PPBM: ‘What Malaysia Wants’ survey stands up to scrutiny


PETALING JAYA: In the face of criticisms from academics and even opposition politicians, PPBM has come out to defend the results of a “What Malaysia Wants” survey which was carried out months before its formation.

In a long and detailed statement released today, PPBM supreme council member Rais Hussin Mohamed Ariff said such criticism was done without first going through the methodology employed in this study comprehensively.

“It was done in two stages, the first being a qualitative research while the second was a quantitative research to validate the findings of the qualitative research.

“These two stages enhance the validity of the findings and reports the ground sentiments at the time when the research was conducted — that is in mid-2016,” Rais said.

He also challenged critics to invalidate the findings with “rigorous and robust evidence”, saying unless proven otherwise, the findings of the survey are justified, with an academically acceptable margin of error.

Of the qualitative research phase, Rais said a total of 23 focus group discussions (FGD) were held with lead facilitators, comprising academics.

He added that the list of 162 participants in the focus groups was “almost an exhaustive list” from peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.

“They comprised fishermen, rural Malay youth, Peneroka Rancangan Tanah Pinggir, 2nd generation Rancangan Tanah Pinggir, Felda community, rural Chinese, town housewives, university students, teachers, lecturers, urban working Malays, Malay corporate leaders and entrepreneurs, urban Chinese, urban Indians, Indian-Muslim community, SME Malays, Sarawak Muslim Bumiputeras, Sarawak Non-Muslim Bumiputeras, Sabah Muslim Bumiputeras, Sabah Non-Muslim Bumiputeras, semi-urban Sabahans, East Sabah community and even Umno grassroots leaders.

“Emerging themes were identified from the rich data and the survey instrument was developed rigorously.”

A pilot test was conducted on a sample group and administered by 45 trained enumerators.

He added for the survey proper, it was first broken down to constituents from 29 parliamentary seats in the peninsula — 17 under Barisan Nasional, 12 opposition — and one each from Sabah and Sarawak.

The survey polled 3,000 people, with respondents 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.

Rais admitted that the “findings might no longer be applicable as the political situation now greatly differed from when the survey was conducted, almost a year ago”.

“The results could have been taken over by the dynamics of political events and other significant events.

“Further investigations are in order to verify this postulation and indeed there will be another ‘What Malaysian Wants’ survey done next month.

“This will encapsulate the significant political events between then and now, and we will be very happy to report on it upon completion of the survey and analysis,” said Rais, who is PPBM’s head of policy and strategy.

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