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Observing Malaysian Social Media

Posts Tagged ‘race

Response to The Race of Bersih 4 Protesters by Twitter Users in Peninsular Malaysia

1. Background

From August 29th – August 30th a rally entitled ‘Bersih 4’ was held on the streets of Kuala Lumpur, Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and other locations globally.

The demands of the rally were for Prime Minister Najib Razak to step down and a transitional government to be formed. This government would need to implement 10 institutional reforms within the next 18 months to ensure the next General Election would be conducted in a clean, free and fair manner:

  1. Reform of electoral system and process
  2. Reform of the Election Commission (EC)
  3. Separation of Prime Minister and Finance Minister
  4. Parliamentary Reform
  5. Separation of the functions of Attorney General and Director of Public Prosecution
  6. Reform of the MACC
  7. Freedom of Information laws
  8. Asset declaration by Ministers and senior state officials
  9. Abolishment of/Amendment to draconian laws
  10. Establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC)

During the first day of the rally the race of the participants in Kuala Lumpur was raised as an issue by the media and by social media users. It was clear that the majority of the protesters were ethnically Chinese. The ethnic majority was also reported by Malaysiakini [1], Utusan Malaysia [2] and Berita Harian [3].

By our own estimates, 79,919 – 108,125 people attended the Kuala Lumpur rally over the 2-day period. Based on photographs seen during our crowd estimation, we would roughly estimate that 60% – 80% of the protesters were ethnically Chinese.

The race of the protesters became an issue due to media reports and Bersih 4 supporters and detractors highlighting the race of the protesters. This provoked a response by users on Twitter as they tweeted their own opinions on the rally.

2. Our Analysis

We performed opinion-based analysis on 500 users based in Peninsular Malaysia who tweeted about Bersih 4 (and related terms), race (e.g. ‘Melayu’, ‘Cina’, ‘Malay’, ‘Chinese’), racism and related terms from August 29th – September 2nd 2015. The margin of error is +/- 4.38%.

Users were selected based on their tweet content and activity during this period. Sampling was done per-state based on the current estimated user population.

Spammers, news agencies and accounts with automated tweets were not included in the sample.

Users who were only observing the number of Chinese present were not included in the sample. This was because we wanted to gauge their opinion on the Chinese majority and whether it was an issue to them.

From this dataset we analysed the individual Twitter user timelines to determine their opinion. This took their tweets, retweets and conversations into account.

One issue we encountered was a lack of users in East Malaysia tweeting about Bersih 4 and racial terms. Both sets of data were too limited to consider using for analysis. For this analysis we only focused on users in Peninsular Malaysia.

Our goal was to gauge the response by Twitter users in Peninsular Malaysia to the race of protesters at the Bersih 4 rally in Kuala Lumpur. Was the race of protesters really an issue, and if so, why?
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Written by politweet

October 8, 2015 at 10:47 am

Posted in Analyses

Tagged with , , , , , , , ,

How did parties do in ethnic majority seats in Sarawak SE 2011?

When looking at the election results for 2011, PR only seems to have achieved great support from Chinese-majority seats.

But when comparing the results with 2006, it becomes obvious that BN has lost supporters across all ethnic-majority seats.

How did BN and PR both have a reduction in popular vote for Melanau+Malay majority seats? Some reasons are:

– New voters and increased voter turnout led to a bigger voter base that PR/BN needed to win over to retain 2006 level of support
– Independent, PCM and SNAP candidates won over some support
– Some seats with significant Melanau+Malay population fell short of the 50% requirement for ethnic majority seats. These were placed in the Mixed category
– don’t think of it as PR got less than BN, its actually PR 2011 got less than PR 2006

To give you more to think about, here are the voter population growth rates since 2006:

Chinese – 2.07%
Bidayuh – 23.57%
Iban – 12.65%
Orang Ulu – 21.79%
Melanau+Malay – 11.44%

