Poll outcome rests on bread and butter, survey finds

By Yow Hong Chieh, The Malaysian Insider

The rising cost of living remains the battleground issue in the next general election for undecided voters who make up a fifth of the electorate, a new internal PKR poll shows.

This was in contrast to Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) supporters who saw Bumiputera rights and greater government transparency as key issues respectively.

Fence sitters who make up 21 per cent of the electorate were more likely to be Chinese-speaking women aged 30 to 39 from Johor, according the survey results obtained by The Malaysian Insider.

The report also found that bread-and-butter issues would be the number one factor in deciding how Malaysians voted on polling day (24 per cent), followed by government transparency (18 per cent) and upholding Bumiputera rights (13 per cent).

Voters were overwhelmingly dissatisfied with BN’s performance on cost of living issues, citing the high price of petrol (68 per cent), road tolls (68 per cent), food and groceries (67 per cent), and the gap between rich and poor (67 per cent).

They also highlighted inadequate wage levels (65 per cent), housing affordability (59 per cent) and the country’s overall economic management (52 per cent) as particular concerns.

But voters were not convinced that PR would do better, with more Malaysians placing greater faith in BN’s ability to tackle cost of living issues.

Between 34 and 40 per cent of voters polled said the ruling coalition could better address issues ranging from the wealth gap to housing affordability, compared to 19 to 25 per cent for PR.