Survey shows surge in Malaysians’ trust in govt, reflecting growing confidence in stability of Anwar administration

Malay Mail
Malay Mail
  • In Malaysia, trust in government rose massively in 2024 compared to the year before — two-thirds of respondents agreed with this sentiment.

  • Edelman Malaysia said this reflected confidence in the administration of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

  • Business is most trusted in Malaysia followed by non-governmental organisations (NGO). There is little trust in the media.

  • Malaysians’ top concerns in 2024: slow economic growth, societal divisions, and misinformation.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 — Malaysia is among the top 10 most trusting nations out of the 28 surveyed with its Trust Index score going up six points to 68 compared to 2023, the recently-released 2024 Edelman Trust Barometer showed.

The global public relations consultancy firm said the surge in trust is a reflection of a growing confidence in the stability and democratic governance of the Anwar administration.

“Malaysia’s rise in trust underscores a positive shift in public perception towards our governance and institutional frameworks,” said Edelman Malaysia chief operating officer Christopher de Cruz in an accompanying press release yesterday.

“This increase signals a growing optimism in our ability to navigate economic challenges and foster inclusive growth.”

The global report was published in January this year but the Malaysian version was launched in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

In the survey, Malaysians showed a massive and significant increase in trust in government, with the country ranking 7th and 67 per cent of respondents agreeing to the sentiment — a rise of 13 percentage points.

According to Edelman, business is the most trusted institution in Malaysia, closely trailed by NGOs, while the government is perceived as less competent and ethical than business.

Other findings involving trust in Malaysia:

  • Ranked 2nd in the biggest change of Trust Index score (+6), after South Korea (+7)

  • Ranked 7th for “trust in business”, with 75 per cent respondents agreeing (significant +7 increase in percentage points)

  • Ranked 6th for “trust in NGOs” (70 per cent, +1pp)

  • Ranked 8th for “trust in media” (60 per cent, +5pp)

  • Ranked 7th for “trust in employer” (86 per cent, +6pp)

The survey also listed Malaysians’ top concerns as “slow economic growth, societal divisions, and misinformation”.

Additionally, it said 97 per cent of employed Malaysians worry about job loss, followed by climate change (85 per cent) and the increase of information warfare (73 per cent).

It also pointed out that Malaysian respondents were sceptical towards establishment leaders, with widespread concern that government, businesses and journalists are “purposefully trying to mislead people”, potentially leading to decreased trust in sole authority figures.

Edelman also said that Malaysian respondents called for more vital collaboration between businesses and the government to address pressing societal issues, with public support for businesses partnering with the government in innovation surging 19 per cent since 2015.

“Restoring trust hinges on transparent engagement between businesses, government, and the public ... Open dialogue and aligning innovation with societal values are paramount for responsible adoption of technological advancement,” de Cruz added.

When it comes to global superpowers, Malaysians were generally distrustful of the European Union but fairly neutral on the United Nations.

The Edelman Trust Barometer is the firm’s annual trust and credibility survey, a cornerstone of its thought leadership programme. It examines trust and credibility across industries, geographies, and demographics.

For this report, Edelman surveyed over 32,000 people across 28 countries from November 3 to 22 last year, including 1,150 respondents from Malaysia.

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