KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — Malaysians polled in a recent survey said they are still optimistic about the country’s direction following the last general election (GE15), but this optimism has fallen from 74 per cent of respondents in January to 60 per cent last month.
Global market research firm Ipsos in the latest release of its "What Worries Malaysia” survey revealed that Malaysians' optimism has stabilised following the GE15 and after riding months of concern since the last stages of Covid-19 lockdown in August of 2021.
“We are in the new normal in the post-GE15 period, characterised by the post-pandemic economic recovery,” said Ipsos Public Affairs senior research manager Azamat Ababakirov.
"The top three issues concerning Malaysians – namely political/financial corruption, inflation, and unemployment – have stabilised at their constant levels since January 2023."
The study showed that as of July this year, just half of Malaysians polled recorded concern for political or financial corruption, down from 57 per cent post GE15.
Meanwhile, those concerned with inflation have also fallen slightly to 40 per cent of respondents compared to 43 per cent in January.
Worry about unemployment and jobs however has slightly increased, with 34 per cent of respondents saying so compared to 32 per cent in January.
Despite government attempts to rein in inflation, it remains persistent as the second most worrying concern in Malaysia every month since June 2022.
Consumer purchase intentions for household and big-ticket items have been on a downward trend since the beginning of 2023.
Just 42 per cent of respondents are comfortable with making major purchases compared to 49 per cent in January.
Similarly, just 44 per cent are comfortable with household purchases compared to 56 per cent in January.
“Nonetheless, Malaysians continue to stay optimistic about their country's direction,” said Ababakirov.
The Ipsos survey is conducted monthly in 32 countries via an online portal system, with 500 Malaysians surveyed each time.