Poll: Only 11% believe that Anwar Ibrahim engaged in sodomy

International Herald Tribune, AP

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Public confidence in Malaysia’s political and economic future has dwindled dramatically in recent months, with the prime minister’s popularity hitting an all-time low, a survey showed Friday.

The independent Merdeka Center research firm found that only 28 percent of registered voters polled in July felt encouraged by the country’s direction, a severe fall from 68 percent in late February.

The center said its nationwide survey of 1,030 adults was conducted by telephone July 4-14 and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points. […]

In another blow to the government, 66 percent of respondents thought that a recent sodomy accusation against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was politically motivated to disrupt his career, the Merdeka Center said.

Anwar insists the accusation by his 23-year-old former aide was part of a government plot, but Abdullah and other leaders deny any conspiracy. Police completed their investigation into the allegation Thursday, but government prosecutors have not announced if Anwar would be charged.

Only 11 percent of the Merdeka Center’s respondents believed the sodomy accusation, compared with 55 percent who thought it was false. The others were unsure or did not respond. Only 31 percent were confident that police would handle the case in a fair and transparent manner.

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