"Survey shows only 45% of Malaysians happy with Najib"
That's the heading used by the Malaysian Insider.
"Survey shows only 16% of Malaysians unhappy with Najib"
That's the headline the Malaysian Insider could have used.
The one that they used is not wrong. The latest Merdeka Centre survey did find that 45% of the 1,067 respondents were happy with Najib's performance as Prime Minister so far.
But notice the use of the word "only". Why is that word there?
I think most of us will agree if you say, "Only 1 out of 100".
But not 45.
45 out of 100 is quite a substantial amount.
The RM1 million blogger, meanwhile, interprets the survey's 45% as something else together. According to her, it means that "we do know how many want Najib to leave (leave the country/leave the job as PM?)". Don't laugh!
Poll findings cut both ways. Double-edged. You can report that 45% are happy with Najib or 16% unhappy with Najib, and both are correct.
But if you say "only 45%", you risk being accused of trying to spin.
I mean, you'd be accused of trying to spin if you say "only 16%" are unhappy with Najib.
And yet, that is a fact:
The findings of the survey indeed show that ONLY 16% of Malaysians are unhappy with Najib.
And now we do know that many want Najib to stay!p.s. Another interesting fact is that 4 (not "only 4") out of 1o respondents refused to answer the question in Merdeka Centre's latest survey. A group of bloggers and journalists met with Sir Robert Worcester in Kuala Lumpur last week and one of the things the "UK King of Polling" stressed was the need to have professionals to deal with respondents.