PETALING JAYA, 15 July 2009: Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim was given the thumbs up by 63% of respondents in an independent poll conducted last month, while 19% were unsatisfied with his performance.
The results of the survey by the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research conducted between 5 and 15 June were released to the state government, which announced it today amidst tension in the state legislative assembly over the performance of its executive councillors (exco).
The survey had been commissioned by the state government, a statement from Khalid’s office said today. A total of 1,360 registered voters in Selangor were interviewed by telephone for the survey.
The poll also revealed that 60% of Selangor residents felt that the state is heading in the right direction, while 64% said they were satisfied with the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government’s performance. Twenty-two percent said they were not satisfied.
By ethnicity, 59% of those satisfied with the state government were Malay Malaysians, while Chinese and Indian Malaysians tied at 69% each.
Selangor’s PR government is currently in the spotlight with allegations that one of its exco members has close links to underworld figures. The accusation was brought by Wangsa Maju Member of Parliament Wee Choo Keong, who said in his blog that a Selangor exco member had been allowing local mafia figures to use his public office premises for meetings.
He did not name the exco member, but his allegation drew the strongest response from Ronnie Liu, the exco member in charge of local government issues. Liu is from the DAP, while Wee is from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
Azmin Ali Wee made the allegation in a blog entry to support the suggestion by Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyperson Azmin Ali‘s call for Khalid to reshuffle the Selangor exco lineup, citing non-performance and public complaints. Azmin is also vice-president of PKR, which is also Khalid’s party.
Azmin has denied speculation that he is out to replace Khalid as menteri besar, blaming former Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo from the Barisan Nasional for starting the rumours.
Come clean, says MCA
Riding on Wee’s allegation, the MCA is turning the heat on Liu by asking him to reveal the number of entertainment licenses approved, since these fall under Liu’s jurisdiction as the exco in charge of local government.
MCA Selangor secretary Lee Wei Kiat in a statement today said Liu had to clarify this because the number of illegal massage parlous and cybercafés had allegedly increased since the PR took over the state government after the 2008 March general election.
Lee also pointed out that Liu had himself revealed in the state assembly that there were more than 1,000 cybercafés operating illegally.
Measures well received
The Merdeka Center survey found that the Selangor government’s good ratings were due to measures taken by the administration, such as its Merakyatkan Ekonomi Selangor agenda, which introduced several welfare programmes. These included Tabung Warisan Anak Selangor, Skim Mesra Usia Emas, free water for the first 20 cubic metres for all Selangor households, and Hadiah Anak Masuk Universiti, an education fund for children of plantation workers.
The poll also found that 58% were confident in the state government’s ability to manage the state’s economy.