Never mind the survey, the people are still behind us, says Azmin

(The Star) – The Pakatan Harapan government is still the rakyat’s choice despite a recent survey showing that the coalition’s popularity has plummeted to 35% as of August, according to Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

“Well, it is just a survey. We always use surveys just as a guideline on the sentiment of the rakyat and on particular issues.

“But I strongly believe overall, the rakyat believe this is the right government that they will continue to support, insyaallah (god willing), ” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby on Monday (Oct 7).

The Economic Affairs Minister had been asked to comment on a Malaysiakini report quoting sources as saying that Pakatan lawmakers were shocked to find out that the ruling coalition will contest the Tanjung Piai by-election with its popular support falling to 35% as of August.

According to the report, a presentation slide with results of the survey conducted by independent pollster Merdeka Centre was presented at a two-day retreat for Pakatan backbenchers at a hotel in Shah Alam that ended Sunday (Oct 6).

This is the lowest popularity rate ever recorded since Pakatan took over the government in May 2018.

Asked to explain the reasons, Azmin, who is also the PKR deputy president, said that the government managed to embark on major institutional reforms in a very short period of time.

“I think we have brought back the economy back on track. We have restored the confidence of investors to come back to Malaysia and to continue to invest.

“Our growth is very promising for the next few years,: he claimed.

Asked if this would affect Pakatan’s performance in the Tanjung Piai by-election, he replied, “Well, the by-election is a separate issue.

“It has very localised issues, and we have to deal with them, ” said Azmin.

The by-election was triggered after the 42-year-old incumbent Datuk Dr Md Farid Md Rafik died on Sept 21.

He had beaten Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng from MCA in the 14th General Election last year by 524 votes.