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Anwar Poll Win Swamps Web Chatter August 27, 2008

Posted by Joanne KY Teoh in Civic Media, Journalism, News.
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The results of the Permatang Pauh by-election in which prominent opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim scored a thumping victory shows democracy is alive and well in Malaysia. Anwar won 66.6% of votes cast, beating Barisan Nasional rival by 15,671 votes and is set to try to take his seat in Parliament this week.

Once again, Malaysians rejected traditional media, turning to the Web where pro-Anwar blogs and sites have become a source of information for supporters who feel that newspapers, television and radio are reflecting the government line.

Days leading to the vote, accusations and counter-accusations of dirty tricks flew with the ruling coalition using a sodomy charge against Anwar to sway voters. Well, the dirt did not stick. His wide margin of victory shows Anwar retained support among Malays despite his pledge to undo some of their privileges.

It is a triumphant return for the veteran politician after a decade in the political wilderness. The 61-year old first rose to prominence as a student radical in the 1970s, was elected to Parliament and held the post of deputy prime minister before being dismissed from government and jailed for sodomy and corruption after highly politicized trials.

Significantly, the results show that the political tide on March 8 which swept several opposition candidates to victory was not an aberration and Malaysians wanted to continue the process of transformation. Sure enough, post-election chatter swamping the Web are uninhibited and celebratory. Check them out here:

Anwar’s Website
Anwar’s Blog (in Bahasa Malaysia)
Malaysiakini Online
Malaysiangate – Daily News Update
MediaRakyat
MediaRakyat YouTube

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