PETALING JAYA: Malaysians have begun to show signs of “worry fatigue” after a year of living with the pandemic, a recent survey has found.
Findings released today from an Emir Research survey in December of about 2,000 respondents nationwide showed a drop in the National Worry Index, where fewer people agreed to the suggestion that life will be better.
This was because “there were less optimistic expectations for the future, which implied only being unnecessarily longer in the state of worry and detrimental to the self”, the research organisation said.
It also observed a “magnitude” drop in the job, living cost and economy-related worry, but noted that rural dwellers and older people appeared significantly less concerned about these aspects than their younger and urban counterparts.
Meanwhile, national security concerns still remained the respondents’ highest worry when compared with the third quarter of 2020.
“With the prolonged state of ‘maximum worry’ due to the health, economic and political crises, the survey suggested that Malaysians appear to exhibit early signs of ‘worry fatigue’ and deployed the strategy of avoidance and coping with the situation,” said Emir Research CEO and president Rais Hussin.
The survey also found that more respondents 30 and below viewed the 2021 budget as insufficient to meet the people’s needs, with the same trend observable among urban Malaysians compared with urban folk.
However, more surveyees with higher educational qualifications agreed that the budget met the people’s needs, although they also felt that funds for vulnerable groups should have been higher.
“Those who are 41 and older agree more than the younger age groups to the suggested propositions that Budget 2021 has a high allocation for controversial and non-essential outlays and is being used as a political tool.
“Also, the group of respondents with the lowest qualification agree more that there is a high allocation for controversial and non-essential outfits,” it said.