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Why Malays aren’t vocal against the government

 | October 17, 2017

Many of the opposition supporters among them fear the repercussions of openly showing their preference, says Khalid Samad.

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PETALING JAYA: Amanah communications director Khalid Samad has disputed the idea that those who speak Malay are more amenable to government influence than those who speak Chinese.

He was responding to the result of a Politweet study released last week, which showed that Chinese-speaking Facebook users prefer the opposition and Malay-speaking users favour the government.

Speaking to FMT, he said there were various reasons why many Malay users of social media were not as vocal as their Chinese counterparts in their support of the opposition.

“They fear the repercussions of openly supporting the opposition,” he said. “Malays are also scared of being monitored and worry that their identities will be discovered.”

Khalid said the Malays would not show their dissent against the government on social media platforms for fear that it would affect their livelihoods.

“Malays may have many friends or family members that might be pro-government, and they fear the backlash that comes with openly supporting the opposition. The fear is that this may ultimately affect their livelihoods, scholarships or businesses.”

Chinese Facebook users, on the other hand, might be more independent and less worried about expressing themselves, he said.

“Malays are culturally more reserved. Therefore I do not see this study as a proper representation of the Malay support for the opposition.

“The Malay support for the opposition and the government is 50/50, with a large potion of them still on the fence.”

However, political analyst Khoo Kay Peng said the study had some truth to it.

“It was very clear, especially in the last two general elections, that the Chinese are opposition supporters and the majority of the Malays support the government,” he said.

“It is also known that the biggest cyber troopers for the government were led by Umno, and DAP was at the forefront of the opposition in using the internet effectively.

“DAP used this method because its access to traditional media was limited, and although it has English content, the majority of its content is in Chinese.”


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