Ahead of national elections, Malaysian politicians woo voters on social media

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Political analyst Dr Jeniri Amir said social media would continue to play a role in the upcoming elections, especially as there would be many young voters.

“Social media influence was there in the 14th general election (GE14) in 2018 and this time it (influence) will be bigger with Undi18,” he said, referring to the legislation that lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.

The number of new voters between the ages of 18 and 21 is quite high, so social media can be an effective political marketing and communication tool, he said.

There are a total of 21.1 million registered voters in Malaysia out of a population of around 32 million people.

Described as a digital democracy, the use of cyberspace for political communication is said to be one of the reasons why the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition led by Umno lost against the opposition pact Pakatan Harapan, which showed more aggressive on social media in the 2018 national elections, says Datuk Dr Jeniri.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Legal Affairs) Mas Ermieyati Samsuddin said in August that the adoption of the Undi18 law on December 15, 2021 had led to a significant increase in the number of voters, adding 5.8 million people. , of which 1.2 million were elderly. 18 to 20.

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