A significant drop has been detected in the confidence of Sabahans in prospects for the state, compared to 2009 when Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had just taken office.
survey by the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research has found that 54
percent of the respondents feel that the Land Below the Wind is heading
in the right direction.
This represented a marked 12 percent
decline from a survey conducted in November 2009 which recorded 66
percent of respondents as being optimistic.
Najib took over as premier from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in April 2009.
sentiments were observed across all major ethnic groups in Sabah, as
well as the urban-rural divide, with Muslim bumiputeras leading the
trend with 17 percent of drop from 79 to 62 percent.
non-Muslim bumiputeras and Chinese registered a drop of 11 and six
percent respectively. Out of 10 Chinese Sabahans, only three were
optimistic about the state's future.
The trend was higher in
urban areas where only half of the respondents agreed that the state is
in the right direction, while six out of 10 in the rural areas felt the
result come on the back of opposition's aggressive campaign in Sabah -
deemed a BN ‘fixed deposit’ state - which saw several BN leaders
including two lawmakers switching support to Pakatan Rakyat.
the top five reasons for the decline appears to be the perception that
the state remains lagging in terms of economic development and
infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, as well as cost of living
The survey also found that a number of respondents
cited dissatisfaction with the political leadership as well as the
illegal immigration problem.
Those who felt the state was headed
in the right direction expressed continued satisfaction at the pace of
economic development and the continuing peaceful conditions in the
The respondents were split on whether BN has fulfilled
its promises, a claim that has been widely trumpeted by the BN, with 43
percent of respondents saying ‘yes’ while another 43 percent said ‘no’.
This trend was shared by all major ethnic groups.
survey, jointly funded by Merdeka Centre and a regional consultancy
firm, was carried out from Sept 6 to 17 to gauge perceptions of current
developments in Sabah.
A total of 829 registered voters
comprising 51 percent Muslim bumiputeras, 29 percent non-Muslim
bumiputeras and 20 percent Chinese - reflective of electoral profile of
Sabah - were interviewed by telephone for the survey.
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