BANGI – A recently concluded survey among voters in Peninsular Malaysia found that 54% of them want to see regular debates between prime minister Najib Razak and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Support for the debate was especially high young voters where 67% agreed that there should be a debate between the two leaders to showcase their “ideas and policies to the nation”.
The survey for support for the debates was strongest among young Malay voters at 76% and lowest among Malay voters aged 60 and above, at 39%. While some argue that such debates are unnecessary and “not a part of our culture” the findings suggests that it will help voters make up their minds as 62% of voters who have yet to decide which party to vote for, thus deemed ’undecided’, support the notion of having debates between the leader of the ruling and opposition coalitions.
Among the topics voters want to see debated include “economic issues” at 17%, “current national issues” at 9% and “welfare of the people” and “development of the country” at 7% , respectively. These issues were followed by “combating corruption” at 5%.
The survey was carried out by the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research between 10th and 23rd February 2012 to gauge voters’ perceptions of current developments in the country. 1,022 registered voters comprising 59% Malay, 32%Chinese and 9% Indian respondents were interviewed by telephone in the poll. Respondents were selected on the basis of random stratified sampling along ethnicity, gender and state of residence. The survey was funded internally by Merdeka Center for Opinion Research for release to the public.
"That much I accept. I am happy to argue politics with any reasonable man or woman and appreciate Malaysians' lively political debate,"