KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Just 43 per cent of Malaysians are satisfied with their government's handling of the missing-plane mystery while 50 per cent are dissatisfied, according to a survey released Tuesday.
The Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research, Malaysia's leading polling firm, said the survey of more than 1,000 people was conducted from March 13 to 20.
Since that time, however, there has been rising anger among Malaysians against Chinese and other criticism over the fate of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The plane veered off course on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard, including 50 Malaysian citizens. It is believed to have crashed in the remote Indian Ocean, but nothing is known as to what caused it to deviate from its flight path.
Two-thirds of the passengers were from China, and Chinese relatives have expressed disbelief that the plane could simply vanish, with many angrily accusing Malaysia of hiding information.
In the Merdeka survey, the government's handling of MH370 received far more support from members of the Muslim ethnic-Malay majority than from the multi-racial country's large minority communities.
Malaysia's Malay-dominated regime has for decades imposed policies favouring Malays, and regularly plays on Malay fears of economic domination by the country's prosperous Chinese community.
The survey said 63 per cent of Malays were satisfied with the government's handling of the plane crisis, while 30 per cent were dissatisfied.
By contrast, just 18 per cent of ethnic Chinese were satisfied, with 74 per cent unhappy. Thirty-six percent of ethnic Indians were satisfied, while 59 percent were not.