PETALING JAYA: If there is anything that the Pakatan Harapan government has done, it is to regain some of the people’s trust.
A recently-concluded survey shows that 59% of the population now trust the government, up from 44% previously. Among the more well-informed in society, the level of trust has risen even higher – from 50% to 69%.
This new sense of confidence is also reflected in other institutions, such as business, the media and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), according to Edelman’s Trust Barometer.
The mass population’s trust in the media has risen from 44% to 51%, to make a 7% improvement. Trust in NGOs among the general public is up from 57% to 61% and for the more well-informed crowd, it has risen from 74% to 79%.
However, for the business sector, the more well-informed crowd have become less trusting. Now, only 71% trust businesses, down from 76%. But, for the general public, it has risen from 56% to 59%.
“I’ve never seen so much optimism and enthusiasm. The numbers show that people are now more positive, they actually look forward to things,“ said Edelman chief strategist, Sailesh Wadhwa, at the unveiling of the 2019 trust barometer event, today.
Malaysians have also become more active in seeking out news. Now, 24% of consumers (those who consume news on a weekly basis) seek out news compared with 19% previously.
The proportion of those who consume news about weekly or more and share or post content several times (they are referred to as amplifiers) has seen a big jump – from 36% to 57%.
As expected, a large proportion of Malaysians fear the spread of fake news and information being used as a weapon. A total of 82% of them express such fears, compared with a 71% global average.
Media Prima Group managing director, Datuk Kamal Khalid, attribute the higher level of trust in the media to the fact more people now rely on traditional media to verify news items.
“Our editorial positioning and being fair and objective are among the reasons more people now look to us to verify the news,“ he said.
A total of 33,000 individuals took part in the online survey, conducted from Oct 19 to Nov 16, last year. The survey measures people’s trust in four institutions: government, NGOs, business and the media.