Voters not convinced Pakatan can run federal government

By Leslie Lau, Consultant Editor (Malaysian Insider)

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 – A majority of voters in peninsular Malaysia remain unconvinced Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is a viable alternative to Barisan Nasional (BN) to rule the country at federal level although they are largely satisfied with the way states under the fledgling coalition is being administered, a new poll shows.

The poll conducted by the independent Merdeka Center from Sept 29-Oct 4 showed 47 per cent of registered voters in peninsular Malaysia were unconvinced PR was a viable alternative to BN while 32 per cent are convinced.
However, 21 per cent of respondents did not offer a response, suggesting a large swing vote was still up for grabs.
The Merdeka Center poll also suggests that Malay voters tipped the balance against PR in the survey, with 56 per cent of respondents from the community unconvinced by PR compared with just 25 per cent who thought PR could rule at federal level. A total of 19 per cent of Malay voters did not respond.
A majority of Chinese and Indian voters, however, were convinced PR could be a viable alternative to BN. Some 43 per cent of Chinese respondents and 42 per cent of Indian voters are convinced with PR. However, 31 per cent of Chinese voters and 38 per cent of Indian respondents remain unconvinced with PR.
The survey also suggested that even in states with strong PR support, voters were not convinced the alliance could rule at federal level.
In Kuala Lumpur, where the majority of MPs are from PR, 57 per cent of respondents were unconvinced with PR with only 28 per cent convinced.
In Kelantan, ruled by PAS since 1990, just 38 per cent of respondents from the state were convinced a PR federal government was viable compared with 41 per cent of voters who did not.
Only in Penang, which is now ruled by a DAP-led PR government, were a majority of voters convinced a PR federal government was viable. A total of 49 per cent of respondents in Penang were convinced compared with 30 per cent who were not.
The picture was more positive for the PR coalition at state level. Overall, 46 per cent of respondents were satisfied with the performance of the four PR state governments in Penang, Kedah, Kelantan and Selangor. Some 34 per cent are dissatisfied while 20 per cent did not respond.
Broken down along state lines, PR’s approval rating as state administrators was 56 per cent in Penang, 52 per cent in Selangor, 50 per cent in Kelantan and 48 per cent in Kedah.
In Perak, which is now a BN state following the February power grab, 42 per cent of respondents there were satisfied with PR’s performance in states it still controls.
In Kuala Lumpur, which has no state government, 61 per cent believed PR was doing a satisfactory job at state level.
Along ethnic lines, only 33 per cent of Malay respondents were satisfied with PR state governments, compared with 47 per cent who were dissatisfied. A total of 65 per cent of Chinese respondents were happy with PR state governments while 58 per cent of Indian voters were satisfied.
According to the Merdeka Center, a total of 846 registered voters were randomly selected for the poll. The margin of error was 3.4 per cent.