The Great Malayan Blogging War (Part 1)

Let’s face it, the Barisan Nasional (BN) Government lost two-third majority in the 2008 Malaysian general election (GE), due to the internet. Once access to many unreported ‘scandalous revelations breached by those in power’ were no longer restricted to the Malaysian public, all hell break loose.

For the last 50 years or so, only government-sanctioned news were allowed to be published by BN-owned newspapers and tv stations. Not anymore.

Today, the learned and affluent Malaysian societies have access to contasting views, published by news portals, such as MalaysiaToday, MalaysiaKini, Free Malaysia Today, Sarawak Report and many others.

And these new media help caused BN’s near downfall.


What’s at stake is the Malay votes. The Chinese and Indian voters have already made up their mind during 2008 GE, and more so during the upcoming 2013 GE. These two groups are in favour of the opposition. But not the Malays.

According to Merdeka Center public opinion poll (obviously not widely reported in mainstream media), 85% Indian voters believe that Anwar Ibrahim (the opposition leader) would be a better Prime Minister than Najib Tun Razak. Likewise, most (37.4%) Chinese are also convinced, such is the case. However, the bulk of the Malays (47.3%) still put their faith in Najib/UMNO/BN, as true champion of the Malay rights.

All in all, the majority (39.3%) of the Malaysian public believe that Anwar would be a better Prime Minister for Malaysia.

Fortunately for the BN government, most rural Malays depend largely government-owned media as their main source of information. On the highly-biased Utusan Malaysia and TV3. Although of late, Utusan Malaysia (UM) lost at least six court cases derived from slanderous reporting, UM remains the ultimate source of information to many rural Malays.

Only urban Malays, professional Malays and those with access to the internet are more prone to the opposition. And this is precisely the sector that needs grave attention, that may eventually lead to either victory or death to UMNO. To BN.

The urban, professional non-partisan Malays with access to the internet.

Most urban, professional Malays (UPM) are non-partisans. They are well-read and updated with current political issues. They are also mostly fence-sitters who maintain no specific allegiance to any political party. At the absence of public debates, UPM vote for the candidate with the least number of scandals.

There are a great number of UPM, more than what the public were made to believe. Unfortunately, UPM are neither cohesive nor united. They are the quiet, silent majority who believe thay have no time for politics. Dirty politics.

During the 2008 Malaysian General Election, the Election Commission recorded a total of 321,885 spoilt votes, almost 10% of which derived from the State of Johore. Many believed that the bulk of these spoilt votes were actually PROTEST VOTES from UPM and other members of the public who weren’t particularly impressed with the candidates.

Johore is an UMNO stronghold. Dato Onn Jaafar, the founder of UMNO, was from Johore. Johoreans are nationalists by nature. Johoreans are avid supporters of the Malay Rights issue. Year after year, UMNO has been actively promoting itself to Johorean kampung folks, as the champion of the Malay Rights.

Most non-Malay politicians from Barisan Nasional component parties love Johore. The Malay voters in Johore aren’t as religious and god-fearing Muslims, as those in the East Coast. In Johore, non-Malay candidates carrying the BN banner, could win with a large margin over Muslim oppositions.

Yes, in Johore, a non-Muslim candidate could win big, even in Muslim-majority constituents. All because most Malay Johoreans truly believe that UMNO will always protect the Malays’ welfare. The Malay Right.

After all, the ulama under the ruling government’s payroll endorsed it. Even if it means asking Muslims to vote for a non-Muslim. Even when it means asking the Muslims to go against Allah’s repeated commands (repeated no less than five times) in the Al-Quran:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ أَتُرِيدُونَ أَن تَجْعَلُوا لِلَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ سُلْطَانًا مُّبِينًا

“O you who believe! Take not for Auliya’ (leaders, protectors, helpers or friends) disbelievers, instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves?” [Surah An-Nisa:144]

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا بِطَانَةً مِّن دُونِكُمْ لَا يَأْلُونَكُمْ خَبَالًا وَدُّوا مَا عَنِتُّمْ قَدْ بَدَتِ الْبَغْضَاءُ مِنْ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَمَا تُخْفِي صُدُورُهُمْ أَكْبَرُ قَدْ بَيَّنَّا لَكُمُ الْآيَاتِ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ

“O you who believe! Take not as (your) Bitanah (advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers, insider, friends, etc.) those outside your religion (pagans, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed We have made plain to you the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses) if you understand.” [Al-Imran: 118]

As such, many non-Muslim leaders would jump to the opportunity to contest in Johore, especially in large Muslim-majority areas, at the expense of equally able, local Muslim candidates.

Hence, reason behind the ever-increasing spoilt (protest) votes.

Enter the CyberTroopers.

(To be continued)

– DM


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