July 28, 2012
Najib’s Approval Rating Fall: A Concern for Barisan Nasional
by Nigel Aw (07-27-12)@http://www.malaysiakini.com
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s falling approval rating may spell trouble for the Barisan Nasional (BN), for Najib has spent the past few years trying to rebuild the ruling coalition based on his personal popularity, PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli said today.
“I believe those in the BN are already worried about Najib’s approach, for he is campaigning as if he’s the heartbeat and saviour of BN, but at the same time, he has failed to prop up the other component parties in BN.
“It is not a team effort. Najib believes it is his personal strength that will pull BN up,” Rafizi told a press conference at the PKR headquarters this afternoon.
He noted that Najib’s predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi went into the 2008 general election with a 72 percent approval rating and when BN was much stronger then. However, the ruling coalition lost its two-thirds majority, five states and Kuala Lumpur.
According to pollster Merdeka Centre, which released its latest survey on the prime minister yesterday, Najib’s approval rating has fallen by one percent point since May to 64 percent in June.
Despite Najib’s relatively higher rating, Merdeka Centre said, for the first time in a month more people expressed dissatisfaction with the government, at 44 percent compared with 42 percent among those who were satisfied.
Fall in support shows a ‘disconnect’
Rafizi said the fall in support, particularly among Malay voters showed a “disconnect” between reality and Najib’s Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
“And now, with the government setting ‘Janji Ditepati’ as its Merdeka theme, it’s even more dangerous because people will be even more discerning,” he said.
One example, he said, was the continuous slide in the share price of Felda Global Venture Holdings Bhd (FGV) in the past week – an issue close to the Malay community – despite promises to Felda settlers of good returns when it was first listed.
“With such a slogan, if the share prices fail to meet expectations, people will say, Janji tidak ditepati (Promises not fulfilled),” Rafizi said.
The FGV share was RM4.55 when first listed on Bursa Malaysia, before soaring to RM5.41 on a single day. However, the price has been on a steady decline since and stood at RM5.12 today.