KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — The percentage of Malaysians who believe that Islam and Islamic institutions are being questioned openly are on the rise, Emir Research found in its latest study in July.
The local research house said that in its latest study conducted in the third quarter of this year, 39 per cent of respondents believed that religion was being openly questioned, in comparison to 35 per cent in a previous poll in the fourth quarter of 2019.
“One of the institutions of the Malay-Muslims in the monarchy, and this could perhaps contribute to the rise in many Malaysians believing that the institution concerned is being questioned openly.
“This corroborates findings from the focus group discussion (FGD) in which discussants agree that the institution is being questioned openly,” Emir Research said in its findings released yesterday.
Emir Research is led by Datuk Rais Hussin who was recently appointed as Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation chairman.
The research house also found that participants of its July FGD) were concerned about what they perceived as political maneuvering within the current government, which made them unsure and less confident about the ruling Perikatan Nasional coalition’s staying power.
Emir Research said this sentiment was reflected in its research paper titled “Pulse From the Ground: Emir Research Quarterly Poll for Third Quarter 2020 ― Part 1”.
“When the political crisis that ensued following the resignation of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the King in his wisdom had stepped in to solve the political imbroglio by appointing Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the eighth prime minister of Malaysia.
“As mentioned in the FGDs, this was perfectly in line with the Constitution and the role of a constitutional monarch, but most rakyat while acknowledging Perikatan Nasional is a legitimate government, insinuated that it is at the same time a backdoor government,” said Emir Research in a statement today.
According to the research agency, some Malaysians take this as questioning the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for appointing a backdoor government.
The research was done among others to assess the perceived direction of the country and living conditions among the people.
However, Emir Research noted that its FGD was conducted in July, and the survey was in August, therefore the poll does not take into account the latest developments in the country which include the surge in Covid-19 cases, political turmoil and the call for a state of emergency to be declared which was denied by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.