Universiti Malaya conducted a survey between July and December last year and found that voters were most concerned about jobs and income issues, followed by crime and security and then integrity and corruption.
Issues like race and religion came after cost of living and education, which means it was pretty low on the pecking order of things.
And yet this seems to be in contradiction with some other surveys which suggest that Malay voters are very concerned about such things and it is the chief factor that will prevent them from voting for the opposition.
There appears to be an irreconcilable contradiction here.
If both are true, then what it implies is that for the Malay voters, issues such as jobs, crime, corruption, cost of living and education are important, but not important enough to sway them away from the current government, even though all these concerns are directly linked to current government policies and practices.
If this is the case, then it shows a worrying lack of analytical ability.
It is highly unlikely that a tiger will change its stripes. It makes no sense therefore to vote for a party based on one relatively minor issue with the hope they will do things differently with regard to all the other major issues they have been responsible for.
Furthermore, if it is true that the Malays are so concerned about racial favoritism that they will overlook the track record of the government in other matters, then it proves that Umno is indeed a genius organization for they have managed to create a portion of the electorate so lacking in self-confidence and belief that they feel utterly dependent on one party; regardless of how that party might actually perform in terms of good governance.
Azmi Sharom is a law lecturer at Universiti Malaya.