Perhaps it is timely to analyse the impact of social media on our political landscape vis-à-vis the forthcoming 13th general election. (Graphic by Dayang Norazhar/The Mole)
While the number of users pale in comparison to that of Facebook, Malaysia remains the 2nd highest tweet ratio per internet user next to Brazil. It means Twitter is more dynamic than Facebook in terms of expressing one’s view.
Looking at the number of tweets posted and the viral effect it can create on current issues like BERSIH and current crime index, I dare not underestimate its power in marshalling support for both political factions.
In a fiercely intense fight – combining the tweets from politicians and their influential comrades alike – Barisan has gained 1,463,638 followers while Pakatan follows closely with 1,279,452 followers.
Given that both Najib and Anwar prefer to use the one-way communication on Twitter, other politicians have since adopted a more pragmatic approach by engaging their followers on Twitter timeline.
Take @Khairykj for instance. Despite his penchant for being blunt and cynical in answering tweets, he has gained 131,764 followers in his 3 and a half years of tweeting. Khairy’s counterpart in Pakatan, Shamsul Iskandar, trails far behind with only 9,890 followers over the same period.
However, Pakatan draws strength from the ever-popular Hannah Yeoh (47,513 followers), Elizabeth Wong (34,012 followers), Nurul Izzah (60,660 followers) and an experienced politician, Lim Guan Eng (37,564).
The cat-and-mouse game intensifies with Barisan’s strong fort being dominated by Hishammuddin Hussein (120,853 followers), Mukhriz Mahathir (74,348 followers), Tan Keng Liang (24,534 followers) and Rahman Dahlan (9,965 followers). Total followers favoring politicians from the current coalition stands at 1,170,434, while Pakatan trails closely with 774,308.
Lieutenants on both sides of the political divide are drawn to the psych-war on Twitter, like moths to a flame. I am talking about the likes of Lokman Adam, Hishamuddin Rais, Rocky’s Bru, Nathaniel Tan, Firdy Fire and Tricia Yeoh.
Of course, let’s not forget the recent spat between two local celebrities calling each other to a debate about issues plaguing the PDRM. No, I have no comment on that.
Read more at WRITE AWAY.