, who is a coordinator of Invoke, interest in scandals and controversies surrounding the government has declined acutely while concerns over living costs have surged.
“The voters named economic issues affecting the people as the main concern, way above issues of scandals and corruption, at a ratio of 5:1,” Rafizi said.
The majority of respondents were worried about matters such as stagnant wages, the influx of foreign labour and its impact on local employment, and fuel prices.
In view of the findings, Rafizi said the opposition coalition should shift its focus towards bread-and-butter issues and speak of solutions to these problems rather than continue to use attack politics as its main thrust.
“We shouldn’t be too carried away with 1MDB. We must address issues affecting the people, and it must be done continuously until it is finalised in the (Pakatan Harapan) election manifesto.
“We must do this not just in our ceramah, where the attendees no matter what, will support us.
“We must attract the fence-sitters, that is those who are going on social media and other media, reading and listening to what both the government and the opposition are saying,” Rafizi said.
He also said that the support for Barisan Nasional (BN) has dwindled due to their failure to properly address the people’s concerns over matters that affect their day-to-day lives.
Rafizi believes this can be used to Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) advantage but warned that there must be less reliance on the public’s anger towards the government and the prime minister.
“This is because BN can compensate for their past ignorance by handing out election ‘goodies’ in the announcement of Budget 2018 this October, in preparation for the next general election.
“If you focus solely on the anger towards Najib, while BN is giving out goodies, there’s a chance that the fence-sitters would swing to BN.
“The fence-sitters only want to hear what’s important (to them). So if BN is smart, they will give out money and change policies (closer to the elections).
“So I think PH needs to immediately move to the next phase, which is providing solutions on, for example, how to reduce foreign workers here,” Rafizi said.
He also revealed that the survey found that 36% of the “Malay” respondents had either directly or indirectly expressed support for PH, just 1% higher than the number of those who supported BN. Only 14% appeared to be supporting PAS, while another 15% are still on the fence.
Rafizi stressed that it is important to note, however, that the answers provided by Sabah and Sarawak Bumiputera respondents were included under the “Malay” category. He said if they were to have their own category, they would have to be divided into different ethnicities which would make the numbers “so small and insignificant”.
The survey also found that 53% of the Chinese respondents directly or indirectly stated their support for PH, more than double the support expressed for BN, which is 22%. Only 1% expressed support for PAS, while 23% are undecided.
Among Indian respondents, 44% said their support lies with BN, 42% with PH, 3% with PAS, while 10% are still on the fence.
Rafizi said, “With this level of support, there is a reasonable probability that BN will be defeated in the 14th general election,” adding that this s subject to PH successfully offering solutions to bread-and-butter issues at are important to voters.