MALAYSIANS GENERALLY PERCEIVE THAT A CHANGE IN US PRESIDENCY WILL BRING IMPROVED STABILITY TO THE REGION
When it comes to consumer confidence, the state of the local economy and local politics are primary factors that influence Malaysians.
However, locals also believe that turbulent leadership in the United States, trade wars, volatile alliances, prejudiced foreign policies and poor COVID-19 accountability from the most powerful democratic nation have not helped in a world that has already been tremendously destabilised by the pandemic.
As such, most Malaysians think that a change at the Oval Office following the Nov 4 US elections could bring positive change in the region in the form of better US-Asian relationships, better global trade opportunities and a more conscientious and unified global effort to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
This would remove the current “maverick” status attributed to US global policy and boost local consumer confidence about the progress of the global economy and welfare moving forward.
This sentiment was recently captured by market research firm Ipsos, which found that nearly half of the Malaysians studied in a recent survey said they were confident that Democratic candidate Joe Biden will be elected as the next United States president, compared to just over one in 10 who placed their bets on incumbent Donald Trump.
The survey found that 49% of Malaysian believed (read: hope) that Joe Biden would be the next US president.
In comparison, just 12% believed Trump would be re-elected, while the remaining 39% either said they did not know, or they preferred not to speculate.
Titled “A Global View of the United States Presidential Election” the report, which was released last week, also found that the Malaysian response on US elections varied significantly with the global average, where only 39 per cent speculated that Biden would win, while 27 per cent chose Trump as the victor.
However, the Malaysian sentiment was in line with other leading Asian nations. South Korea, India, and Japan also showed a majority who believed Biden would win the elections, with 50%, 39% and 32% respectively.
Despite this, Malaysians seemed to have very low confidence in the US election process, with most citing vote buying, fake news and voter fraud among the biggest threats.
Remarkably, US citizens shared similar fears, but were significantly more concerned about efforts to misuse or destroy valid votes, as well as voter suppression.
The Ipsos report studied citizens in the US and 24 other countries including. Conducted online between September and October this year, it surveyed 1,000 adults in the US aged 18 to 74, and 17,507 adults in other countries aged 16 to 74 or 18 to 74.