Social Media, Religion, Gender and Politics in Malaysia: A Case of the Social Media Usage by Sarawak Muslim Female Candidates in Batang Sadong and Batang Lupar in the 2018 Malaysian General Election

Nadrawina Isnin

Abstract

The 14th Malaysian General Election (GE2018) had changed the political landscape in Malaysia.  For the very first time, the ruling party of Barisan Nasional failed to dominate the government in all states except that of Pahang, Perlis, and Sarawak.  This study is intended to discuss the scenario of GE2018 by focusing on the election results among female candidates in Sarawak. Ten female candidates participated in GE2018 as compared to a total of 78 candidates to grab 31 Parliamentary seats in Sarawak.  Meaning, merely 12.82 percentages of female candidates competed in GE2018.  Nevertheless, out of ten female election candidates competing, only five (4 PBB + 1 DAP) won which was 16.12 percentages of winning whilst a big portion of the percentages of 83.87 went to the winning male election candidates.  Interestingly, the usage of social media is frequently used by the candidates in GE2018.  Hence, this work focuses on the usage of social media among two female Muslim election candidates from a political party of Parti Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak (PBB).  The findings reveal that the frequent usage of Facebook has positive and negative impacts on both female candidates. Even though both female candidates win the election but one has an increased in votes and majority votes whilst the other has a drastic decrease of votes and majority votes obtained.  

Keywords

Sarawak; female; election; candidate; social media; posting

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