PAS most popular party, survey reveals

Rais-HussinKUALA LUMPUR: A nationwide survey commissioned by a group  who have now joined PPBM has found that PAS is the most popular party in the country, followed by Barisan Nasional (BN) and PKR.

The survey respondents also favoured PAS fielding more ulama candidates and making hudud part of the party’s manifesto.

At a press conference to announce the survey results, PPBM supreme council member Rais Hussin said the survey had not taken PPBM into account as it was commissioned just before the party was officially set up in September last year.

It was led by seven public university professors, whose identities were not disclosed, and carried out by 45 enumerators who surveyed the respondents face-to-face in the constituencies.

The survey polled 3,000 people in 30 parliamentary constituencies in BN and opposition-held states, as well as Sabah and Sarawak. Respondents were asked about their stand on a list of political parties.

Of the 3,000 surveyed, 67.6% were Malay, 23% Chinese, 5.6% Indian, 3.5% Sabah and Sarawak Bumiputeras and 0.2% other races. At least 23.1% were from urban areas, 49.8% from small towns, 19.8% in rural areas and 7.2% in settlements like Felda.

When asked if they supported PAS, 44.4% said they did, while 38.9% were unsure and 16.7% said they didn’t.

When asked whether they supported BN, 36.2% said they did, 36.6% said they were unsure and 27.2% said they didn’t.

With PKR, meanwhile, 25.9% said they supported the party, 46.9% said they were unsure and 27.2% said they didn’t support it.

The survey also asked respondents about their support for DAP. Only 18% said they supported the party, with 41.4% saying they were unsure and 40.6% saying they didn’t.

DAP is the single largest opposition party in Malaysia with 38 parliamentary seats and 96 state seats.

Regarding support for MCA and MIC, respondents were largely split between “unsure” and “don’t support”, with only 14.3% supporting MCA and 11.4% supporting MIC.

Respondents were also asked whether PAS should work with Umno. Here, 38.1% of respondents supported the idea, 44.3% were unsure and only 12.1% were opposed.

On what PAS should do, 38.4% agreed that it should field more ulama candidates, 35.2% agreed that hudud should be part of the Islamist party’s manifesto, and 29.5% were agreeable to PAS standing alone.

Only 21.1% said they were agreeable to PAS joining forces with Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s camp, and a mere 14.8% said they were agreeable to PAS working with Pakatan Harapan.

On the question of PAS joining forces with Mahathir and the opposition, more respondents were opposed to it than supportive, although the majority were unsure.

PAS has vowed not to work with Pakatan Harapan, and recently said it would not work with PPBM either, labelling the party as “directionless”.

The Islamist party has also rubbished claims that it will work with the BN, saying instead that it will forge ahead with the Gagasan Sejahtera bloc which it formed together with Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan) and Barisan Jemaah Islamiah Se-Malaysia (Berjasa).

However in an apparent response to the survey, DAP’s Zaid Ibrahim took to social media to give his two cents on the issue.

“All kinds of surveys are being dished out. Can we first determine who paid for the survey? Anyone can make himself desirable,” he said in a tweet earlier today.

“I m doing a survey too; to find out how many want us to be a Taliban country. Then it’s easier to see who will get top marks as PM.”

According to Rais, PPBM will be conducting another survey next month, this time focusing only on peninsular Malaysia.