Malaysian PM’s Approval Rating ‘Stable’ Amid Vaccine Rollout

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s approval rating remained stable in the latest survey, with a majority of people polled “satisfied” with the government’s handling of the pandemic, according to research house Merdeka Center.

The prime minister’s rating eased to 67% in April from 68% in March, compared with 63% in January, according to the survey. Seventy percent of voters polled were satisfied with how the government was handling the pandemic, up from 53% in January, it said. The results also showed that Muhyiddin retains strong backing from the dominant Malay electorate, with 83% support.

Malaysian PM’s Approval Rating ‘Stable’ Amid Vaccine Rollout

Muhyiddin’s rating is “still strong” despite the “stressed conditions voters report for their own personal financial conditions and their perception of the economy,” Merdeka Center said.

The prime minister is gearing up for an election that he said will be called as soon as the pandemic is brought under control. Malaysia declared a state of emergency in January, allowing Muhyiddin to suspend parliament until the emergency ends in August.

Muhyiddin took over as prime minister early last year with a razor-thin majority after his predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad, abruptly quit.

Malaysia started its Covid-19 vaccination program late February and unveiled a 20 billion ringgit ($4.9 billion) stimulus package in March while easing movement curbs.

Malaysian PM’s Approval Rating ‘Stable’ Amid Vaccine Rollout

Still, the public mood about where the country is headed was mixed, with 41% believing that the country was “moving in the right direction” and 46% that was “headed in the wrong direction,” the survey showed.

The poll was conducted between March 31 and April 12, before infections started climbing again. New Covid-19 cases topped 2,000 on April 15 for the first time in more than a month and have remained above that level through April 23.

The survey involved 2,111 registered voters across Peninsular Malaysia with an estimated margin of error of 2.13%, according to Merdeka Center.

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