Anti-NSC Bill campaigners fail bid to tar PM as dictator, study shows


(Makay Mail Online) – A cyber campaign seeking to portray Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as a “dictator” with his administration’s introduction of the controversial National Security Council (NSC) Bill has failed to take off, an analysis by social media research firm Politweet has shown.

Despite having trended on the microblogging website at one time earlier this month, the  #TakNakDiktator hashtag campaign launched by government dissenters on December 8 was largely unsuccessful in getting Malaysians to back their online petition.

As at December 20, the online petition has received only 22,552 signatures.

Politweet noted that on Twitter, activity under the #TakNakDiktator hashtag peaked on its launch date with 10,663 tweets from 3,999 users, compared to one user on the December 4, the day the Bill was passed in the Dewan Rakyat.

But the numbers have been dropping and as at December 20, only 6,481 users have shared posts using the #TakNakDiktator hashtag.

“Based on the pattern it appears that campaign growth has been slow. 85 per cent of the total users tweeted the hashtag between December 8 and 9,” Politweet said in a report of its opinion-based study on the NSC Bill that was made available to Malay Mail Online yesterday.

A graph showing the number of new users with new Twitter posts under the hashtag started with one on December 4 and spiked to 3,829 on December 8 when the petition launched, only to drop drastically to 1,217 the next day.

As at December 20, there have only been five new tweets, and Politweet said it noted many of the advocates were confined to the central region of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

“The #TakNakDiktator campaign is currently not showing signs of a growing movement.

“The labels ‘dictator’ and ‘diktator’ have not been successfully associated with Najib Razak,” Politweet said in its report.

It added that the NSC Bill overall was a niche topic that drew interest from a “from a relatively small, heavily partisan group of Twitter users in KL and Selangor” and that their views were not reflective of the larger state or national population.

The NSC Bill 2015 tabled in Parliament last month, proposes to allow the NSC chaired by the prime minister to take command of the country’s security forces and impose strict policing of areas deemed to face security risks.

According to the Bill, the NSC’s jurisdiction takes effect once the prime minister designates a location as a “security area” — a status that is valid for six months at a time, subject to renewal by the prime minister.

Politweet said its manual reading of a larger sample of 803 users, including the 400 users in its latest study on the NSC Bill, showed many of the negative remarks against the PM were linked to Umno and could be traced back to a significant of the same microblogging critics who have participated in other anti-government cyber campaigns, such as #MansuhAktaHasutan,  #UndurNajib, #RakyatHakimNegara and #Bersih4.

The NSC Bill was passed in the Dewan Rakyat on December 4 while the #TakNakDiktator cyber campaign kicked off December 8.

The Bill has also cleared Parliament’s Upper House Tuesday night unchanged, after a two-day debate despite questions from BN senators on the constitutionality of the proposed law.