Malaysiakini News

Can social media keep the new powerful in check?

Lim Teck Ghee  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | In the analysis following the outcome of GE14, there is now a deluge of reasons put forward for the Pakatan Harapan victory. Reasons advanced, include the surfeit of corruption scandals topped by the 1MDB and Felda cases; the livelihood woes of those in the lower and middle class; the outrage with Umno's version of the rule of law; etc.

I have myself noted the role of social media and WhatsApp in countering BN's superiority in money and media through the internet and WhatsApp dissemination of anti-Najib and anti-BN messages which resonated with the masses.

According to the latest one by Umno Youth chief, Khairy Jamaluddin, he commented that the party (including himself) lost because it held on to a feudal mindset of hiding the truth from the leader; and noted that the party had become detached from reality while believing in its invincibility.

Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that Umno - indeed drunk on its own Kool-Aid (and that of advisers and consultants) - underestimated the role of Dr Mahathir Mohamad in this watershed election in Malaysian history.

Clearly, Mahathir was the game changer in the stunning election outcome. Without him, BN will still be the ruling government, and Najib Abdul Razak the prime minister.

Indisputably too, without Mahathir, Malaysians will not have the astonishing political spectacle that we have been witnessing in the last few days - resignations of the leaders of BN's main component parties; the swift switch of allegiance of some BN candidates, including successful ones; the sacking or 'voluntary' departure of heads of some powerful government agencies; the confession of “buckling under pressure” made by a corporate giant; and other once in a lifetime acts of political drama that are unfolding on a daily basis to grip the public's attention...

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