Ipsos survey: Political polarisation a key source of tension among Malaysians

·2-min read
Ipsos found that Malaysians see the need for people to be more sensitive when they express themselves to others. — Reuters pic
Ipsos found that Malaysians see the need for people to be more sensitive when they express themselves to others. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — A recent survey by market analysts Ipsos found that political party polarisation is the key source of tension among Malaysians.

Compared to the global country average, Malaysia has 77 per cent polled under this category, while the global country average is at 69 per cent.

However compared to the United States, political polarisation as a key source of tension is at its highest, at 90 per cent.

This is followed by the divide in economic, social and urban or rural divide, where Malaysia scored 68 per cent compared to the global country average that is 74 per cent.

The country with the highest percentage under this category is South Korea, at 91 per cent.

Different social classes have also become a source of tension among Malaysians, scoring 64 per cent under this category.

Under another section of the report, Ipsos found that Asians feel the need for people to be more sensitive.

“As globalisation has tied the world closer together in recent decades, the parallel trend has been an ever increasing polarisation with societies — new tensions emerge and are felt differently across countries, communities and families.

“In Malaysia, tension is strongly felt when it comes to support for different political parties — across most countries, the tension between rich and poor tends to be the highest,” said Ipsos public affairs associate director, Lars Erik Lie.

Similar to other Asian countries, Ipsos found that Malaysians see the need for people to be more sensitive when they express themselves to others.

Compared to the global country average, 71 per cent Malaysians agree with this sentiment, while India is highest at 76 per cent, China at 72 per cent, Singapore at 67 per cent (one step below Malaysia) followed by Japan at 58 per cent and South Korea at 57 per cent.

“Malaysians want their fellow countrymen to be more sensitive when talking to people with different opinions from diverse backgrounds.

“This is the prevailing sentiment across Asia, compared to the exact opposite view from western world,” said Lars.

In Western countries however, they polled a slightly lower percentage, with Australia at 46 per cent, United State at 45 per cent and Great Britain at 43 per cent.

The 28-market survey was conducted among 23,004 adults on Ipsos’ online panel between December 23, 2020 and January 8, 2021.

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