PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s ratings have taken a plunge in the six months since he took over from Najib Razak, according to an opinion poll cited by PKR’s Rafizi Ramli today who warned that the post-election euphoria in favour of Pakatan Harapan was running out fast.
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but someone must bell the cat,” said Rafizi, who heads PKR-linked pollster Invoke Malaysia.
He warned that the drop in popularity could be severe “if not appropriately managed”.
“There are signs that the euphoria has gone somewhat sour,” he said.
He cited figures from a survey conducted early this month, which put Mahathir’s ratings at 53%, a 19% drop from a similar survey in June 2018, soon after PH won the May polls.
Saying this showed the decreasing popularity of the PH government, Rafizi said the figures were also reflected across all ethnic groups.
“There is a consistent ~20% drop across all races – Malays (from 66% to 45%), Chinese (from 87% to 65%) and Indians (from 84% to 64%),” the former Pandan MP wrote today.
He also gave examples of unfulfilled promises by PH since coming to power, saying the public was not expecting a “miracle” or a change within 100 days in power.
“Yet at the very least the PH administration must be seen to be solely focused on laying the groundwork to fulfil them (election promises) at some point in the future.
“After a while, it is no longer enough to charge former government leaders with cases of corruption, because so long as there is no marked improvement (concerning economic livelihood) on the ground, the restlessness will continue,” he wrote.
Rafizi accused government leaders of distracting the public from more pressing issues, and warned them that the goodwill of the Malays, which he said was crucial in maintaining power, was fast eroding.
He said this included how Felda settlers were being treated.
“Not only are we not able to write off their debts that were questionably piled on them by the previous administration; we could not help making things better for them when the commodity prices plunged.”
He also cited the controversy over a United Nations anti-discrimination convention as one of them.
“I can’t for the life of me understand why our cabinet ministers went on to focus on ratifying ICERD, without weighing in the sentiments on the ground.
“We could achieve more if we focus on making sure the multiracial Malaysians get fair treatment in every sphere of their life, regardless of race and religion,” said Rafizi.