Study finds 58pc Malaysians see themselves coming back stronger after Covid-19

A survey found that more than half of Malaysians expect their quality of life to improve in the future after Covid-19. — Reuters pic
A survey found that more than half of Malaysians expect their quality of life to improve in the future after Covid-19. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — More than half of Malaysians surveyed recently expect their quality of life to improve in the future despite the damage to the economy that Covid-19 has caused.

The survey titled “Pulse From the Ground: Emir Research Quarterly Poll for Third Quarter 2020 ― Part 1” found that 58 per cent of respondents held this view while 3 per cent saw otherwise.

“This contradiction can be reconciled when we refer to the finding of the focus group discussions (FGDs) in which the participants were quite unanimous that the pandemic is not their main problem.

“They believed that it (Covid-19) won’t be permanent and the pandemic will go away at some point in time,” said Emir Research in a statement on its poll released yesterday.

Emir Research is led by Datuk Rais Hussin who was recently appointed as Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation chairman.

The research was done to assess the perceived direction of the country and living conditions among Malaysians.

However, it should be noted that the FGD was conducted in July while the survey was in August. As such, the poll did not take into account the latest developments in the country, which include the surge in Covid-19 cases and recent political uncertainty.

By ethnicity, the Bumiputera in Sabah and Sarawak as well as the Malays were the most optimistic when asked about current living conditions.

“More than half of the Bumiputera in Sabah and Sarawak (61 per cent) agree that their lives are better compared to two years ago, followed by the Malays (43 per cent).

“Sixty eight per cent of Bumiputera in Sabah and Sarawak and 61 per cent of Malays are of the opinion that living conditions will become better in the future compared to the Chinese (46 per cent) and Indians (39 per cent),” said Emir Research.

By education level, Malaysians with higher education qualification were more likely to expect their conditions to improve, with  69 per cent of degree holders and 62 per cent of diploma or certificate holders holding this view.

“But when asked whether their quality of life has worsened compared to two years ago, those with higher education qualifications agreed lesser than those with lower education level – degree holders (22 per cent), diploma or certificate (24 per cent) and school leavers (36 per cent),” the research house said.

There was not a significant difference between individuals of different income groups but households with incomes more than RM3,000 monthly were more likely to predict improving conditions.

“This is consistent with the finding that those with higher education qualifications are more positive and confident of the future, as the higher educated one is, the higher one’s income is.

“While three to five out of every 10 respondents across the income levels are not sure whether the living condition is going to be better in the future.

“Very few Malaysians, between 1.8 per cent to 4.9 per cent think that the living condition is going to be worse in the future,” Emir Research said.

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