Ismail Sabri, Muhyiddin and Anwar most popular PM candidates - Survey

Najib won a place in the hearts of Felda settlers while Zahid did not get any votes

01 Nov 2022 06:55pm
Ismail Sabri, Muhyiddin, Anwar.
Ismail Sabri, Muhyiddin, Anwar.

SHAH ALAM - Umno vice president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and PH chairman Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim are three of the four Prime Minister candidates who are the primary choice of voters ahead of the 15th General Election (GE15).

Ilham Centre Chief Researcher Associate Professor Dr Mohd Yusri Ibrahim said that based on preliminary projections made by the political research firm, Ismail Sabri was ahead with the support of 19 per cent of respondents of various races, followed by Muhyiddin (13 per cent) and Anwar (11 per cent).

In addition to the three candidates, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is currently in Kajang Prison, is also one of the Prime Minister candidates preferred by voters with 11 per cent support.

However, the candidacy of Umno President Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was projected to have no response from 1,622 respondents who participated in the Ilham Centre field study as he did not receive any votes at all.

"Based on the data from Malay respondents, Muslim Bumiputera, non-Muslim Bumiputera and village residents, these three segments were found to choose Ismail Sabri as the main candidate with a vote of 23 per cent (Malays), 20 per cent (Muslim Bumiputera), 22 per cent (non-Muslim Bumiputera) Islam) and 23 per cent (villagers).

"For the non-Malay segment, especially among Chinese respondents, Anwar is more popular among them when Chinese respondents voted 24 per cent, Indians (19 per cent) and urban residents (18 per cent).

"The segment of respondents who tend to support Muhyiddin consists of 21 to 29-year-old voters (18 per cent) and suburban respondents (20 per cent), while Najib is popular among the Felda plan land locality group (48 per cent)," Dr Yusri said.

He said this based on the findings of the Suara Rakyat Malaysia Towards GE15 study, which was carried out from Sept 19 to Oct 9 by a collaboration of five multilingual media, namely Sinar Harian, Astro Awani, The Star, Sin Chew Daily and Malaysia Nanban.

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In addition to Ilham Centre, the mega survey also got the cooperation of two other research firms, namely O2 Research Malaysia (O2) and Huayan Policy Institute Centre for Malaysia Chinese Studies (Huayan).

Each of these research firms conducted surveys with their own methodology as mutually agreed, including face-to-face and online surveys involving 5,081 respondents.

Although the three research firms conducted the survey separately with their own methodology and target respondents, the results obtained were almost the same.

Based on the age segment of voters, Dr Yusri said Ismail Sabri dominated the support of respondents aged 18-20 years (20 per cent), 30-39 years (18 per cent), 40-49 years (23 per cent), 50-59 years (22 per cent) and 60 years and above (19 per cent).

Commenting on the factor of Ismail Sabri being the main choice of the respondents, Dr Yusri saw the service record of the Bera parliamentary seat holder without any controversial issues during more than a year of steering the Malaysian Family government as the main key for him not to face the problem of people's rejection.

Regarding Muhyiddin, who received the second highest nomination for the position of Prime Minister, he was of the view that the Bersatu President had benefited from the results of his excellent record while he steered the PN government, especially in the aspect of channelling various strategic financial assistance plans to the people throughout the period the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Yusri added Anwar was the choice of non-Malay respondents and urban areas because of the great leadership character he showed when he was Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister before.

In addition, he also described the key to Anwar's election could be because he was the only prominent leader of the political coalition other than Zahid who had not been elected as Prime Minister.

"Another interesting finding from our study is that a total of 21 per cent of respondents voted regardless of which Prime Minister candidate was elected in GE15.

"There are several factors leading to the result of the findings, which is that the group of respondents are still waiting to see which PM candidate will make the best political offer.

"Apart from that, the other main factor is that they are experiencing political lethargy due to the many political dramas after GE14 and are not enthusiastic about the current Prime Ministerial candidates," he said.