Poll: Malay voters pick Anwar over Zahid for next PM
A survey among 1,622 Malay respondents has found BN and PAS voters among those who chose PKR president-designate Anwar Ibrahim over Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as the best candidate to take over from Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
According to the survey by think-tank Ilham Centre and commissioned by online portal The Malaysian Insight, 42 percent of the respondents chose Anwar, compared to 24 percent who picked Zahid.
The majority of the respondents said they had voted for BN in the 14th general election (46 percent), while 35 percent had voted for PAS, and 17 percent had voted for Harapan.
Umno deputy president Mohamad Hassan was the respondents’ third choice for prime minister with eight percent of the votes, followed by Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (seven percent), and Economic Affairs Minister Azmin Ali (four percent).
While Harapan parties had reached a consensus that Anwar would be appointed as the 8th prime minister to succeed Mahathir, certain quarters within PKR had recently raised concerns about alleged attempts to sabotage the plan.
‘Racial-religious sentiments a swing factor’
Meanwhile, the survey also found that a majority of the respondents were swayed by communal sentiments played up by Harapan’s critics. The four top issues are the appointments of Tommy Thomas and Richard Malanjum as attorney-general and chief justice respectively; recognition of the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) and the DAP’s perceived domination in the government.
According to the study, 61 percent and 68 percent of the respondents disagreed with Malanjum’s and Thomas’ appointments respectively.
More than 1,000 respondents, or 69 percent, said they disagreed with UEC recognition, while 55 percent believed that DAP holds a key influence in the government.
The two remaining issues were whether PAS was better than Harapan in looking after the welfare of Malay-Muslims and whether Harapan could look after the rights and position of Malays and Islam.
Overall, more than half the respondents for the survey, which was conducted from June 1 to July 30, were in the northern states, Selangor and the Federal Territories. The majority live in cities (66 percent) and the rest in the suburbs (19 percent) and rural areas (15 percent). Men reportedly made up 51 percent of the respondents. In terms of demographics, the study was restricted to respondents aged above 21 – the majority being in the age range between 40 and 49. Those aged below 40 made up 35 percent of the respondents, while the remaining 35 percent were aged between 50 to above 60.