Partyforumseasia: According to the 2012 Edelman Trust Barometer (link here), in which an American market research company measures the trust in governments, business, media, and NGOs in 25 countries, the majority does not trust the governments. For Southeast Asia, the index has data only for Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore:
The figures above are for the “informed public” segment of the survey and look comparatively positive for Singapore (77% in 2011 and 73% in 2012), Indonesia (falling from 62% to 40%), and Malaysia (49% when it was included in 2012). In contrast to Western countries, the percentage of people who don’t trust government leaders at all to tell the truth looks relatively low here. The regional results are: Indonesia 36%, Malaysia 24%, Singapore 15%. But the overall distrust rates may be much higher.
Looking at all 25 countries, the deficits in credibility are shown as the difference between the expectations and the perceived reality: For the question: government “listens to needs and feedback” of the citizens the gap is 50%, for “has transparent and open practices” also 50%, and for “communicates frequently and honestly” the gap is 49%.
Partyforumseasia’s Conclusion: The survey certainly has its own limitations, not least the sometimes rather wild changes between the years surveyed since 2000. But if we extrapolate some of the disquieting results to the political parties running the respective governments, there should be enough lessons to be learned. One important development is the growing diversification of trust in the media and the number of sources of information: