Boo Su-Lyn, The Malaysian Insider
Social media is both a boon and a bane for Umno as it caused Barisan Nasional (BN) to lose its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority in Election 2008, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday.
The prime minister told CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland yesterday that voters were getting more educated and critical.
“I see the advent of ICT, social media as both something good, but also our bane. Could be our Achilles heel as well,” said Najib in the interview with Fareed.
“We need to realise that people are not going to give their vote to you based on how much you’ve done in the past,” he added.
Najib and his delegation are at the annual international forum that saw the participation of some 3,000 leaders from all around the world, including heads of state, as well as business, civil society, spiritual and media leaders.
“Nobody can deny the fact that Umno and Barisan Nasional, we’re the people who fought for independence. We’re the people who developed the country.
“But people today are saying that’s in the past,” the prime minister said.
BN lost two-thirds parliamentary majority in the historic 2008 general elections that saw four states - Perak, Penang, Kedah and Selangor - falling to the loose coalition of PAS, PKR and DAP, that later formed Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
Najib stressed that voters at the coming 13th general election were more concerned with what the government could do for them in future.
“That’s important for us to realise, that the level of expectation has increased by leaps and bounds,” said Najib, who is also the BN chairman.
There are currently about 13.6 million Facebook users in Malaysia out of a 28.3 million-strong population, which is a 48 per cent penetration of the population, according to monitoring website socialbakers.com.
A total of 29 per cent of Facebook users in Malaysia are aged between 25 and 34 years.