Blackbox Briefings

Perception Survey: Insights from the Singapore Malay/Muslim Community

AMP Convention CoverOn 30 June 2012, the Association of Muslim Professionals held its 3rd National Convention of Singapore Muslim Professionals.

Attended by PM Lee Hsien Loong, the convention prominently featured Blackbox’s commissioned public perception study of Malay-Muslims in Singapore. Blackbox’s findings were also included in the convention publication.

Study Background

The Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP) commissioned a perception study in 2011 to better understand the aspirations and expectations of the Malay-Muslim community (MMC) today in terms of its progress and position in Singapore’s development and its contribution to nation building.

Approximately 350 members of the Malay-Muslim community were interviewed over a period of two months. The sample was representative across age, gender and socio-economic status in line with the most recent Department of Statistics Census data.

Additionally, 59 key influencers identified by AMP as prominent figures in the Malay-Muslim community completed online interviews. This segment comprised of leading individuals in various sectors including media, civil service, social and business sectors as well as entrepreneurs who have considerable influence on the community.

In-depth interviews were also conducted with a handful of opinion leaders in the community including policymakers and leaders of prominent ethnic-based community organizations.

Executive Summary

In the last five years, do you think things have generally gotten better, gotten worse or stayed the same?

A Generally Content Community
The survey of the Malay-Muslim community in Singapore (along with other key Malay-Muslim stakeholders) reveals both satisfaction with the country’s direction and a strong sense that local Malay-Muslims have made good progress over the last five years.

Nearly two in three (63%) Malay/Muslim respondents believe that Singapore is currently on the right track, largely attributable to the country’s economic stability and growing prosperity. Those who felt Singapore is on the wrong track (17%) cited the high cost of living today is cited as the main factor for thinking so.

56% of Malay/Muslims believed that Singapore has made progress in the last five years. In comparison, only about a third (31%) believed the Malay/Muslim community has made progress in the last five years. Less than one in ten (9%) believed the situation has gotten worse for Malay/Muslims, while 59% think that things have remained stable.

According to more than half of those who indicated things have gotten better in the last five years, the main improvement identified was education.

Cost of Living is Main Issue
More than three in five Malay-Muslims (62%) highlight the general cost of living as an important issue for the community, ahead of the next two issues – employment (35%) and housing affordability (31%).

From the demographic analysis, cost of living is a far bigger issue amongst those with lower education (secondary and below).
Most Malay-Muslims (65%) believe their community enjoys the same opportunities as other Singaporeans. In contrast, nearly half (48%) of the key influencers that were surveyed thought otherwise.

Likewise, cost of living is cited as an area where Malay/Muslims felt that they are worse off compared to other Singaporeans. Amongst the key influencers, the community is seen as being greatly disadvantaged when it comes to competing against foreigners for employment, as compared to other Singaporeans.

Optimistic About the Future
Over three in four (76%) Malay-Muslims indicated their confidence in the prospects for the community over the next decade. Key influencers were, however, more polarised in their opinions with many expressing skepticism about the community’s prospects.

Related Articles

Blackbox Briefings

Despite the possibility of getting caught in the cross hairs of a global trade war, our survey of ASEAN citizens across 10 countries reveals both optimism and resilience when it comes to future trade prospects for the region. Four in five SE Asians also think RCEP will help to mitigate against possible upcoming trade winds.

Read More

Blackbox Briefings

Blackbox Research, a Singapore-based independent business and policy research consultancy, released a research paper titled ‘ASEAN Turns 50: A Study of Southeast Asian Perceptions’ today. ASEAN Turns 50 covers key findings from a survey conducted by Blackbox to coincide with ASEAN’s 50th anniversary. The study sought to measure how people across the region feel about ASEAN, its impact on […]

Read More

Blackbox Briefings

A survey conducted by Singapore-based independent research consultancy, Blackbox Research, to coincide with ASEAN’s 50th anniversary, reveals that 78% of Southeast Asians have a positive view of ASEAN. In the first major public survey of citizens conducted across all ten ASEAN nations, findings show that while most Southeast Asians are both positive and optimistic about ASEAN and its […]

Read More

Blackbox Briefings

On February 20th 2017, Singapore’s 51st Budget will be announced in Parliament by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat. Exclusive Blackbox polling on the Budget shows that Singaporeans have the economy very much at the forefront of their minds. They are now increasingly worried about future job prospects for older professionals, managers, executives and technicians (PMETs). Despite satisfaction […]

Read More

Blackbox Briefings

Is artificial intelligence (AI) finally about to enter our everyday reality?  Whether it’s your home, your car, your supermarket or your local family restaurant, artificial intelligence looks set to enter our everyday lives in a big way. As recently featured on Yahoo News Singapore, Blackbox Research has put together an exclusive white paper looking at how […]

Read More

Blackbox Briefings

To commemorate the end of the year of the Monkey, Blackbox Research took to the streets, asking Singaporeans who they would crown the news personality of 2016. 1,000 Singaporean respondents then placed their top three picks from a list of 17 news-makers. Having snatched Singapore’s first ever Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de […]

Read More

Blackbox Briefings

To commemorate the end of 2016 and Singapore’s 51st year since independence, Blackbox interviewed 51 Singaporeans aged fifty-one, asking them to tell us how they feel as Singaporeans at this moment in time. Below, we share some of their thoughts and highlights. “It’s been a journey of development. 50 years is very short for a nation, but […]

Read More

Blackbox Briefings

In September, Singapore’s Government decided to allow limited online betting take place. The move, a first for Singapore, would see the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) exempt Singapore-based lottery operators Singapore Pools and Singapore TurfClub from the Remote Gambling Act, which bans online and phone gambling. In a media release from MHA, the ministry commented on their reasoning […]

Read More

Blackbox Briefings

With its rumoured launch into Singapore planned for early 2017, e-commerce giant Amazon appears well positioned to shake up the local market. Exclusive new research from Blackbox reveals that Singaporeans – already avid online shoppers and big users of Amazon’s overseas sites – appear willing to make the switch, potentially placing many existing e-commerce players […]

Read More

Blackbox Briefings

Exclusive new Blackbox polling commissioned by the leading regional newspaper, the South China Morning Post, reveals that Hillary Clinton is overwhelming the preferred candidate amongst resident Asians for tomorrow’s US Presidential Election (Asian time), despite greater support for Trump in China. Overall, 76% of Asians across the region said they would vote for Clinton vs. […]

Read More