Ahmed Kamal

* PR did not contest every seat in 2006. The perecentage of seats contested is shown in parentheses()
* Popular vote calculated based on valid votes cast during the election. Spoilt/lost votes not included
* Ethnic majority determined by which voter ethnicity is >50% of the seat
—————-
View seat details at http://politweet.org/site/live_sarawak.html
Summary of the data used, including who won in 2011:

Chinese – 13 seats, PR: 11, BN: 2
N9 PADUNGAN
N10 PENDING
N11 BATU LINTANG
N12 KOTA SENTOSA
N13 BATU KAWAH
N39 REPOK
N45 BUKIT ASSEK
N46 DUDONG
N47 BAWANG ASSAN
N48 PELAWAN
N63 PIASAU
N64 PUJUT
N65 SENADIN

Mixed – 3 seats, PR: 1, BN: 2
N59 KIDURONG
N61 BEKENU
N62 LAMBIR

Bidayuh – 6 seats, PR: 0, BN: 6
N1 OPAR
N2 TASIK BIRU
N16 BENGOH
N17 TARAT
N18 TEBEDU
N19 KEDUP

Iban – 20 seats, PR: 2, BN: 17, IND: 1
N25 BALAI RINGIN
N26 BUKIT BEGUNAN
N27 SIMANGGANG
N28 ENGKILILI
N29 BATANG AIR
N31 LAYAR
N32 BUKIT SABAN
N34 KRIAN
N40 MERADONG
N41 PAKAN
N42 MELUAN
N43 NGEMAH
N44 MACHAN
N52 TAMIN
N53 KAKUS
N54 PELAGUS
N55 KATIBAS
N56 BALEH
N60 KEMENA
N66 MARUDI

Orang Ulu – 4 seats, PR: 1, BN: 3
N57 BELAGA
N67 TELANG USAN
N69 BATU DANAU
N70 BA’KELALAN

Melanau+Malay – 25 seats, PR: 0, BN: 25
N3 TANJONG DATU
N4 PANTAI DAMAI
N5 DEMAK LAUT
N6 TUPONG
N7 SAMARIANG
N8 SATOK
N14 ASAJAYA
N15 MUARA TUANG
N20 SADONG JAYA
N21 SIMUNJAN
N22 SEBUYAU
N23 LINGGA
N24 BETING MARO
N30 SARIBAS
N33 KALAKA
N35 BELAWAI
N36 SEMOP
N37 DARO
N38 JEMORENG
N49 NANGKA
N50 DALAT
N51 BALINGIAN
N58 JEPAK
N68 BUKIT KOTA
N71 BUKIT SARI

Written by politweet

April 24, 2011 at 3:27 am

Who tweets about race?


Who tweets about race? Not that many apparently, if you don’t count our politicians.This diagram is not intended to highlight racism. Just the mention of ‘Malay’ doesn’t mean the user is saying something bad about Malays, or saying that Malays are superior. But it is worth noting that out of the 16,600 users who tweeted to politicians (the Tweeple), only 9.9% mentioned race.So out of the 213,282 tweets by Tweeple this year, which includes retweets of what politicians wrote, only 5,793 (2.72 %) mentioned race. It implies that any talk of race by politicians whether positive or negative hasn’t gained much traction among the people, and that the people themselves don’t often bring up race as an issue.

The following are noticeable patterns in the ‘race mentioning tweets’. The frequency in brackets indicates how many users followed that pattern.

Pakatan Rakyat

1. [majority] Highlight different races at their events, or the race of people they are meeting. For example a Chinese YB tweeting that ‘many Indians came’ for their ceramah, or ‘having tea with Chinese supporters’, or ‘had good conversation with Malay taxi driver’.

2. [majority] Proactively mention malay/chinese/indian villages that have received aid; how their parties have a mix of different races;the support their parties have from the different races.

