Salleh: Internet, the swing factor in elections

(FMT) – Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak says the Internet has become the swing factor in elections as politics and political campaigns are now more dependable on online and electronic media.

Salleh said political players started using the Internet in 1998 to sway public opinion but it was not until 10 years later that Malaysians realised the impact of the Internet in swinging votes.

In his latest blog post, the Umno treasurer cited media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who said that by 2050 the media was going to be totally online or electronic, and print media was going to be a thing of the past.

“The way things are going, that may actually happen far earlier than 2050,” Salleh said, adding that everyone, particularly those in the media industry, needed to move with the times and become Internet-savvy.

“More importantly, we must not spoil the integrity of online media with the proliferation of fake news because this will create the serious problem of trust deficit,” he said.

Salleh stressed that everyone must play their part to ensure the actions of a few did not destroy the integrity of online media.

“If not, what can be a very valuable tool would become a stigma, because no one would trust what is published online,” he said.