Media Usage Patterns among Chinese Voters: In Preparation for the 14th Malaysian General Election (GE14)

  •  Peng Kee Chang    
  •  Jen Sern Tham    


The growing popularity of networked media has given opportunities for the people in this democratic society to search for diverse information and compare information with other sources of information, thereafter making their choice to whom they want to elect and to which information they think is reliable. Notwithstanding the influential power of networked media in elections, among people who have access to this media, there are still people who just rely on traditional media or use both at the same time for information seeking. This study seeks to explore the media usage pattern of Chinese voters in Peninsular Malaysia in preparing the Malaysian 14th General Election. 10 focus group discussions (FGD) were conducted in seven states, namely Selangor, Kedah, Pulau Pinang, Melaka, Johor Bahru, Kota Bahru and Terengganu. A total of 95 informants of whom were eligible Chinese voters, ranging in age from 21 to 65, were invited to participate in the FGDs. The result shows that social media especially Facebook is the prominent communication and entertainment tool as well as the source of information used by majority of informants from the seven states. Our result also shows that traditional media will not be replaced by networked media, at least, at this point in time as our informants still use traditional media to verify the reliability of news on social media occasionally. The researchers suggest that strategic and effective communication plan with should be planned and implemented by using both media (i.e., traditional and social media) in coming GE14.

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