In Malaysia, online election battles take a nasty turn
KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 — Ahead of Malayasia’s elections tomorrow, independent online media say they are being targeted in Internet attacks which filter content and throttle access to websites, threatening to deprive voters of their main source of independent reporting.
Independent online news sites have emerged in recent years to challenge the dominance of mostly government-linked traditional media. The government denies any attempts to hobble access to the Internet in the run-up to a close-fought election.
“During the 2008 election we were wiped off the Internet,” said Premesh Chandran, CEO of independent online news provider Malaysiakini.
“Our concern is that we’ll see a repeat of that on May 5. Can we really live without independent media on election night, given that both sides might not accept the result?”
Malaysiakini was set up in the late 1990s to test the government’s push to lure technology companies to the country by promising not to censor the Internet. Other news websites have followed, including The Malaysian Insider, which set up shop down the street from Malaysiakini in 2008.
Such websites have emerged as an important source of news to counter the traditional media, most of which are owned by interests linked to the ruling Barisan Nasional or BN coalition.
The BN’s dominance of media is one of its crucial advantages as it fends off an increasingly potent opposition that made impressive election gains in 2008. Sunday’s election is expected to be the closest yet, though Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is favoured to win.
Leading opposition politicians who attract big campaign crowds in cities say they get a much cooler reception in rural areas, where access to the Internet is rarer.
GE 13 IS ALMOST HERE. THE NST, OWNED BY UMNO, DESPERATELY TRIES TO BOLSTER SUPPORT FOR BN-UMNO.
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Saturday May 4, 2013
GE13: MAS announces overwhelming response to election season flights, launches new discount campaign
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has received an overwhelming response for its general election promotion campaign, with 34,000 seats snapped up within two weeks.
JOHOR BARU: State Barisan Nasional Chief Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman has appealed to young voters not to be emotional and vote based on racial sentiments which have been played up by the Opposition in the state.
SABAK BERNAM: Caretaker Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim made a surprise visit to the furthest end of Selangor on the last leg of campaigning.
KUALA LUMPUR: The four-bomb scare, which occurred in Kepong, Seri Kembangan, Puchong and Merchant Square in Petaling Jaya were designed to scare voters.
BATU PAHAT: Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman is a proven moderate and capable leader who will continue to take care of multi-ethnic Malaysians and develop Johor, said MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
KUANTAN: Entry into a police lock-up for inspection of ballot boxes falls under police procedure and not the Election Commission (EC), says Pahang EC director Othman Noh.
KUALA LUMPUR: Police have identified a group, which is trying to organise Malaysian Spring similar to the Arab Spring.
BENTONG: Wong Tack’s camp is calling for those who hung banners that called Wong a liar to be “gentleman”.
PETALING JAYA: Traffic is still smooth along the North-South Expressway (NSE) although there is an increase in vehicles plying the route.
LEDANG (Johor): Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin began the final campaign day on Saturday by having breakfast with the people at the Gerai Kebun Baru food court here.
IPOH: Motorcycle convoys are prohibited from using the road on Sunday to ensure the roads are clear for polling day.
Follow the GE13 campaign trail in Putrajaya on storify.
PETALING JAYA: The Malay and Chinese communities must work together and not allow themselves to be polarised because of politics, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
PETALING JAYA: The Barisan Nasional is confident of victory in tomorrow’s general election, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
TOMORROW, Malaysians go to the polls. The finishing line is in sight for a GE13 race that has been tough, gruelling and, at times, extremely emotional.
MARANG: In a highly-anticipated “explain-all” event, PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali has denied he is the man in a sex video implicating him.
KUALA LUMPUR: The police have assured all Malaysians that it will continue to maintain public safety and security regardless of which coalition wins the general election tomorrow.
PETALING JAYA: Malaysian employees may be rooting for different parties in the election, but most are united in wanting May 6 to be declared a public holiday.
KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has declared that Pakatan Rakyat will win its way to Putrajaya, saying it could win 53% of the parliamentary seats.
PETALING JAYA: It is crunch time as both sides of the political divide make full use of the last day of campaigning and race towards the finish line.
JOHOR BARU: The DAP must make its stand on hudud clearly and explain to Malaysians if it fully supports the implementation of the Islamic law by PAS, said Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
KOTA TINGGI: The Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) will immediately approve temporary permits for express bus companies ferrying people back to their hometowns to vote on polling day.
PETALING JAYA: Malaysians must firmly reject all forms of political violence no matter which party does it, says MCA vice-president Gan Ping Sieu.
KUALA TERENGGANU: A spike in traffic is expected today with voters travelling back ahead of polling day.
LABIS: Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek fears the current hate politics propagated by the Opposition in Johor may cause a serious rift between the Chinese and Malays.
DENGKIL: Selangor Barisan Nasional is ready for a new chapter in the state, having reinvigorated the party machinery, restored the people’s confidence and apologised for past mistakes, said its chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
KLANG: Affordable housing is a priority for Barisan Nasional as it encourages both home ownership and help home owners generate personal wealth, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
DENGKIL: Selangor Barisan Nasional is ready for a new chapter in the state – having reinvigorated the party machinery, restored the people’s confidence and apologised for past mistakes, said its chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Online portals are, of course, one-sided. On the side of the Opposition.
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