What Worries Malaysia in 2017?

Ipsos study reveals that immigration control (foreign workers) is Malaysians' biggest worry.

Ipsos Study reveals that immigration control (foreign workers) is Malaysians' biggest worry.

  • Top 3 concerns that Malaysians worry about: Immigration Control (foreign workers), Governance (government and corporate conduct) and Unemployment.
  • Three groups most worried about immigration control: Households with income below RM3,000, Malays and those living in rural areas.


Note: Latest Ipsos data for What Worries Malaysia 2021:- 



what worries malaysia 2017

December 5, 2017

In its inaugral study "What Worries Malaysia", Malaysians were asked what their top concerns were among a series of current issues similarly surveyed in the Ipsos global study titled "What Worries The World". What was the verdict? What were most Malaysians worried about?

The 2017 poll was conducted in tandem with the 25-country global study, asking citizens on the key issues they believe are facing in their country. Over 2,000 Malaysians surveyed revealed that the top three worries were Immigration Control, Governance (government and corporate content) and Unemployment.

Immigration Control, specifically immigration of foreign workers, had households with income below RM3,000 most worried. Malays and those living in rural areas were two other groups most concerned about Immigration Control. According to the official statistics by The Ministry of Home Affairs, the number of registered foreign workers in Malaysia is estimated to be around 1.9 million. However, this figure does not account for undocumented (illegal) foreign workers.

Household income of less than RM1,000, females and also students had the highest reported level of worry in terms of unemployment. The survey also drew up deeper insights revealing that there are three other groups most concerned about unemployment - the Malays, those who are single and Generation Zs aged 15-24 years.

Based on previous Ipsos studies, there is a correlation between the concern on Immigration Control and Unemployment. When unemployment rate goes up, the concern on uncontrolled immigration tends to rise as well.

The release of "What Worries Malaysia" coincides with the launch of Ipsos Public Affairs division in Malaysia that specialises in research on public policy issues and the attitudes & behaviours of citizens and consumers.

Managing Director of Ipsos in Malaysia, Katharine Davis said,"The concerns of our fellow Malaysians are by no means insignificant. Social issues such as immigration control and unemployment are profound and have a direct impact on the livelihood of all our citizens. These issues also transcend national borders: immigration control has been an area of focus in developed economies across the globe, including Great Britain, USA and Australia. Naturally, keeping abreast of the sentiments of Malaysian citizens by listening, understanding and anticipating their worries will help the development of important public policies."

About the study:

*The study was conducted among a total of 2027 consumers aged 15-64 years old across Malaysia, via telephone interviews. Fieldwork was conducted over two waves in 2017.

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