Less than half of Malaysians agreed Budget 2021 was enough, Emir Research survey finds

A woman wearing a face mask walks on a street amid the movement control order in Kuala Lumpur February 2, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
A woman wearing a face mask walks on a street amid the movement control order in Kuala Lumpur February 2, 2021. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — Less than half of Malaysians polled by local think tank Emir Research in its fourth 2020 quarterly survey said Budget 2021 was sufficient to meet the needs of the public.

In addition, the survey result which was published today said almost a quarter of respondents said they did not even think Budget 2021 was sufficient.

The research outfit’s survey also showed that six out of 10 respondents agreed that the provision of funds to address Covid-19 should be further increased, and the same proportion also said there is a need to increase allocation for vulnerable groups.

Only nine and eight per cent of respondents disagreed with the proposed Covid-19 provisions, and increment to allocations respectively.

In the survey, respondents were asked whether they disagreed or agreed to seven statements in order gauge their responses on Budget 2021 tabled last year.

The first three statements were: provision of funds to address Covid-19 should be increased, need to increase allocation for the vulnerable groups and sufficient to meet the needs of the people.

The remaining four statements were: assists SMEs and micro-SMEs, used as political tools, high allocation for controversial and non-essential outfits and budget deficits.

However, just four out of 10 respondents agreed that Budget 2021 was being used as a political tool, and 37 per cent agreed there was a high allocation for controversial and non-essential outfits respectively.

In terms of key demographic differences, the survey found that the youngest group of respondents (aged 30 and below) agreed significantly less compared to the other age groups in that Budget 2021 was sufficient to meet the people's needs.

“Those who are 41 and older agree more than the younger age groups to the suggested

proposition that Budget 2021 has a high allocation for controversial and non-essential

outlays and is being used as a political tool,” it added.

The report also added that respondents from the rural group demonstrated higher agreement than their urban peers with two of the propositions in the survey — Budget 2021 was sufficient to meet the people's needs and has a high allocation for controversial and non-essential outfits.

The nationwide survey was conducted in December last year, involving some 1,976 respondents nationwide in face-to-face interviews and focus groups.

Emir Research is led by Datuk Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff, who was appointed as the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation chairman last year following a change of government.

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