Children rehearsing for the Merdeka celebration in Slim River. Pix by ROSMAN SHAMSUDIN.
A staff helps with the installation of a giant Jalur Gemilang near Gambang Toll, East Coast Expressway, ahead of the Merdeka celebration. Bernama.

KUALA LUMPUR: “I’m proud to be a Malaysian“; This is what Malaysians proudly said in a nationwide survey on patriotism held during the run up to the 59th independence anniversary next Wednesday.

In the same telephone survey conducted by KajiDATA Research, the 1,000 respondents from different ethnic, religious, age groups, education and income level were also cautious of the country’s economic and security outlook.

A. Yazid Othman, KajiDATA Research’s business consultant noted that the survey was to gauge how far Malaysians were proud of their country, their immediate concerns and their knowledge on the independence figures and dates through a carefully prepared set of questions and supervised by KajiDATA’s advisor Professor Datuk Sri Dr Syed Arabi Idid.

Right from the outset the survey indicated the majority of Malaysians (77.2 percent) knew who was Malaysia’s first leader - Chief Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman - and the year the nation achieved independence 1957 (84.3 percent).

While Malaysians have great pride over their country, respondents in Kuala Lumpur and Kedah were not confident enough over the nation’s ability to pull through or face any challenges in the future.

A significant number of respondents throughout the country were concerned over national security and crime, with the fear over security being more obvious in Pahang and Sabah.

However, the concern over economy has far reaching implications on how Malaysians will be spending. In the next six months 71 percent of the respondents will avoid traveling aboard, avoid purchasing new houses (81 percent), avoid purchasing new car (83 percent), and even avoid starting or extending a family (76 percent).

Due to their concern over the economy, many are concerned over employment availability and also will avoid changing profession (86 percent).

However, the good thing is that many of the respondents (66.8 percent) were confident in facing the future challenges.

Based on the survey, Syed Arabi concluded that though Malaysians were proud of their country, they have been realists as well. They know of the headwinds the country is facing and are prepared to face the challenges.

Established in 2015, KajiDATA Research specialises in commercial and social intelligence. Its mission is to effectively acquire and unearth actionable insights. --BERNAMA