Discussions on the country’s politics dominate social media

On Twitter, hashtags such as ‘Tun M’, ‘Anwar’, ‘Azmin’, ‘Muhyiddin’, ‘Zahid’ and ‘Syed Saddiq’ have made the list of the most trending subjects


THE country’s political turmoil over the last one week dominated Malaysia’s social media (socmed) platforms while elsewhere around the world, worries over the spread of Covid-19 heightened as the virus began to spread to more countries.

Malaysians have always been fascinated with politics and the recent political upheaval created a storm among netizens.

On Twitter, hashtags such as “Tun M”, “Anwar”, “Azmin”, “Muhyiddin”, “Zahid” and “Syed Saddiq” have made the list of the most trending subjects.

Socmed users are largely divided over the turmoil that rocked the country and the discussions focused on the country’s leadership, a free and corrupt-free government and leaders.

User @mariyahokay commented that she did not care who takes the premiership but that the people need a leader who is free from any scandal, corruption and scandal.

Another user commented that “to understand what’s happening in Malaysia is like learning algebra”, explaining the complexities of the whole political intrigues.

Largely the comments on Facebook and Twitter are divided along partisan and party lines with some racial undertones.

“So on Facebook, people are actually happy because all they want is an all-Malay gov with no DAP,” Twitter user @sharifahsyakila said.

Others, however, retaliate based on their party lines, supporting the DAP and the need to respect other races. Malaysians also created memes and interesting theories to explain the whole political situation.

On Reddit, there is a mega-thread of Malaysian politics as the “central place for discussions or news updates on the political rumblings that are going on at the moment”.

Amid all the frenzy, veteran politician Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, also known as Ku Li, created a buzz in the Twitter-sphere after a video recording of him telling a journalist that he would only answer questions asked in Malay went into an overdrive across all platforms.

Some netizens praised him for “upholding the Malay language as the national language”, while others did not see the light side of his brash statement. Centre to all the postings are about the back-door government, dissolution of Parliament and a snap election.

Socmed users lambasted the #NotMyPM tweet as a sign of disrespect against the King’s decision. Netizens fired back with #DaulatTuanku to show their support for the King. Socmed users also reminded others to not get carried away with their vile comments.

“We just have to put our faith in our PM and respect Agong’s decision. Do you think Agong just simply choose? It’s not easy for him too. And this #NotMyPM kinda rude hashtag to be honest. It should be #DaulatTuanku. Disrespectful,” Twitter user @SyedMuhdFadli said.

Around the world, the Covid-19 outbreak which has spread to more than 60 countries (at press time) has been the main discussion on socmed.

In the US, the Trump administration has announced travel restrictions on Iran, Italy and South Korea following the first death in the country due to the virus. The virus is blooming into its own life in socmed as a sense of panic begins to sweep across the world.