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GE15: Social media tests maturity of young voters

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KUALA LUMPUR: The official campaign for the 15th General Elections (GE15) will only start on November 5, but political parties are already making their presence felt on social networks, directing their pitches at netizens who have yet to decide which “camp” to support. .

In the run-up to GE14, Facebook was the main battleground for many digitally savvy candidates, but this time, TikTok is emerging as their main social media platform to win the hearts and minds of voters, especially young ones.

The popularity of this short video creation and sharing site can be attributed to its sizeable user base: Earlier this year, TikTok had approximately 17 million users in Malaysia, most of them over the age of 18.

On November 19, Malaysians will go to the polls to elect a new government. The nation’s electorate is estimated at 21 million, of which 34 percent are first-time voters.

Interestingly, about 3.8 million of the new voters are 18 years or older: Generation Z, born in the age of information technology and the information explosion and are “savvy” with IT and social media.

Given the situation, questions are likely to be raised about the maturity of these young voters and the decisions they will make at the polls in the face of information overload, including fabricated posts that some observers say may influence voting trends. of this particular generation.

MOST ATTRACTIVE NEGATIVE NEWS

According to political observer and social media personality Tai Zee How, the younger generation of voters relies heavily on social media for information.

“It is evident on social media that more Malaysians are interested in politics now than in previous years. Unfortunately, they seem to be more interested in spreading fake news and slander, and using impolite language,” he said.

He said their maturity can be measured based on the information and opinions they share on social media, adding that this can be used as a guide to assess their voting tendencies.

“However, the maturity of Malaysian voters has been inconsistent since the independence era, rather biased towards their socio-economic status, race, age, location, occupation, gender, etc.

“But their maturity levels will increase, as people no longer rely solely on information from certain sources. It’s just that the assessment of their maturity is different and it’s subjective and relative to each other,” he said.

TIKTOK WAVE

Meanwhile, commenting on the popularity of social media in the run-up to GE15, social media and political analyst Professor Dr. Sara Chinnasamy said that politicians and candidates who do not take advantage of social media tools are they will be left behind in the diffusion of their party. policies, campaign materials and manifesto promises.

Sara, professor of communication and journalism at Universiti Teknologi Mara, said that the online electoral “war” began in 2008 (GE12), gaining strength in GE13 (2013), which was even labeled as a social media election as the candidates and parties had capitalized on this medium to get their messages to the people.

“The (current) wave of TikTok is inevitable… It was the most popular platform used during elections in countries like Germany, Colombia, the Philippines and the United States,” he told Bernama.

But, he warned, social media platforms can also serve as “incubators” for unsubstantiated and misleading content, which is the flip side of social media campaigns.

Urging politicians and candidates to use social media responsibly, Sara said they should only broadcast fact-based and data-backed information, not unverified posts that might stir emotions.

According to her, unleashing a campaign on social networks that incites hatred will not win votes but rather people’s mistrust. Acting ethically on social media, on the other hand, will enhance the credibility of a candidate and the party she represents.

“The unethical behavior of the candidates can lead to more voters deciding to be unfaithful and refusing to vote,” he added.

DECIDE WISELY

Meanwhile, the senior member of the National Council of Teachers, Datuk Dr. Jeniri Amir, advised young voters not to blindly accept any content posted on social media.

“It’s important that young people don’t buy every post they read on social media because some of the content is posted by people who have their own agenda. If they believe everything they read, their decision (at the polls) may be influenced by what that they had read,” he said.

He said netizens should instead try to verify the facts by consulting credible sources, such as established media organizations.

He said voters need to remember that the decision they make on Nov. 19 is for the next five years.

“…acting hastily in making a decision will ultimately hurt the electorate and the candidate they vote for,” he added. – Bernama

— BERNAMA


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Peter Anthony uses Sabah budget debate to apologise for ‘words, actions’ during GE15

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KOTA KINABALU: Parti Kesejahteraan Demoktratik Malaysia (KDM) Chairman Datuk Peter Anthony (Photo) took the opportunity to apologize for any wrong words and actions that may have occurred throughout his campaign leading up to the 15th General Election (GE15).

