'Anwar's approval rating still higher than past three predecessors' - Rafizi

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's approval rating is still higher than that of the past three prime ministers before him, said Rafizi Ramli.

The Economy Minister said the popularity pattern for all prime ministers was the same, starting with high support when they first assumed office, but dropping sharply after six months to a year in the post.

"This is not something strange. The report (by the Merdeka Centre) must be read in context. Any government in the world, once they come into power, their popularity will fall.

"So in this case, (the findings) must be read in context with the three prime ministers before Anwar, and after Datuk Seri Najib Razak, namely Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, and Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

"Any prime minister, after assuming office, experiences a drop in popularity. But based on my reading of the findings, (Anwar's) approval rating is better than the prime ministers before him after a year in office."

He told this to reporters after the simultaneous launch of the PKR Wanita and Youth congresses here, this morning.

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Rafizi, who is also PKR deputy president, said based on their party's own surveys, the unity government's popularity was high after the last general election, and remained so until May after the drop in the currency, an issue used by the opposition during the state elections.

He added that it slowly climbed back up after the government launched a series of policy papers, including the Madani Economy and National Energy Transition Roadmap, among others.

"Based on our survey, which has guided us since 2016 until we became the government, it is status quo.

"The unity government and Anwar's leadership are at their most stable, because the politics is stable internally, and the people's support towards him is status quo.

"Going forward and looking at the elements, the unity government is rock solid. The public support is going up, albeit not incrementally, but the opposition is in tatters," he added.

The Merdeka Centre study had shown that Anwar's approval rating had dropped to 50 per cent compared with 68 per cent in its December poll last year.

This, the independent pollster said, was due to rising concern over the country's economy.

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