3. [majority] Hightlight the poverty faced by different races, primarily Malay

4. [half] Often defend themselves against accusations of racial favoritism. They commonly cite racial breakdown of statistics as proof. Sometimes they proactively tweet stats to show how much help (scholarships/contracts/etc) given to each race.

5. [half] Highlight racial remarks by BN politicians, e.g. ‘..that they don’t need Chinese and Indian votes’

6. [very few] Questioning the race of some BN politicians, whether ‘really Malay, or mixed’ or ‘bukan Melayu tulen’. Also proclaiming their own purity.

7. [very few] Demanding for posts to be filled by certain races, and accusing BN of allocating a high budget to public services due to Malay dominance in the area.

Barisan Nasional

1. [half] Question racial breakdown of statistics cited by Pakatan. Sometimes they raise issues e.g. how many scholarships given to each race.

2. [half] Question DAP’s positioning of itself as multi-racial when their membership is largely Chinese. Also criticism of DAP for allegedly letting go of their principles to appease PAS.

3. [half] State they will be there for their respective races to champion their issues, but will help other Malaysians as well. As one UMNO politician put it, “..parti berasaskan kaum, tapi bukan berasaskan rasis”.

4. [few] Highlight aid given to indian/chinese/malay communities, but much less frequently compared to Pakatan. Also the tweets are on more general,large-scale terms, e.g. ‘a community’ instead of Pakatan’s ‘a family’, ‘a voter’ or ‘a village’.

5. [very few] Highlight different races at their events, or the race of people they are meeting.

Both Barisan Nasional + Pakatan Rakyat

1. [majority] Divide issues based on race

2. [majority] Criticise PERKASA and Ibrahim Ali for bringing up racial issues. Not one supported PERKASA.

3. [majority] Stereotype voter’s way of thinking based on race.

4. [majority] Label areas based on race.

5. [half] Sometimes tweet about Ketuanan Melayu vs. Ketuanan Rakyat.

6. [few] Discuss Chinese school land allocation/funding/education quality

7. [few] Criticise parties on the opposing side in racial ways, e.g. “What has MCA done for Chinese?”, “UMNO is to defend Malays, but sells Malay land”, “If DAP had Malay ADUN it would get MB seat in Perak”, “Melayu hilang suara selagi UMNO berkuasa”.

8. [few] Malay unity and malay division due to UMNO/PR

Tweeple

A detailed analysis of 5793 tweets would be too time-consuming, so here are the main themes of the tweets:

1. Criticism of politicians for highlighting the race of people when talking about issues, e.g. ‘most Malays are poor’ and choice of candidates in by-elections e.g. ‘non-Indian in Hulu Selangor’. Majority of criticism directed at BN and DAP.

2. Retweets of whatever politicians said.

3. Racial slurs levied against politicians, political parties and other Tweeple. This includes accusations of racism.

4. The Malaysian First/Malay First etc. debate – comments and challenges to politicians

5. Criticism of PERKASA and Ibrahim Ali, either directed at UMNO politicians or retweeted from/to Pakatan politicians

6. Malay unity and division, and how politicians’ actions were affecting it.

7. By-elections always brought up discussion on how much support BN/PR has from each race in various areas and the activities there.

Most of the other tweets varied based on whatever issue was current. These are so varied it would be impossible to list them all. A couple of examples:

1. Denial that gambling is Chinese or Indian culture (during the sports betting license issue)

2. Criticism of PAS on some Malay-centric ideas, such as requiring Baju Melayu for civil servants on certain days of the week

*the majority of tweets related to food e.g. Indian food, Chinese restoran etc. were not included in this study.

*talk of Chinese schools and education has been included, and will be elaborated on in a future diagram.

*some associations and locations have race as part of their name. E.g. KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Kg Cina Sijantung, Msian Indian Restaurant Owners Assoc. These tweets were not numerous but would be difficult to filter out, so they were left in. Some changes to the database are being planned to make filtering easier in future.

Written by politweet

January 3, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Posted in Analyses, Visualisations

Tagged with , ,