Saturday, October 23, 2021

For Malay voters, survival trumps institutional reforms, study shows

In terms of reforms, the economy and education take pole position.

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Malay voters prioritise survival over institutional reforms although they are open to the idea, a survey conducted by independent pollster Ilham Centre shows.

Its executive director Hisommudin Bakar said in this regard, the results demonstrate that economic and educational reforms take precedence.

“Bread and butter issues are prioritised over all else,” he said at a virtual press conference today.

“The main consideration of the Malays when making choices in life is their survival. Other agendas like parliamentary and governmental reform, reforms to the administration, judiciary, media, elections and others – such themes are too distant from them,” he added.

He said this was evident from the survey feedback obtained from 1,262 Malay respondents chosen through random sampling as well as 93 others involved in group discussions.

Similar studies however have yet to be conducted on non-Malay voters to gauge their sentiments on the matter of institutional reforms.

On the question of which institution should be prioritised for reforms, Hisommudin said 32% of respondents believed the focus should be on the economy and education followed by government administration (27%), Parliament (13%), the judiciary (7%) and others (12%).

“This is further supported by the finding that 31% of respondents said priority right now should be given to strategies to eradicate poverty and tackle the cost of living,” he said.

“This was followed by 29% of respondents who said the focus should be on raising the people’s economy.”

He added that statements related to institutional reforms are also closely linked to political movements rather than the value of the reforms themselves.

The study concluded that ideas on the implementation of reforms should take into account the sensibilities of the Malay-Muslims as the majority group in the country.

“Any party that desires success in the agenda of institutional reforms needs to understand their values, culture, language, norms, demographics and psychography to manage the sentiments and win the trust and support of the Malays,” he said.

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