Survey: Malaysians optimistic of 2021, but believe new global pandemic will arise from new virus

People celebrate New Year’s Eve at the KLCC park in Kuala Lumpur, December 31, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
People celebrate New Year’s Eve at the KLCC park in Kuala Lumpur, December 31, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 5 — About eight in 10 Malaysians recently polled by market research firm Ipsos said they were optimistic that 2021 will be a better year for them than 2020, with around three-quarters saying 2020 was a bad year for their family.

In the results for Ipsos Global Advisor study on 2021 Predictions released today, seven in 10 Malaysians polled however believed that there will be a new pandemic caused by a new virus — the highest proportion compared to Singapore, India, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, United States, Australia, and Great Britain.

“2020 was overwhelmingly bad for individuals and families, irrespective of the country they are from. However, the global public is highly optimistic that 2021 will be much better year. Especially if they are from China, India or Malaysia.

“Malaysians predict a long road for economic recovery and normal life. Only 3 out of 5 expect a full recovery in 2021,” Ipsos Malaysia managing director Arun Menon said in a statement.

At 82 per cent of respondents, Malaysians were less optimistic about 2021 than those from China (94 per cent), Saudi Arabia (89 per cent), and India (84 per cent), but were more optimistic than those from Singapore (76 per cent), Great Britain (73 per cent), and Hong Kong (68 per cent).

Those from Japan were the most pessimistic, with just 44 per cent believing 2021 will be better than 2020.

However, amid Covid-19, Malaysians were also the most optimistic that more people will continue to wear mask in public places at 86 per cent, well above average proportion of just 61 per cent who believed so.

Malaysians were also more optimistic of acquiring Covid-19 vaccines, and life will be back to normal after the pandemic is over.

Half of Malaysians polled also believed that the world in change for the better due to the Covid-19 crisis, with only those from India and Saudi Arabia were more optimistic of that. On average, merely three in 10 of those polled worldwide believed so.

The survey had involved 23,007 online interviews in 31 markets between October 23 and November 6.

Ipsos is a market research company formed in France in 1975, with presence in 90 markets globally.

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