Friday, August 28, 2015

Believe majority supports - and survey results not a true indicator?

Surveys do not reveal the true feelings of Malaysians..

Ask a Malaysian on TV whether he supports the Prime Minister, more likely than not he will say he supports...

Ask a Malaysian personally or over the phone or even by e-mail, the result will be the same.. [Remember, there are still many Malaysians that believe that the government knows how they voted - which is most unlikely, but alas that is the perception]. 

Hence, when more people fearlessly and 'openly' come out and express their opinions, more so when it is against the PM/Government/Powers of the Day, it is indeed a strong indicator of the sentiment of the nation ... but remember, amongst those who said that they are not 'against the PM/Government/Powers of the Day' or against this 'peaceful assembly' this weakend, the truth is that more likely than not, many may have not told you the truth. 

This is Malaysia - not some truly democratic country where the government does not threaten its citizens with repercussions when it comes to freedom of expression, opinions and peaceful protests - if it is against the views and position of the powers of the day. Public sector employees, including teachers, have been threatened. Businessman worry about contracts and their future.. 

FEAR - that is a very real factor in Malaysia, and most Malaysians will not openly express their true feelings... the worry is possible identification, and the possible retaliation by the sitting Prime Minister, BN government and political parties; the risk of being 'discriminated against' is a concern...

Even on online media, how many of us really use our real names? How many even post comments or press 'Like'? Remember, our Malaysian government has instilled sufficient 'fear' - which it also shown, not to be just threats - but threats that will be followed up with action. Now, especially when we see the removal of the DPM and Ministers, the removal of the AG, the harassment of even enforcement agencies and their officers - do you think a survey will disclose the truth?

Hence, a survey in Malaysia will not reveal the true picture especially on these matters of concern now...

It is also disappointing that the people who conducted the survey do not see us all as Malaysians - but chose to be 'divisive' based on ethnicity? Why do you still want to be like the BN government, and try to divide Malaysians according to ethnicity? Why the promotion of racism? 

It is OK to look at persons response based on age-groups, household income, even geographic (Klang Valley and other places, urban or rural) - but please stop trying to keep Malaysians divided based on race and religion - you are just promoting 'racism', and I would consider it being against our vision of one day all being treated as equal Malaysians.

Well, let's talk about race, ethnicity and culture... There are fundamental differences in way people communicate 
- some wants to get down straight to the point, some will rather want to 'get to know first' and listen to other views first, ...
- some, if they object, will immediately speak out and make known their objections, others will keep quite when they object  ..
- some will tell you who they voted for - others will just never tell you who they voted for...
- some are angry if you talk business during a meal...others may be OK with it...

In a multi-ethnic multi-religious nation like Malaysia, we know and understand some of these differences...but alas, some may still be ignorant of it due to life choices and their circumstances.. Who were your friends growing up? Were they just those from the same class background, same religion, same cultural background, same language speaking group...or was it more diverse... Divisions persist and maintain primarily due to ignorance which leads prejudice.

Some Barisan Nasional parties promotes divisions based on race. The very basis of their major political parties is 'racial' - and to continue to exist and be relevant, these parties need to promote 'racism'..?
Their general thinking ...we fight for the survival of good of our ethnic group - people of a particular ethnic group must come together and fight for their rights, if not these rights will all be taken away by the 'people of the other ethnic groups' - without this party, people of our ethnicity will suffer... 

The tactic of using religion and race to divide people is a strategy that the UMNO led coalition has used since Independence, and naturally for political survival and relevance, such ethnic based parties has done us all a great wrong by continuing to emphasize on our ethnic difference rather that commonalities as a Malaysian people.

This BN 'brainwashing' has been successful - and obviously media, people who conduct surveys and also many Opposition politics still talk about Malaysians not as 1 nation 1 people - but looks and emphasizes our ethnic differences. Malaysian Bar, trade unions and civil society groups may have succeeded in avoiding using ethnic and religious issues in their movements - and hopefully all of us in Malaysia will also start looking at Malaysians as Malaysians....full stop.
When we look at things from just the ethnic or religious perspectives - it can distract or impede our focus on issues of concern in our Malaysian community. The poor and the marginalized suffer most - when we should be helping Malaysian poor, we see people just concern for the poor of their own ethnicity. Even, in our budget there is allocation help particular ethnic groups... when it really should be helping all who needs assistance, irrespective of their race or religion.

Malaysian Insider title of their report was better, whilst the Malaysiakini's title, ' Poll: Support for Bersih 4 split along racial lines' clearly emphasizes ethnicity rather than being 1Malaysian. Choice of title, and emphasis in the contents of the reports clearly rest with the reporter and the Editors.

Malaysians split over Bersih rally, survey finds

There are marked differences in opinion among Malaysians regarding tomorrow’s Bersih 4 rally. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, August 28, 2015.There are marked differences in opinion among Malaysians regarding tomorrow’s Bersih 4 rally. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, August 28, 2015. 
Malaysians are split in their opinions of tomorrow's Bersih 4 rally, a recent survey by independent pollster Merdeka Centre has found, with 43% viewing it favourably as opposed to 47% who do not support the assembly.

The survey found that while 48% of the men surveyed were in support of Bersih 4, only 39% of women had the same opinion. Fifty-one percent of urban voters viewed the rally favourably but among the rural folk, only 31% supported it.

Similarly, 57% of those from households earning more than RM3,000 a month were supportive of Bersih and only 28% of those who come from households earning less than RM3,000 were in favour of the rally.

But the disparity between those who were in support of Bersih 4 was more evident in the race category, where it was found that Chinese supporters of Bersih made up more than three times the percentage of Malays who were in favour of the rally. 
"Perhaps the most marked finding was that the rally was supported by 81% of the ethnic Chinese respondents and 51% of the ethnic Indian respondents but only favoured by 23% of the ethnic Malay voters interviewed," Merdeka Center said in a statement today.

The 1,010 people surveyed were randomly selected from Peninsular Malaysia along the lines of ethnicity, gender, age and parliament constituencies and were interviewed between August 15 and August 21.

Most of the respondents (39%), who were in favour of Bersih, said that their reasons for doing so was because they wanted to see improvement in institutions such as the electoral process and Parliament.

Twenty-five percent said that they wanted to express their unhappiness with the government, while 13% said they wanted to show their dissatisfaction towards Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Another 11% said they wanted to express anger over the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST).

Most who voted unfavourably for the Bersih 4 rally said they feared the violence and chaos that could possibly take place during the rally (52%), while 22% felt that Bersih will not achieve anything significant with the gathering.

A small percentage (4%) feared that the Malays would be marginalised if Najib was forced to step down.

"In our opinion, the survey reveals a Peninsular Malaysia electorate that is polarized along ethnic and socio-economic lines," Merdeka Center said.

"While the Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur is likely going to attract a high level of participation in terms of crowd size, as indicated by the overwhelming sale of merchandise and donations received by the organiser, the survey suggests that participants will likely be drawn from urban, Internet-savvy and non-Bumiputera voters," the pollster added.

The Bersih 4 rally, which has been declared illegal by the police, is taking place this weekend in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu as well as major cities around the world.

It will kick off at 2pm tomorrow and is to scheduled to continue for the next 34 hours.

The rally, organised by electoral reform group Bersih 2.0, is pressing for institutional reforms, the freedom to protest, measures to save the economy and a clean government and political system.

Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah said the rally would be akin to a vote of no-confidence against Najib, who is under pressure to account for alleged scandals involving his brainchild 1Malaysia Development Berhad and RM2.6 billion deposited into his personal accounts. – August 28, 2015.
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