“Social Media and Elections: Facebook Politics in Malaysia and Singapore”
By James Gomez and Tan Ge Hui
Date: Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Time: 2 p.m.
Venue: CNM Playroom, AS6 03-38
By early 2010, Facebook was the latest and most popular Web 2.0 platform used by the opposition parties in Singapore and Malaysia. In Singapore, the major opposition parties and its key figures had all established some form of presence on Facebook page, in Malaysia opposition parties and its key figures had gone further using the Facebook platform in several by-elections. In the general elections scheduled to be held by 2012 and 2013 in Singapore and Malaysia respectively, Facebook is expected to figure dominantly as a platform. This comparative study situates itself within the body of political communication research that evaluates Facebook`s effectiveness in harnessing voter support. The study plots pre-election use in Malaysia and Singapore and projects how social networking sites such as Facebook might figure in the general elections of these two countries. Such an analysis will provide researchers an opportunity to evaluate social media’s potential to contribute to democracy and political change in these two countries and the Southeast Asian region in general.
Keywords: Malaysia, Singapore, opposition parties, general elections, social media
Dr. James Gomez is presently Deputy Associate Dean (International) and Head of Public Relations, School of Humanities, Communications and Social Sciences at Monash University, Australia. He is co-editor of a forthcoming book entitled New Media and Human Rights in Southeast Asia which part of Routledge’s Media, Culture and Social Change in Asia series. His recent publications include, “Online Opposition in Singapore: Communications Outreach Without Electoral Gain”, (2008) Journal of Contemporary Asia. Vol.38, No.4 and “Citizen Journalism: Bridging the Discrepancy in Singapore’s General Elections News”, Sudostasien Aktuell – Journal of Current Southeast Asian Affairs (6/2006), German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Germany. He can be contacted at email@example.com
Tan Ge Hui earned her Master in Communications (2009) and Bachelor in Business and Commerce (2007) from Monash University, Australia. Her primary area of interest evolves around the study of alternative media and youth. She has researched on “Facebook and Youth Privacy”, “MTV and Chinese youth” and “Facebook and Opposition Parties in Malaysia” during her course of study. She is currently pursuing a translation course in Melbourne. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org