Control and Usage of the Virtual Space in Facing the Upcoming 13th General Election – A Critical Evaluation of Space and Opportunities for Barisan Nasional

Badrul Azmier Mohamed, Mujibu Abd Muis, Azni Syafena Andin Salamat, Nur Zafifa Kamarunzaman, Syazliyati Ibrahim, Robekhah Harun, Zetty Harisha Harun

Abstract


The significant roles of the virtual space is undeniable in today’s society. Despite its intangible nature, its impact is being seen in most of the domains in human’s life in the real world. Even in the political sphere, a myriad of events and phenomena which happen could be the effects of what transpire in the virtualspace. It is found that in spite of various actions taken by the authority to curtail its influence, the anarchic elements and ultimate freedom enjoyed in the virtual world still prevail. This leads to anxiety in the ruling party which political survival has always depended on its success in controlling the practices in the government’s administration. Such control is deemed necessary to prevent and demolish any forms of subversion. Ironically, this concept of control is now regarded as an outdated framework. Due to such control too, most plans for further changes or reformations will be difficult without some forms of assistance from the virtual space. As a consequence, the government of the day whose power is already established also feels compelled to extend its influence to the virtual world so that the virtual community can be persuaded to lend their support to the existing government. Recently, numerous political events which clamour for more democratic changes are taking place locally as well as internationally. Such uprisings indirectly raise some questions regarding Barisan Nasional as a ruling party which survival has been ascertained by the “controlling machine”. Hence, this article attempts to review the ruling party’s usage and harrassment of the virtual space at the federal level in its endeavour to maintain its hegemony as the only ruling party in the coming 13th General Election. This study utilised content analysis and observation towards any statements, actions or policies promoted by any political actor related to the ruling party in the usage and harrassment of the virtual space in Malaysia.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/ass.v7n12p14

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Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)

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