Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Minister questions integrity of UMcedel surveys

The legitimacy of Universiti Malaya’s Centre for Democracy and Elections’ (UMcedel) surveys is being questioned by Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan .

“UMcedel surveys sometimes touch on subjective political issues. Way beyond the normal academic scope. Political surveys do have biasness,” tweeted the Kota Belud MP, Monday.
Abdul Rahman said that although the surveys targeted both the Government and opposition, there was still a bias.

“Sometimes their sample’s size and quality and their rather ‘framing’ questions could lead to particular bias,” he said.

“Those who attended UMcedel forums always come back with a feeling how bias UMcedel is in its survey approach and methodologies,” he continued.

Abdul Rahman said that UMcedal’s political surveys were not academic research, but rather questionnaires handed out to the public.

“Academicians are untouchable? Helloooo.... this is 2014. Even Kings are made fun of,” he said in reference to the dismissal of UMcedel director Professor Datuk Dr Mohamad Redzuan Othman.
“The good old Prof can open up his own private poll agency after this. No one’s gonna stop him. I wish him luck,” tweeted Abdul Rahman.

Former deputy education minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah who announced that he was quitting his position as University Malaya (UM) senior research fellow in protest of the dismissal responded to Abdul Rahman saying that the minister doesn’t know “what actually happened (sic)”.

“So, it’s okay to politically pressure,” asked Saifuddin, in response to Abdul Rahman’s tweets.
Abdul Rahman replied, “I think dismissing a polling agency head is hardly an academic interference Dato! No need to overreact.”

According to reports, UM’s political science lecturer Professor Datuk Dr Mohammad Redzuan Othman was asked to quit his position as director of UMcedel by the Education Ministry as the ministry was unhappy with independent surveys and polls on Malaysian politics conducted by the professor.

It was also reported that Professor Dr Redzuan’s position as dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences department was not renewed.

The reports claimed that the professor’s termination was due to dissatisfaction over the results of UMcedel’s surveys and polls, which allegedly showed Barisan Nasional in a bad light.

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