Star - Survey: Armed forces personnel can be trusted, not politicians
Friday, July 06, 2018
PETALING JAYA: Being disciplined and well-trained are two traits of the armed forces that impress Malaysians, who ranked them as most trustworthy in a nationwide survey.

Sixty per cent of the 1,000 respondents polled in a survey, commissioned by the Centre For a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet), put the armed forces ahead of eight key institutions. Politicians were the least trusted at only 16%.

Respondents listed the armed forces’ discipline and training as the reasons they could be trusted while they wanted politicians to be honest and dedicated.

They were not concerned with the politicians’ education level or personal wealth.

Other key institutions in the survey were the judiciary, mainstream media, online alternative media, police, municipal council and the federal government.

Sixty per cent did not find the police trustworthy, with perceived corruption as the main reason for their trust deficit (71%), followed by the lack of professionalism (41%).

For those who found the force to be trustworthy, 51% said this was due to their efficiency.

Respondents were, however, divided when it came to the courts with close to half – 45% – finding them trustworthy, listing the judges’ integrity as the main reason for their confidence.

The survey also revealed that 62% of the respondents found local authorities like municipal councils not trustworthy, with their pet peeves being inefficient service and perceived corruption.

Although online alternative media enjoyed higher trustworthiness (31%) compared with traditional print publications, they were also deemed to be “unfair” and publishing “inaccurate/fake news”.

Those who trusted online news were impressed with its “freedom to report without interference from external parties” while those who had no confidence in traditional mainstream media felt that “newspapers were not free to report without interference”.

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