KUALA LUMPUR – The trust level of Malaysians in four key institutions namely government, media, business and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have all dropped slightly between 2016 and 2017, which is in line with global trends, the Edelman Trust Barometer revealed.

According to the survey, the government (37%) and media (42%) institutions remained at the distrusted level this year, in which both saw a decline of 2 and 3 points respectively. Meanwhile, business and NGOs stood at neutral level at 58% and 56% this year, from 61% and 58% previously.

Speaking at the survey launch yesterday, Edelman Malaysia managing director Robert Kay said majority of the respondents believe that the overall system is not working for them, citing sense of injustice, lack of hope and confidence, and desire for change.

“52% of Malaysians believe the system is failing them, with only 12% saying the system is working for them. They are pointing specifically to corruption and immigration as their main concerns,” Kay added, saying more than half of the global population believe their system are failing.

However, he said although the trust levels declined across all four key institutions, the trust in government by the informed public went up 9 points to 43%, compared with the previous year.

The survey was conducted online over a sample of 1,150 general and informed Malaysian public respondents between the ages of 25 and 64, which ran between October and November last year.

According to the survey, the top five most trusted industry sectors among the public in Malaysia are technology (81%); education (79%); healthcare (76%); automotive and telecommunications (75% each).

The least trusted industry sectors in this category were financial services (69%) and consumer packaged goods (67%), with entertainment coming in at 59%.

In terms of the trust in business leaders, Edelman Southeast Asia and Australasia Iain Twine (pix) noted that they suffered declining trust levels, with trust in CEO, board of directors and successful entrepreneurs falling by 16%, 15% and 8% respectively.

“The public no longer trust CEOs as the most trusted people in their organisations. I think the CEOs’ need to change the way they communicate with their employees and engage in talking ‘with’ not ‘at’ people.

“We found that technology (sector) CEOs are well trusted, while the least trusted CEOs are the people in the financial services industry,” he added.

– Sundaily