When it was announced a month before that voting day for the 2018 Malaysian General Election would be held on May 9, a Wednesday, social media influencer Joe Lee (aka @klubbkiddkl on Twitter) knew he had to do something to help Malaysians get back to their hometown to vote.
He started the Twitter campaign #PulangMengundi(!check!) to link voters with sponsors that would pay for their trips home. Until this was hijacked by something inhuman.
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Twitter bots orchestrated by the Barisan Nasional used the hashtag and added others like #SayNotoPH and #RespectMyPM to pro-Barisan Nasional posts, drowning out legitimate calls to get voters home. Typically, lower voter turnout has benefitted the incumbent party.
But Joe and hundreds of concerned friends fought back. In the end, voter turn-out was the third-highest out of 14 general elections in Malaysia, and Pakatan Harapan emerged victorious.
Watch the full episode here: https://cna.asia/2uZpYtp
More about the series: #GetReal is CNA’s award-winning investigative documentary series. Bold and in-depth, it travels across Asia taking a fresh look at old issues, highlighting trends and triggering debate.
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