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CM’s popularity soars ahead of polls
20-April-2016, Malay Mail Online

According to Merdeka Centre, many Sarawakians found Tan Sri Adenan Satem to have ‘brought significant change’ since he
took over as chief minister in February 2014. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUCHING: The approval rating for Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem from voters in the state has increased 13 per cent ahead of the 11th state election scheduled on May 7.

Independent pollster Merdeka Center’s most recent survey on Adenan shows that his popularity rose from 74 per cent in April last year to 81 per cent in January this year.

The survey was carried out by the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research from Jan 20 to 26, to gauge voters’ perceptions of current development in the Sarawak in the lead-up to the state elections.

The positive rating is across all segments of the society among all the state’s major races.

He received the highest approval rating of 90 per cent among Muslim Bumiputera, 85 per cent among non-Muslim Bumiputera and 71 per cent among the Chinese, a four per cent increase compared to the last survey.

Generally, since becoming chief minister in Feb 2014, he has been well accepted across the board by voters from all age groups and all strata of life – the high income earners and the minimum wage labourers as well as the highly educated and those with only primary education.

Adenan is also perceived to be a game changer as 75 per cent of the respondents believed that he has brought about significant changes to Sarawak since taking over the administration of the state.

The new policy which has been given the highest approval rating is Adenan’s announcement of English as an official language besides Bahasa Malaysia, with an average acceptance of 83 per cent across all races.


The recognition of Unified Examinations Certificate comes second as Adenan’s most popular new policy. The Chinese community as expected gave a high rating of 83 per cent. And surprisingly, the Bumiputera community both Muslim and non-Muslim also give strong support, resulting in an average acceptance rating of 68 per cent.

Adenan’s third popular policy is the permission for Christians to use Allah in their worship and prayers, earning him an approval rating of 71 per cent from the non-Muslim Bumiputera respondents.

On social and infrastructure development and changes brought about by Adenan, 33 per cent of the respondents praised him for the abolishment of toll, while 18 per cent gave him the thumbs-up for the increase of new infrastructure such as highway and bridges and 13 per cent took note of Adenan’s anti-illegal logging initiative.

These are some of the results of Sarawak State Voter Opinion Survey 2016 conducted by Merdeka Center from January 20 to 26 this year on 815 voters who were selected through random stratified sampling method along the lines of ethnicity, gender, age, parliamentary constituencies and state assembly seats.

Meanwhile, on the performance of opposition leaders in general, 36 per cent of the respondents expressed satisfaction while 47 per cent found their performance unsatisfactory.

On individual leaders, the poll results showed that 31 per cent of survey participants were happy with state PKR chief Baru Bian while 27 per cent were dissatisfied, with 40 per cent expressing ‘unsure’ to the question.

State DAP chief Chong Chieng Jen received a slightly higher approval rating of 36 per cent while 27 per cent of respondents were also not happy with Chong’s performance and 35 per cent of them were ‘unsure’ of Chong’s performance.

In general, 56 per cent believed that there should be a stronger opposition in Sarawak while 32 per cent disagreed. However, a point to be noted is that 24 per cent of the respondents ‘refused’ to make a stance when posed the question.

Merdeka Center estimated a plus minus survey margin of error of 3.43 per cent. Of those participating in the survey, 55 per cent enjoyed internet access.

On the same survey, Sarawak state government was given 62 per cent approval rating – a decrease of six per cent compared to the 2015 survey.

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