Pre-14th Malaysian General Election Survey for Youth Voters: Preliminary Findings

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The Centre for Public Policy Studies (CPPS) conducted a survey entitled a “Study on Youth Concerns & Political Awareness” between 1 April 2018 to 26 April 2018. With the impending 14th Malaysian General Elections (GE14), CPPS sought to identify and understand concerns of the youngest segment of Malaysian voters. The survey also aimed to gauge the level of political awareness of this group of voters. Respondents were aged between 21-30 years old. The below are the preliminary findings:

How well respondents recognised party symbols
1. The survey found that Barisan Nasional was the most recognised party symbol (98.51% respondents recognised), followed by the Democratic Action Party (94.44%), Pan- Malaysian Islamic Party (86.99%), the People’s Justice Party (68.4% recognised correctly as PKR and 17.84% recognised as the Pakatan Harapan symbol – a total of 86.24%). Parti Cinta Malaysia (63.94%) is the fifth most recognised party symbol (however, it is likely the high rate is due to the fact that the responses were available in multiple choice and its party symbol had the words ‘Cinta Malaysia’ in its centre. For the purpose of testing respondents, all words and abbreviations were removed with the exception of Parti Cinta Malaysia).

2. It was found that 9.71% of Pakatan Harapan’s supporters misidentified the PKR symbol or did not know which symbol is used by Pakatan Harapan in GE14.

Issues and policies that matter to respondents
The top 5 issues that matter most to respondents were:
1. Elimination of corruption
2. Reducing cost of living
3. Improve quality of education
4. Improve safety and crime prevention
5. Greater access to good and affordable medical care

Other Highlights:
¥ 7.43% of respondents indicated that they support a race-based quota system in public universities, 79.93% do not support, while 12.64% were undecided or have no opinion.
¥ 62.08% do not support the moderation of Internet freedom, such as the Fake News Act.
¥ 21.19% support replacing the GST with the SST, 25.65% did not support, and 53.16% 
were undecided or have no opinion.
¥ 62.45% supported greater autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak.
¥ 74.72% do not support laws which allow detention without trial.
¥ 56.13% support of extending elections of local government.
¥ 30.48% support of abolishing petrol subsidies and implement a price float. 33.83% do not 
and 35.69% are undecided or have no opinion.
¥ Putting aside whether claims are true or false, 91.08% of respondents acknowledge that 
issues like 1MDB and other alleged scandals of corruption worry them.
Perception and level of Satisfaction
¥ 55.39% of respondents disagree and strongly disagree that Malaysia has a fair legal system.
¥ 57.99% of respondents disagree and strongly disagree that Malaysia’s education system is improving.
¥ 80.3% of respondents disagree and strongly disagree that the Election Commission is fair and independent.
¥ 84.75% of respondents disagree and strongly disagree that the police are free of political interference.
¥ 81.05% of respondents agree and strongly agree that they were worried about the difficulty of purchasing a home.
¥ 94.42% of respondents view current levels of corruption in Malaysia as high and very high.
¥ 75.84% of respondents view current levels of crime in Malaysia as high and very high.
¥ 7.06% were happy with how the country is governed, while 92.94% were not. 38.66% were 
happy with how their state or federal territory is governed and 61.34% were not. 48.33% were happy of how their towns/cities are governed and 51.67% were not. 
Awareness of Manifestos
¥ 59.85% of respondents indicated that they know of Pakatan Harapan’s plans if they win GE14.
¥ 42.75% of respondents indicated that they know of Barisan Nasional’s plans if they win GE14. 
Voting Trends
¥ At the point of undertaking the survey, 46.10% of respondents did not know where their polling station were.
¥ 67.66% of respondents are aware of the Election Commission’s recent redelineation exercise.
¥ 19.7% of respondents were not registered to vote, despite being of the eligible age.
¥ 19.33% indicated they will not be voting, while 7.81% were undecided.
¥ Of all respondents who are of the voting age during GE13, 45.33% did not vote in the last 
general elections. However, of all respondents whom did not vote in GE13, 64.71% will be 
voting in the coming GE14, 23.53% still will not be voting, and 11.76% undecided.
¥ 50.19% of respondents indicated that they will not vote for a party if they do not know the candidate’s background. 30.11% will still vote despite not knowing the candidate, while the 
remaining 19.7% were undecided.
¥ When asked if they will vote for a candidate regardless of which party he or she is from, 
43.87% of respondents indicated “yes”, 42.75% said “no”, and 13.75% were undecided. 
CPPS was also keen to understand the concerns of Malay voters which comprise the largest segment of voters and the Malaysian population. Of all the entire Malay sample, it found that:
¥ 52.44% agree and strongly agree that their culture is facing destruction due to Western influence, 21.95% disagree and strongly disagree, while 25.61% neither agree nor disagree.
¥ 24.39% disagree and strongly disagree that their culture is facing destruction due to Arab influence, while 37.8% agree and strongly agree, and 37.8% neither agree nor disagree.
¥ 53.66% disagree and strongly disagree that their culture is facing destruction due to the English language.
¥ 68.3% disagree and strongly disagree that their culture is facing destruction due to other ethnic cultures in Malaysia.
¥ 54.88% disagree and strongly disagree that Islam is under threat by other religions.
¥ 17.07% of all Malay respondents support a race-based quota system for public universities, 
57.32% did not support, 25.61% are undecided or have no opinion.

The Sample Group consists of 269 respondents aged between 21-30 years old. 175 (65.05%) are based in the Klang Valley (Kuala Lumpur and Selangor), 72 (26.77%) rest of Peninsula Malaysia, 14 (5.2%) Sabah & Sarawak, 8 (2.97%) outside Malaysia. The sample consist 82 Malays, 163 Chinese, 14 Indian, 1 Iban, 1 Kadazan-Dusun, 1 Orang Asli (Peninsula Malaysia), and 7 persons of other ethnicities or mixed heritage.

Source: Centre for Public Policy Studies

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