URBAN and rural Malaysians are split in their satisfaction towards the Pakatan Harapan government, with the latter reporting more unhappiness, according to a recent survey by a think-tank.
Emir Research in its survey “Pulse from the Ground: Voices & Expectations of the Rakyat” tried to gauge respondents’ level of satisfaction through four categories: economy, health & transport, agriculture and affordable homes.
In the economy section, the overall results showed that 36% of Malaysians are unhappy with the way the government is managing the ringgit, while only 33% are satisfied.
On a brighter note, 43% overall feel that the government was managing the cost of health services, while 42% are satisfied with the government’s efforts to stabilise the price of basic necessities.
The divide between urban and rural Malaysians on the same matter showed a huge contrast.
While 45% of city people are satisfied with the cost of health services, only 34% of rural Malaysians feel the same.
The same contrast was observed on the government’s handling of the ringgit as 37% of urban respondents were satisfied with efforts, compared to only 24% on the rural side.
On the issue of health and transport, urban dwellers again responded more positively (40%) on government’s efforts to extend healthcare throughout the country, compared to their rural counterparts (30%).
The split was most evident when it came to agriculture policy, with rural respondents expressing a higher degree of dissatisfaction towards the government.
“This is unsurprising as rural residents would be the first group to feel the impact of the issues in the agricultural supply chain when the sector has failed to ensure self-sufficiency and solve unemployment,” said Emir Research in its report on the survey.
On the question of food safety, only 27% or rural Malaysians are satisfied, compared to 41% of their urban counterparts.
The highest dissatisfaction among rural residents was on the issue of minimum wage (48%), followed by the middleman problem in the marketing of agricultural products (42%) and management of high employment and food imports (41%).
The survey, involving 1,992 voters, was conducted in 222 parliamentary constituencies from September 5 to October 10. Its margin of error is estimated at 3%.
In the same survey, Emir Research also found that middle- and higher-income earners are more supportive of the PH government, while lower-income respondents tend to lean towards Umno-PAS.