Malaysia decides

Malaysia goes to the polls on May 5, 2013 in what has been billed as ‘the mother of all elections’.

And there is no shortage of coverage, in fact possibly too much. The more relevant ones are as follows.

The best news is that Malaysiakini has removed its pay wall (since yesterday) and it will be free until possibly the day after election results are posted. Bridget Welsh, an expert on Malaysian politics is providing exclusive analysis to Malaysiakini on Malaysia’s thirteenth general elections (GE13).

For a Barisan Nasional (National Front/BN, the current ruling coalition) sympathetic view, New Mandala (NM) readers can go to the ruling parties media outlets such as the The Star and The New Straits Times. NM readers who understand Bahasa Malaysia can follow the more forthright Malay and Islamic chauvinists views at Utusan Online and Berita Harian.

Media in the vernacular language both on the Peninsular and in the states of Sabah and Sarawak, are more disparate. While the majority are owned by government friendly tycoons, they better represent the competing views of the community. There is a list of newspapers, both in print and online on wikipidea that provides links to them.

There is also now more novel but in some ways traditional means of reaching voters – internet radio and internet television. Radio Free Sarawak is the well-known internet based radio stations that has been able to provide alternative views to remote communities in Sarawak. It also produces the Sarawak Report, which has been instrumental in exposing corruption in Sarawak. Radio Free Malaysia follows on from this model and targets the Peninsular Malaysia middle class audience.

Online television is mainly from alternative media and and opposition political parties. Malaysiakini has KiniTV, Pakatan Rakyat, more specifically, Parti Keadilan Rakyat Selangor has TVSelangor, PAS has TVPAS, and civil society has Media Rakyat.

Globally, there is interest with the Asian Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the New York Times providing almost weekly analysis on Malaysia’s GE13. In Australia, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has Malaysia Votes which provides news and analysis of key issues relating to Malaysia’s polls almost on a daily basis.

New Mandala will also be observing closely the developments, and will be providing broader analysis of the key issues at play at GE13.