PETALING JAYA: Malaysians have generally grown in their distrust of four key institutions in the country, namely the government, media, businesses and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
This was revealed in the Edelman Trust Barometer 2017 report launched yesterday.
While the trust levels by Malaysians towards business organisations and NGOs this year remained neutral at 58% and 56% respectively, they dropped from last year’s trust level of 61% and 58%, respectively.
However, the pre-existing distrust of the government and media worsened between 2016 and 2017, the report said.
The trust level of Malaysians towards the government in 2017 was at 37%, down from 39% in 2016, while distrust of the media dropped from 45% to 42%.
The Edelman Trust Barometer places people who are at a level of 80% to 100% as “Trusters”, 50% to 79% as “Neutrals” and 1% to 49% as “Distrusters”.
The report said the downtrend in Malaysia was in line with global trends.
Edelman Malaysia managing director Robert Kay told the media at the launch yesterday that the majority of the respondents believed the overall system is not working for them, citing a sense of injustice, lack of hope and confidence, which gives them a desire for change.
“Fifty-two per cent of Malaysians believe the system is failing them, with only 12% saying the system is working for them. They are pointing specifically to corruption and immigration as their main concerns,” Kay said, adding that more than half the people surveyed around the world believe that the system in their respective nations are failing.
Edelman said it had conducted its survey online using a sample of 1,150 general and informed Malaysian public respondents who are aged between 25 and 64. The survey was carried out between October and November last year.
According to the survey, the top five most trusted industry sectors among the public in Malaysia are technology (81%), education (79%), healthcare (76%), automotive and telecommunications (75% each).
The least trusted industry sectors in this category were financial services (69%) and consumer packaged goods (67%), with entertainment coming in at 59%.
However, the level of trust that people have in business leaders, namely CEOs, board of directors, and successful entrepreneurs dropped drastically, falling by 16%, 15% and 8% respectively
“The public no longer trust CEOs as the most trusted people in their organisations. I think CEOs’ need to change the way they communicate with their employees and engage in talking ‘with’ not ‘at’ people.
“We found that technology (sector) CEOs are well trusted, while the least trusted CEOs are the people in the financial services industry,” Edelman Southeast Asia and Australasia CEO Iain Twine said.