Malaysians are more concerned with education and living costs compared to cutting corruption, which fell to fourth place out of 13 issues in a recent survey.
Communications agency Citrine One Sdn Bhd, which conducted the online survey, suggested this change of priorities indicates that the public may have moved on from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial scandal.
According to Citrine One, the top three issues Malaysians want the government to focus on today and improve in the future were education at 76.5 per cent, public safety (70.8 per cent) and cost of living (69.3 per cent).
“Interestingly, corruption (65.3 per cent) came in as a close fourth place in the ranking, implying the public may have moved on from the 1MDB issue and other high-profile corruption cases,” the firm said in a statement on the survey results.
Citrine One’s managing partner and crisis communications lead counsel Ivlynn Yap said the firm was surprised at the findings, where corruption was relegated to the fourth place.
“We thought corruption was still the key (issue), but apparently it’s not…When the survey came out and said education, public safety and cost of living are the key ones and these are urban people, then I think in summary from my point of view, the public has moved on from corruption cases,” she told reporters at the release of the survey findings.
Yap said that this indicated that Malaysians were currently more concerned about the three issues, with the tackling of corruption still being important but less of a priority now.
“They feel that it’s a given, now that you are in the government, you are to do what needs to be done, find out, clear it up, clean it; but at the same time, we want you to focus on these three main ones. Corruption is now number four in their minds,” she said, suggesting that the government may have to rethink its strategy.
Out of the 13 issues that more than 310 survey respondents selected as top priority, the rest also given relatively higher priority were public health (65.2 per cent), economic health (57.4 per cent), environmental safety (54.5 per cent), public transportation (52.2 per cent), public services delivery (49.8 per cent).
The other issues given top priority by respondents were poverty reduction at 47.3 per cent, international anti-discrimination agreement ICERD (41.1 per cent), child marriage (40.3 per cent) and foreign direct investment (29.7 per cent).
Each respondent were allowed to choose up to three from the 13 issues, and could give a ranking ranging from “top priority” to “least priority”.
Citrine One conducted the survey online with 321 respondents nationwide from January 22 to February 21 to gauge the public’s opinion on the fairly new ministers’ communications style and the effectiveness of their communication strategy. Respondents did not necessarily answer all the questions posed.
The respondents were mostly youths with the 18-30 year old age group forming 53.6 per cent, with the bulk of the 321 respondents from the highly-urbanised states of Selangor (31.2 per cent), Johor (19 per cent) and Kuala Lumpur (17.1 per cent).
College and university students formed the biggest chunk of the respondents at 30.5 per cent, followed by those in the education and services industries both at 16.5 per cent, media (12.8 per cent), corporate (11.2 per cent), technology at 6.5 per cent and government (5.9 per cent).
Yap told reporters that the survey was the public relations and crisis management agency’s own initiative, and that it was not commissioned by anyone.
In just months into the new administration under the Pakatan Harapan coalition, the federal government has taken on a stern stance against corruption and had even launched the five-year National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) 2019-2023 to eradicate graft.
A long list of former top-ranking government officials and politicians have also been charged over alleged corruption and other related offences, including former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
Najib himself faces a total of 42 charges of criminal wrongdoing, including those linked to the one of the world’s biggest corruption scandal namely 1MDB.
Source: Malay Mail