Malaysians are more confident of Putin and Xi on the world stage compared to Macron or Biden, Pew survey shows

Malay Mail
Malay Mail
  • Pew Research Center's survey found that more Malaysians believe in Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on global affairs

  • Both US President Joe Biden and his disgraced predecessor Donald Trump ranked lower than French President Emmanuel Macron

  • The same survey also found that 65 per cent of Malaysians have unfavourable views towards the US

KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 — A bigger proportion of Malaysians polled by the Pew Research Center expressed their confidence in Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping when it comes to world affairs.

The Washington-based pollster's Spring 2024 Global Attitudes Survey showed that the views of Malaysians did not reflect others among the 34 countries polled, where a median of 43 per cent said they have confidence in Biden to do the right thing.

“Even though Biden gets better assessments than Trump globally, ratings for the current US president are down since last year in 14 of 21 countries where trends are available, including by double digits in Australia, Israel, Japan, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom," it said in an accompanying press release.

The report launched last night pointed that confidence in Xi and Putin is generally low across the countries surveyed — a median of 24 per cent trust the Chinese president, while 21 per cent trust the Russian leader.

However, this does not hold true in Malaysia where 61 per cent of respondents had confidence in Putin, followed by 55 per cent in Xi.

Malaysians views on the two world leaders have largely remained unchanged since the last survey in 2022, where 59 of respondents view Putin positively, compared to 62 per cent for Xi.

Biden, Trump, Macron not holding candle to Putin and Xi

In comparison, Macron received thumbs up from 44 per cent of Malaysian respondents in this survey.

Malaysian respondents viewed Biden and his controversial predecessor Donald Trump with equal disdain. Just 30 per cent felt confident that Biden would do the right thing on world affairs, compared to 33 per cent on Trump.

“Around one-in-10 adults in Australia, Japan, Poland and Sweden trust Xi’s handling of world affairs. But views of Xi are not negative everywhere: Half or more in Bangladesh, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore, Thailand and Tunisia have confidence in him,” the survey said.

The survey by the US-based non-partisan think tank was carried out from January 5 until May 21 this year involving a nationally-representative pool of 40,566 people in 34 countries, not including the US.

In Malaysia, the survey was conducted through the telephone.

This Pew Research Centre analysis was focused on the public opinion of Biden and the other world leaders and explored respondents' opinion on the US president's handling of international issues.

China is Malaysia’s biggest trading partner, with the US as the third after Singapore.

Russia is not even in the top 25, but Putrajaya previously said that relations between the two remain cordial despite the former being implicated in the downing of Malaysia Airlines’ Flight MH17 in 2014.

This article is part of a series of stories based on Pew Research Center's Spring 2024 Global Attitudes Survey. The first article focused on Malaysians' disapproval of Biden's handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict.