Najib's Support Dropped Sharply

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Fewer people in Malaysia are expressing support for Najib Razak, according to a poll by the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research. 56 per cent of respondents are satisfied with the prime minister’s performance, down 10 points since July.

The United Malays National Organization (UMNO)—the biggest party in a coalition of 12 political factions known as the National Front (BN)—has formed the government after every election since the Asian country attained its independence from Britain in 1957.

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over as prime minister in October 2003, after the retirement of Mahathir Mohamad, who served for more than 22 years. In the March 2004 election, the National Front secured 198 of the 219 seats in the House of Representatives. Abdullah was sworn in as head of government with the biggest majority in three decades.

In the March 2008 ballot, the National Front won 140 seats in the legislature. The coalition’s share of the vote dropped drastically, from 64.4 per cent in 2004, to 50.27 per cent in 2008. According to Human Rights Watch, the most recent election was "grossly unfair" and marred by irregularities.

In September 2008, Abdullah announced his intention to step down in 2009. Najib—who served as deputy prime minister and finance minister—took over as head of government in April.

On Oct. 18, Najib urged UMNO members to work for the people and shed the party’s image of corruption, declaring, "No need for rocket science, just do what needs to be done for the people."

Polling Data

Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with the way Najib Razak is performing his job as the prime minister?

Month of 2009 Satisfied Dissatisfied Not sure

Sept. 2009 56% 23% 21%

Jul. 2009 65% 22% 13%

May 2009 45% 16% 39%

Source: Merdeka Center for Opinion Research

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