T HE performance of the Royal Government has been rated as "very good" or "good" according to the majority of people interviewed in a first ever public opinion survey conducted by the Khmer Journalists Association (KJA) .
KJA journalists interviewed 1,196 people between Sept 18-22, ranging from farmers to cyclo drivers to businessmen, to collect information determining the effectiveness of the government's performance.
Thirty-six percent of respondents rated the government's performance as "very good" and 22 percent rated it as "good", while only eight percent categorized the government's performance as "backward" with a further six percent rating the government as "not performing at all".
The respondents were also very positive about the performance of the Co-Premiers, with 49 percent rating Prince Ranariddh's performance as "very good" and a further 19 percent said his performance was "good" while 32 percent rated Hun Sen's performance as "very good" and 20 percent rated it as "good".
But KJA president Pin Samkhon said the respondents often answered the questions as if they were being interviewed by the police, because this was the first ever survey of its type conducted in the country, and thus they were keen to give positive answers instead of negative ones.
But he added that the result of the poll was beyond expectations and showed the democratic character of the society.
Clearly the most popular minister in government was Sam Rainsy with 54 percent of respondents rating his performance as "very good". Ung Huot was second most popular with 11 percent rating his performance as "very good" while Prince Norodom Sirivudh was third with nine percent rating his work as "very good".
But a senior cabinet official expressed skepticism about Rainsy's popularity and said the survey results were attributable to the Finance Minister's high-profile stand in the Olympic Market dispute where he backed vendors' demands for free stalls to be given to them in the new market by the Thai Boon Roong company.
Minister of Industry and Energy Pou Sothirak was the least popular government minister among the survey participants with 17 percent of respondents rating his performance as "not good at all".
Other unpopular government members included Co-Interior Minister Sar Kheng and the Phnom Penh Mayor Chhim Seak Leng who collected 13 and 10 percent respectively in the "not good performance at all" category.
Samkhon said: "People blame Pou Sothearak for blackouts, Sar Kheng and You Hockry for security problems, and Chhim Seak Leng for the blocked sewage that causes flooding in the city's streets."