Edelmen Trust Barometer 2022: Malaysians’ trust in businesses and NGOs rising, but falling in government and media
KUALA LUMPUR (May 25): Malaysians’ trust in businesses and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has increased while their trust in government and the media has declined, according to the Edelmen Trust Barometer 2022 survey.
The findings, revealed by Edelman Malaysia on Wednesday, also showed that Malaysia, like the rest of the world, is experiencing a cycle of mistrust.
Edelman said Malaysians’ level of trust in business increased by 2 points to 71% while NGOs saw a one point increase to 70%. In contrast, trust in government and the media fell 3 and 2 points to 62 and 60, respectively.
Businesses and NGOs are in the trust zone (above 59 points), but the government and the media are close to the neutral threshold.
In Malaysia, six out of 10 people said their default tendency is to distrust something until they have solid proof that it is trustworthy.
“In line with the global trend, 64% of Malaysians believe the country is polarized to the point that people are unable to have a constructive and civil debate with peers who hold opposing views,” according to the statement from Edelman Malaysia.
Nearly 43% of Malaysians view the government as a divisive force in society, compared to 42% of Malaysians who view the government as a unifying force.
Overall, Malaysia achieved an average Trust Index of 66 points, on par with its 2021 score. a place from 2021.
The Edelman Trust Barometer, involving 36,000 respondents worldwide, is an annual trust and credibility survey conducted by global communications marketing company, Edelman.
The survey showed that societal fears are also on the rise in Malaysia, with job loss and climate change cited as the top two societal fears, rising 5 points to 94% and 81% respectively.
Malaysians also worry about the erosion of their freedoms as citizens, registering a 9 point increase from 2021 to 80% while fears of experiencing prejudice and racism also increased by 11 points to 76%.
“Democracies that once boasted of values like freedom of speech and expression now face the daunting task of balancing basic human rights with societal issues,” said Christopher de Cruz, group director of ‘Edelman Malaysia.
“An example of a persistent problem is that of fake news which has remained a serious concern for a decade now with no clear solution in sight,” he added.
Malaysia now ranks second, after Spain and alongside Indonesia, among the countries most concerned about fake news.
Edelman pointed out that 83% of Malaysians are concerned about fake news, which is a seven-point increase from last year’s results.
The survey also revealed that 30% of Malaysians believed companies were very effective agents of positive change, while 42% supported NGOs.
The survey found that 78% of Malaysians want CEOs to be visible when discussing public policy with external stakeholders or about the work their companies have done for the benefit of society.
They also expect CEOs to help inform and shape conversations and policy debates on a range of issues from jobs and the economy, wage inequality, technology to automation, but not about politics.
However, Malaysians said companies were not doing enough to address societal issues such as economic inequality, systemic injustice and climate change.
“While Malaysians want more corporate leadership, not less, we need to understand that corporations are no longer just for-profit organizations and their societal role is here to stay.
“They must accept responsibility for filling the void left by the government. Simply running a business is not enough, CEOs and other business leaders are expected to speak up about issues that impact the communities in which they operate,” said Christopher.