Many of Malaysia's ethnic Chinese minority believe the government's economic policy discriminates against them in favour of the Malay majority, a survey showed Wednesday.
The Chinese, who control many businesses in this multi-racial nation, said the government often overlooked them in favour of Malays when awarding major public projects, according to respected Merdeka Center for Opinion Research.
It said 45 percent of Chinese surveyed were "unhappy and dissatisfied" with economic policy which they believed also benefited the rich and politically connected over those who worked hard.
About 1,022 people were questioned in the survey, carried out in June, to gauge public sentiment ahead of general elections tipped for later this year or early in 2008.
Merdeka also said 75 percent of Malays believe Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government was handling the economy well in contrast to the Chinese who gave him a "below average" approval rating.
"The majority of Chinese are less confident with the government's ability in fulfilling people's aspirations," the survey said.
It was not known how many Malays were questioned for the survey.
Merdeka said the survey found that rapidly rising crime rates and rising consumer prices were major concerns for all ethnic groups.
Abdullah's party, the United Malays National Organization, draws its strength from ethnic Malays who form 60 percent of the 26 million population.
UMNO is the dominant party in the ruling National Front coalition, which also includes ethnic Chinese and Indian parties.