Those not in favour pip supporters of rally: Poll

Slightly more Malaysians oppose today's Bersih 4 rally than support it, a poll has found.

The survey, by the independent Merdeka Centre, revealed that 47 per cent of those polled do not support the assembly, compared with 43 per cent who do.

Supporters were split along racial lines, the poll found, noting that rally participants will be mostly non-bumiputeras who live in the cities and use the Internet.

Of about 600 Malay respondents, 70 per cent oppose the rally, while 81 per cent of 310 Chinese who responded and 51 per cent of about 90 Indians support Bersih 4.

The pollster said "the survey reveals a Peninsular Malaysia electorate that is polarised along ethnic and socio-economic lines".

"While the Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur is likely to attract a large crowd, as indicated by the overwhelming sale of merchandise and donations received by the organiser, the survey suggests that participants will likely be drawn from urban, Internet-savvy and non-bumiputera voters."

The poll was conducted by phone from Aug 15 to 21 and covered 1,010 registered voters. Of those who responded, 60 per cent were Malay, 31 per cent, Chinese and 9 per cent, Indian.

The survey also found that 48 per cent of those supporting the rally were men and only 39 per cent were women, and that 51 per cent of urban dwellers favoured it compared with only 31 per cent of rural voters in favour of it.

Similarly, 57 per cent of those from households earning more than RM3,000 (S$1,000) a month support Bersih and only 28 per cent of those from households earning less than that support it.

The Merdeka Centre said: "Perhaps the most marked finding was that the rally was supported by 81 per cent of the ethnic Chinese respondents and 51 per cent of the ethnic Indian respondents but only favoured by 23 per cent of the ethnic Malay voters interviewed."

The survey also found that 39 per cent of those who support Bersih want to see improvements in institutions such as Parliament.

Of those opposed, 52 per cent said the main reason is they fear it will encourage violence and chaos.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 29, 2015, with the headline 'Those not in favour pip supporters of rally: Poll'. Print Edition | Subscribe