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Role of Media in Politics in Malaysia

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Executive Summary

The aim of the report is to shed light upon the political scenario that has passed during the recent general elections that were held in Malaysia in 2013. The purpose of the report is to compare the media hype that was being created in Malaysia because of this general election. It is compared to the pre poll statistics of other countries regarding their position in the country. The report concludes with the comparison and establishing a relation among the functions of the media in different countries.


Table of Contents

Introduction        4

Malaysian Government        4

Malay Media        5

Role of media in elections        6

Role of the media in the American polls        7

Role of media in Indian polls        8

Comparison among the three countries regarding the roll of media in the polls of different countries        8

Reasons for a translucent media in Malaysia        10

Effect on the public sphere        11

Habermas theory of public sphere        11

Effect of media in public sphere in Malaysia        11

Conclusion        12

References        13


        The communication systems that reach out to the masses at large are known as Mass Media or simply media (McChesney 2015). Media includes television, radio, and newspaper and at present the net. The infrastructure of the media components form the basis of any new idea and based on these ideas that the common people serve their purposes either for the sake of the government or for the sake of the country (Street 2014).

        Election campaigns are incomplete without media coverage. Nowadays with the growing attention of the changing political scenario of the world, people are being more focused on the media coverage that highlights the character of an election candidate. The west leads the media coverage in case of election campaigning with the senators and those who will run the elections battling it out with the who’s who of the media world. This report deals with a similar situation in the East where the General Elections of Malaysia are being taken into consideration. The role of the media is being taken into consideration in this regards (Okazaki and Taylor 2013).        The following paragraphs deal with the role that the media played in the general elections of Malaysia. They tend to also shed light on the fact as to how the elections are affected by the media coverage. These paragraphs include an insight to the other campaigns that were covered by the media flashes in countries other than Malaysia. A comparison between the different countries will also shed the light on the fact, which proves the importance of media in an electoral run (Zaman and Enaliza 2013).

Malaysian Government

        Malaysia consists of a federal government with a constitution and a monarchy whose ruler is elected from the nine members of the hereditary rulers of the Malayan States. The Malaysian federal constitutional rule is the only federal constitution in the South East Asia (Liow and Leifer  2014). The head of the state is known as Yang di-Pertuan Agong or more popularly the king. The present king is Muhammad V. Keltan with the prime minister Najib Rezak, the chief justice Md. Raus Sharif. The parliament is based on the structure of the Westminster’s Abbey with the lower house being called the Dewan Rakhyat and the upper house is known by the name of Dewan Negara. The Dewan Negara or the upper house is headed by a president. At present, this position is held by S. Vigneswaran and the lower house is looked over by a speaker. The present speaker of the lower house or the Dewan Rakhyat is Pandikar Amin Mulia (Zaman and Enaliza 2013)

Malay Media

        Media outlets in Malaysia are owned by both the public and the private sectors with the media outlets mainly owned by the Government including the Bernama (Rathore 2016). Even the component parties of Barisan National Government, which are in coalition, have their own newspapers. The United Malays National Organization owns a media group by the name of Media Prima. The Sura Kealidan, is the newspaper circulated by the opposition party of the People’s Justice Party in Malay termed as Parti Keadilan Rakyat abbreviated as PKR. Another opposition party by the name of Malaysian Islamic Party abbreviated as PAS circulates its own newspaper Harakah (Müller 2014).

        The RTM which is the abbreviation of The Radio Television of Malaysia is a government owned media station which operates free to air two channels on the television terrestrially in Malay. Apart from these two television channels, the company airs 34 radio stations nationwide. The Media Prima another media giant is airing four television channels and three radio channels. Apart from this Astro All Asia Networks plc. is the only satellite television network provider (Korff 2014.).

Role of media in elections

        The media highlighted a number of incentives and issues in the favour of the Malayan Electorates which were actually pronounced by the ruling Barisan Nasional Party and the Pakayan Rakhyat in order to gain a majority and a decisive advantage over one another in the election. Assistance to the poor and small medium industries, minimum wages, racial relations, taxations and minimum wages ; these were some of the main agendas that the campaign carried out by both the Coalition Government and the opposition parties claimed to solve. In other words these were the main agendas that were highlighted in the campaign of the political parties be it the ruling party or the opposition party (Berliner 2014). Both the parties took the aid of the media in promoting these campaigns. Advertisements by the Barisan Nasional took the country by storm. Even the campaigns made by the Pakatan Rakyat the leading opposition party was not far behind in making a mark in the political advertisements (Müller 2014).. Local transports and airlines were some of the other muses that were used as media apart from the conventional ones. The net too was involved in a thorough campaign for both the government and the opposing parties (Chadwick, A., 2017). Active campaigning was done which took the suite of the channels in comparing one party to another by the media giants. The prospects and controversies of the parties were taken into considerations and the statistics were being shown. The Barisan Nasional coalition party and Pakatan Rakyat were the two parties whom the media covered more. The clashes of these two parties were very close and the results could have been in anyone’s favour. Apart from the publicity, the personal and public life of the candidates were under constant scrutiny (Nerone 2015).



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