Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Media Issue: The SMS Effect of 2008 General Elections

Caption: Results of the 12th Malaysian General Elections 2008 (

The 12th Malaysian General Elections held on March 8, 2008 marked the significant capability of Malaysians taking charge of democratic rights and implementing new media technologies (blogs and SMS) in spreading influence over the elections’ astounding outcome. The ruling government, Barisan Nasional resulted in a loss of 5 states to the Opposition party; this is the first time since the 1969 election that the coalition did not win a two-thirds supermajority in the Malaysian Parliament (Wikipedia 2009)

There was major push in the last two to three days before the polling date saw Malaysians forwarding SMSes to each other encouraging an Opposition vote, with a plea for the SMS to be forwarded to 10 people (Low 2008); the trend of forwarding SMSes have now been incorporated into disseminating political propaganda, and thus resulting in the government’s massive loss. Media analysts and local politicians were shocked as they did not anticipate the impact of one line text messages.

In my opinion, media publishing will continue to evolve in the future; becoming shorter in content size, faster in sharing and a greater influence.

Low, B 2008, Malaysia's digital revolution--the death knell for The Star, and the rise of the e-news portal?, CNET Asia, viewed 18 November 2009, <>

Wikipedia 2009, Malaysian general election, 2008, viewed 18 November 2009, <,_2008>

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