PETALING JAYA: Despite the unprecedented stimulus packages rolled out to support growth, most Malaysians appear to remain uncertain about the state of the country’s economy, according to Emir Research. In a nationwide survey on public sentiment for the fourth quarter of 2020, the private think tank found only 33% of respondents believe that the future direction of Malaysia’s economy is on the right track. This compared with 38% who agree with the proposition in its previous quarterly poll for the third of last year. Emir Research’s recent study found the percentage of respondents who do not think that the country’s economy is on the right track has increased to 19% in the fourth quarter of 2020 from 8% in the preceding quarter, while the percentage of respondents who are unsure has decreased to 48% from 54% previously. Conducted in December, the recent survey involved some 1,976 people across Malaysia.“The majority of Malaysians appear to continue living in a state of uncertainty about the viability of both the country’s economy and the incumbent government’s capability to lead the country in the right direction, ” Emir Research president and CEO Datuk Wira Dr Rais Hussin noted in the survey findings for the fourth quarter of 2020. It found that in the fourth quarter of 2020, only 28% of respondents are in agreement that the country’s economy is on a strong footing, compared with 31% in the preceding quarter, while the number of those in disagreement with the proposition has increased by almost a 10 percentage points to 27% from 16% previously. The number of people who remain unsure of whether the country’s economy is on a strong footing has declined to 45% in the fourth quarter of 2020 from 53% in the preceding quarter. “The majority of Malaysians appear to continue living in a state of uncertainty about the viability of both the country’s economy and the incumbent government’s capability to lead the country in the right direction, ” Emir Research president and CEO Datuk Wira Dr Rais Hussin (pic, above) noted in the survey findings for the fourth quarter of 2020. “Yet, about the same percentage of respondents as in the previous quarterly poll are positive about changes in their lives and optimistic about their future, ” he added.CLICK TO ENLARGE According to Emir Research, most Malaysians are hopeful of the future, with 53% of respondents say they expect life to be better in the future, even though 38% are still not sure about their future prospects. Meanwhile, 39% of respondents agree that their family life is better than a year ago, while 36% are unsure and 25% do not agree with the proposition, its recent study showed. On Covid-19 related matters, Rais said: “Oerall, we observe a similar frequency of agreement on a few items introduced in the previous Emir Research quarterly poll such as the negative impact of Covid-19 on the job sector, economy and national security, as well as government initiatives and governance in tackling the pandemic.” The latest quarterly poll showed about three quarter of respondents concede that the Covid-19 pandemic has negative impact on job sector, economy and national security. Six percent disagree with the proposition, while around 20% are unsure.CLICK TO ENLARGE On lump sum withdrawals from the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) Account 1,52% of respondents agree, while 14% disagree. On withdrawals from EPF Account 1 on a monthly basis, on the other hand, 48% of respondents agree, while 19% disagree. Separately, Emir Research noted, despite 62% of fourth-quarter poll’s respondents being still positive on the governance of Covid-19, only 45% responded positively to the governance of Covid-19 crisis post-Sabah state election. As the latest poll was for the fourth quarter of 2020, it did not include significant events that took place last month such as the implementation of movement control order 2.0 since Jan 13 and the declaration of the state of emergency from Jan 13 to Aug 1 this year.
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