Digital Mediatization and the Sharpening of Malaysian Political Contests
About the publication
The introduction of the Multimedia Super Corridor in 1996 was due to the Malaysian government’s initiative to tap into the ICT sector. While this move spearheaded Malaysia into the knowledge economy, digital media enabled the opposition and civil society to compete and break the government’s monopoly over information flows.
Digital mediatization of politics in Malaysia encouraged cyberattacks such as DDoS attacks, hacking and spamming. Cyberbullying on social media is also on the rise.
Information warfare is being perpetuated by organized teams of cybertroopers who disseminate propaganda, fake news, and disinformation in order to influence public opinion.
Digital mediatization of politics has opened up the public sphere and given ordinary citizens, especially youths, the opportunity to voice their opinions on the issues of the day. Social media campaigns, especially on Twitter, discuss the trending issues through the use of hashtags.
PN component parties have the incumbency advantage going into the next election. Its narrative is likely to be ethno-religious. The challenge for the opposition PH, therefore, is to provide an alternative message of inclusivity, unity and acceptance of diversity.