PETALING JAYA: A new survey on citizens’ sentiments towards their governments’ response to the Covid-19 crisis has placed Malaysia at fourth place, ahead of neighbours Indonesia and Singapore.
The survey, jointly conducted by Singapore’s leading social research agency Blackbox Research and international online panel specialist Toluna, saw China emerge tops with an index score of 85, followed by Vietnam at 77.
India and the United Arab Emirates tied at third place with 59.
Malaysia scored 58 points while Indonesia and Singapore tied at seventh place with 48 points.
The survey assessed the response of governments across four key performance indicators: national political leadership, corporate leadership, community, and media.
It found that citizens across the 23 countries it measured were largely unsatisfied with their governments’ response to the pandemic, with Western governments faring worse than their Eastern counterparts.
The US, Australia and all four Western European countries – Italy, Germany, France and the UK – were all rated below the global average, with France scoring the lowest in the region and second lowest globally at 26.
Real estate agency IQI Global group CEO Kashif Ansari said it was no surprise that Malaysians felt their country had responded well to Covid-19, noting that Malaysia had always had world-class medical facilities as well.
He also said Putrajaya had taken “muscular but empathetic action” to protect the people.
“They put health and well-being above short-term economic gains. As a result, Malaysia has had relatively few infections and looks like it will be able to emerge from the lockdown sooner than many other countries.”
He said when property buyers from China and other parts of Asia looked around, they would find that the US and UK were still having difficulties dealing with the pandemic.
But Malaysia, Kashif said, would emerge from its lockdown with remarkably little loss of life. He added that 105 other countries have had more Covid-19 deaths per million people than Malaysia.
“In Southeast Asia, Malaysia looks like a safe haven from Covid-19.”
He also praised Malaysia’s visa policy, diverse economy, educational opportunities, medical infrastructure and response to the pandemic which he said would make the country more popular with foreign buyers in the second half of 2020 than in 2019.
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