Aug 4, 2008

PM Abdullah's approval ratings at all-time low

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was accepting of the drop in his approval rating as suggested by an opinion poll conducted by the Merdeka Centre recently.

"Nevermind-lah. That's the fate of politicians. Up and down. What's important is what you do before you leave," he said after a meeting with Wanita Umno leaders at the Putra World Trade Centre here on Monday.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi on Monday brushed off a survey by a local independent polling centre which showed his approval ratings at an all-time low.

This comes as the ruling government faces a tough fight against former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim at the upcoming by-election in Mr Anwar's home turf Permatang Pauh.

Compared to an all time high of 91 per cent which Mr Abdullah enjoyed in 2004 when he first came to power, Mr Abdullah's popularity ratings dipped to 42 per cent last month.

Citing rising fuel price and soaring inflation as voters' main concerns, the survey by Merdeka Center also showed that many Malaysians are fed up with the political uncertainty and bickering plaguing the country.

Still, Mr Abdullah, speaking after launching a special meeting of the ruling party women’s wing, has shrugged off his plunging popularity with a smile.

"That's the fate of politicians everywhere, up and down, what's important is what you finally do before you leave,” the prime minister said.

Mr Abdullah has planned to handover the baton to his deputy Najib Razak in June 2010.

But Mr Anwar has accused the prime minister in waiting of being all out to unseat him, and has promised to form a new government by his self-imposed deadline of mid-September with the help of defecting MPs.

He has also promised to lower pump prices from the current US$0.83 to US$0.62.

Deputy Premier Mr Najib has criticised the populist move as against global trend that will only encourage wastage.

The UMNO Supreme Council will meet on Wednesday to discuss preparations to take on Mr Anwar in his home turf, where Mr Anwar is expected to win big in the coming by-election.

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