Friday, April 02, 2010

Two thirds of Malays agree with Perkasa, says new survey

The latest Merdeka Centre survey finds that most Malays agree with Perkasa on the issue of quota for the Malays. - Picture by Jack Ooi
Nearly seventy per cent of Malay voters in peninsular Malaysia agree with Perkasa’s demands that the government should not dismantle quotas and economic protection for Malays, while about 20 per cent disagreed according to a recent survey.

Malays surveyed were also roughly split down the middle on remarks by leaders of Perkasa, the right-wing Malay NGO that Chinese are trying to take over the country.

The survey conducted by independent pollster Merdeka Centre suggests that Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak will face substantial obstacles in pushing through his reforms.

The prime minister recently announced his New Economic Model (NEM) which proposes to roll back race-based affirmative action policies to reduce the patronage and rent-seeking associated with the New Economic Policy (NEP).

“My point of view is that what Perkasa is saying mirrors that of those who support Umno,” Merdeka Centre chief Ibrahim Suffian told The Malaysian Insider.

“The split response (on the question of Chinese trying to take over the country) corresponds closely to the current situation.”

He added that Malays appear to support Perkasa on issues related to their economic interests but less on the other issues.

Merdeka Centre polled 883 registered voters in West Malaysia between March 11 and March 27. The survey found that 44 per cent of Malays agreed with views by groups like Perkasa that Chinese are trying to take over the country while 47 per cent of Malays disagreed.

In the case of Chinese voters polled, seven per cent agreed with Perkasa while 80 per cent disagreed, while five per cent of Indians agreed and 89 per cent disagreed.

When asked about demands by Perkasa that the government should not dismantle quotas and protection for Malays in the economic sphere, 68 per cent of Malays agreed while 18 per cent disagreed. As for the Chinese, 8 per cent agreed with Perkasa while 74 per cent disagreed and 30 per cent of Indians agreed while 49 per cent disagreed.

Asked if groups like Perkasa would help Umno and Barisan Nasional win the next election, 61 per cent of Malays agreed while 20 per cent disagreed. Fifty three per cent of Chinese disagreed and 19 per cent agreed with the question while 62 per cent of Indians agreed and 20 per cent disagreed.

Perkasa is positioning itself as a pressure group to the government especially on the continuation of preferential treatment for Malays under the Najib administration’s NEM.

Perkasa’s inaugural congress last Sunday was launched by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who once made Ibrahim a deputy minister of law in his 22-year administration.

The Malay right-wing group has spread to all states since the Independent MP founded it two years ago. It counts many Umno stalwarts among its pro-tem committee officials and has protested the Najib administration’s move to open up the economy and reform affirmative action policies.

Perkasa has warned political parties, especially Umno, not to be “enemies” with the movement if it wants support in the next general election.

Courtesy of Malaysian Insider

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