A survey consisting of 3,415 respondents from all walks of life found that 69% of Malaysians were satisfied with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's performance as the eighth Prime Minister
The survey was conducted between 15 July and 10 August by independent pollster Merdeka Center.
In comparison to Datuk Sri Najib Razak and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during their last months of holding the premier post, Muhyiddin's current approval rating is about 30% higher than his former predecessors.
Before leaving their posts in April 2018 and February 2020 respectively, Najib had an approval rating of 38%, while Dr Mahathir at 37%.
"The survey found some significant ethnic variances, whereby nine out of 10 Malay and Bumiputera from Sabah and Sarawak gave the PM the thumbs up, while 65% of Indian and only 33% Chinese were satisfied with him," Merdeka Center programme director Ibrahim Suffian wrote in a statement.
"(Muhyiddin's) approval rating continues to be in a comfortable, positive territory considering that he has held the position since March 2020."
The government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economy
93% of the respondents said they were satisfied with the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the percentage took a dive when asked about the government's handling of the economy. Only 61% of the respondents were satisfied with that.
The survey also found that only 38% of those who polled were happy with the government's effort in combating corruption.
When asked about their confidence in Perikatan Nasional (PN) to bring Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians to justice, 56% of the Malay respondents said they were confident, while 73% and 51% of the Chinese and Indian respondents, respectively, were not confident.
Meanwhile, 61% of them agreed with the Kuala Lumpur High Court's verdict on Najib in the SRC International case. There is a noticeable trend that people with a higher income agreed with the court's decision more than those with a lower income.
When looking at the sentiments respondents had towards political coalitions and their component parties, Pakatan Harapan (PH) received the highest negative score
PH consisting of DAP, PKR, and Amanah scored the highest negative rating of 52%.
PN had the highest positive score at 51%, followed by BN (40%), PAS (39%), Muafakat Nasional (36%), and Bersatu (28%).
Malay voters responded positively towards PN and Muafakat Nasional (MN) coalitions - 74% and 70% respectively - while Bersatu (43%) and PH (17%) had the worst scores.
"60% of Malay voters support Bersatu to join MN, which is the coalition formed by UMNO and PAS in 2019," Ibrahim said.
"65% of Malay voters prefer UMNO to be in PN, but 25% do not think so. Similarly, 68% of Malay voters prefer PAS to be a part of the PN coalition."
In his concluding comments, Ibrahim said the findings indicated that Malay voters were happy with the formation of unified Malay political coalition
According to him, this is exemplified by the large majority of approval gained by PN and MN, despite some contrary views put forth by some leaders in the coalition.
"In our view, this increase of Malay voter support takes place on the back of a positive management of the COVID-19 pandemic, rapid response in dispensing financial aid to affected low-income households and businesses, as well as the latent satisfaction at seeing Malay political parties which had been in decades-long competition with one another finally coming together in a pact," Ibrahim noted.
The survey, published yesterday, 2 September, consisted of 52% Malay respondents, Chinese (25%), Indians (7%), Muslim Bumiputeras (6%), and non-Muslim Bumiputeras (6%).
30% of them have an income lower than RM1,999, 10% between RM2,000 and RM3,999, 14% between RM4,000 and RM6,999, 10% over RM7,000, and 14% not recorded.
You can view the full report here.