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Survey a ploy to discredit Musa, claims Salleh

Sabah Legislative Assembly Speaker, Salleh Said Keruak
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno deputy chief Salleh Said Keruak today hit out at a survey on Sabah which he claimed was the work of certain people who want to discredit Chief Minister Musa Aman and see him toppled.
He said that the poll was commissioned by those with an agenda and was aimed at demoralising Musa and the Barisan Nasional machinery.
Salleh was commenting on an online news report which claimed that voter satisfaction of Musa in the state has dropped significantly.
The report quoted the survey carried out by the Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research. According to the poll, voter satisfaction towards the chief minister had nose-dived from 60% in November 2009 to 45% in September 2012.
The survey was carried out between Sept 6 and 17 to gauge voters’ perceptions of current developments in Sabah.
A total of 829 registered voters were interviewed for the poll done through fixed line and mobile telephones. The respondents, representing an electoral profile of Sabah, comprised Muslim Bumiputera (51%), non-Muslim Bumiputera (29%) and Chinese (20%) respondents.
Salleh said he did not think that the chief minister’s popularity had dipped based on the results of the survey.
“Musa is not taking part in a popularity contest. Some of the decisions he has to make, no matter how unpopular with a small group of people, are for the betterment of all,” he said.
“For example, the issuance of community titles for people in rural areas. The opposition has harped on this issue, saying it is unfair, but our chief minister has implemented it, taking fully into account the welfare of the people.
“If individual titles were to be issued, chances are they would be sold off for a quick gain. So Musa wants these people to own the land forever and to pass it on to future generations.
“Now, it may be an unpopular decision with some, but that was done with the future in mind.”
Businesses doing well
Salleh also pointed out that all major issues were thoroughly discussed in the Cabinet before decisions were made.
Contrary to what the survey had portrayed, he said investments by foreigners were on the rise and generally most businesses were doing well.
Salleh believed that the survey was done in view of the coming general election.
“The poll was commissioned by those with an agenda, and this could have been from among the opposition or those who wish to see Musa toppled,” he added. “It is a mere ploy to try and discredit Musa.”
Salleh also said that opinion polls and surveys, if not properly carried out, can be flawed and disrespectful to certain parties.
“Even the wording of the questions [in the survey] can influence a person to say things he never intended to say in the first place,” he said.
“The way a question is worded would affect the answers that you get. Some questions do not give the respondent the chance to offer mixed reactions as the questions insist on a definitive answer,” he said.
“Respondents, if interviewed in a group, would tend to give the same responses as they would prefer to follow the herd mentality.
“It is different when a person is interviewed individually where his or her responses would be more accurate.”

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