April 27, 2018
GE-14: Najib Razak and BN Cohorts likely to retain Putrajaya, says Merdeka Center Pollster Ibrahim Ben Suffian
by Annabelle Lee@www.malaysiakini.com
GE14 | BN has recovered from its low approval ratings previously caused by the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the revelation of the 1MDB affair, according to pollster Merdeka Center.
Its Programme Director Ibrahim Suffian presented data that showed sentiments towards the incumbent federal government had improved, with approval ratings increasing to 39 percent generally and to 47 percent among the Malays.
This, he said, was enough for BN to extend its hold on power in the 14th general election (GE14).
“Over the last five years, the figures have gone down but figures have also started to recover. Not quite near where things were in early 2013 but very close, and we have two weeks left (before the May 9 polling day).
“So we can say that in the last two and a half to three years, from the pits of the mid-2015 when the 1MDB scandal first broke out, the government has been slowly inching its way forward…nearly reaching the point of achieving nearly 50 percent of the (Malay) people on their side.
“[…] Also, Malay voters tend to support the government more and are more positive towards the government compared to everybody else.
“That is why even when you have low popular vote but specially crafted electoral boundaries that favour rural Bumiputera areas, the incumbent will continue to dominate Parliament and politics of this country because (the Malays) are with them, they appreciate (the government) more,” he said.
Ibrahim was speaking at the “Malaysia GE14 Outlook: Perspectives and Outcomes” forum, which was held at the University of Nottingham in Kuala Lumpur last night.
His graphs showed that back in 2015 when the GST was introduced and the 1MDB affair first came to light, general satisfaction with the direction of the country dropped drastically to 16 percent.
However, ratings began to rise when BN won the Sarawak state elections as well as the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections in 2016.
UMNO’s Najib Razak is expected to win GE-14
It later rose again in 2017 after Malaysia successfully hosted and won the South East Asian (SEA) Games and after Budget 2018 was announced. Ibrahim added that the tax relief provisions and many “goodies” comprised in the budget had worked in BN’s favour.
At the forum, he also predicted that Kelantan would fall to BN while the much-talked-about “Malay tsunami” would have limited benefits for Harapan due to the opposition’s inability to connect with Malay conservative voters.
Malaysia goes to the polls on May 9.