He was giving his budget debate speech during the state legislature sitting here on Tuesday (Nov. 29), when he apologized without directly referring to any issue or issue.

“The general elections recently concluded and whatever has happened in the past, I hope it stays in the past,” he said.

“We are now in a new government and we hope we can all work together at the state and federal level to budget and move Sabah forward to bring political stability and economic growth,” Peter said.

Representing the party and all its members, he said, “if something wrong was said and done, I apologize.”

On November 5, a riot broke out at the Tenom nomination center when Peter’s nomination was rejected hours after it was accepted by the state Election Commission.

A group of supporters went on a rampage, forcing security forces to use tear gas to disperse the crowd at around 2:00 p.m.

Earlier, Peter spoke about the issues facing his Melalap constituency, which falls under Tenom’s parliamentary seat, including water and electricity supply issues, a lack of shops, economic opportunities and a lack of infrastructure development. .

I hoped that the government would take steps to address these problems, for the betterment of the people of Melalap.

He supported the State Budget 2023 which was introduced in the assembly by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor on Friday (Nov 25).


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PTPTN repayment incentive taken up by over 11,000 S’wak graduates since 2019

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KUCHING: Some 11,095 Sarawakian graduates have benefited from the Yayasan Sarawak Higher Education National Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan repayment incentive since 2019, says Datuk Roland Sagah.

The state’s education, innovation and talent development minister said the incentive has risen to RM36.1 million since it was introduced.

READ ALSO: Budget 2023: Streamline incentives offered, PTPTN borrowers urged

“Sarawak is the only state in Malaysia that provides such an incentive. Another 30 million ringgit has been approved for this incentive next year,” he told the Sarawak Legislative Assembly as he wrapped up business related to his ministry on Tuesday (Nov 29).

Sagah said the 30:30 incentive was part of the state government’s efforts to help ease the burden on Sarawak graduates of repaying their PTPTN student loans.

Under the scheme, the state government will subsidize 30% of the balance of graduates who have already repaid at least 30% of their loans.

For example, it said that a graduate with a loan of RM10,000 must have paid back at least RM3,000 to be eligible for the scheme.

READ ALSO: PTPTN loan discounts a welcome move

“With this, you are eligible for a 30% incentive on the balance of RM7,000, which goes up to RM2,100.

“Therefore, the remaining balance of the graduate’s loan will be RM4,900,” Sagah said, adding that the scheme encouraged graduates to meet their loan repayment obligations.

Sagah also said that the first Yayasan Sarawak International Secondary School (YSISS) in Petra Jaya began operations on April 4 with an initial cohort of 115 students from across the state.

READ ALSO: Abang Johari hopes Yayasan Sarawak International Schools will produce high-level students

“Once fully developed, the campus will have a capacity of 500 students in years seven to 11, which is equivalent to grades one through five,” he said.

It added that the construction of YSISS Kuching at mile 12 of Kuching-Serian Road was scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of next year, while the construction of YSISS Sibu was scheduled to start early next year.

“Both YSISS Bintulu and Miri are currently in the planning stage,” he said.


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Three killed, six injured in car-van collision in Kluang

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KLUANG: Three people were killed and six others injured after an accident involving two vehicles at KM15 Jalan Kluang – Teck Wah Hing here.

Kluang OCPD Asst Comm Bahrin Mohd Noh said the accident happened around 4pm on Monday (November 28), after a 20-year-old driver of a car lost control of the wheels and collided with a van.

“According to the initial investigation, the van was heading towards Kluang from Renggam, while the car was moving in the opposite direction.

“The driver of the car then lost control and skidded into the oncoming lane, causing the collision to occur,” he said in a statement here Monday.

He added that the family of four in the van sustained injuries and is being treated at Kluang Hospital.

“There were four people in the van, including two children between the ages of 11 and 15. They are currently receiving medical treatment at the hospital.

“Meanwhile, the four people in the van are colleagues. Two of them, including the driver, died at the scene, while one more person died while receiving treatment at the hospital,” he said.

He said the deceased are between 17 and 21 years old.

The case is being investigated under Section 41(1) of the Road Transport Act 1987.


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