KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 ― In the clearest signal that the 14th general elections is near, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak launched tonight a website that will detail the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) candidates and election manifesto.
The TheRakyat.com site will also provide visitors with interviews with BN personalities, infographics, analyses, and other electoral information at a later date.
Articles on TheRakyat.com will be available in six languages: Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mandarin, Tamil, Iban and KadazanDusun.
“Since social media plays a pivotal role in disseminating information to Malaysians, the portal is key in determining BN's success in the coming general elections,” said Najib during the launch.
He said the portal is also important in countering fake news, particularly accusations from the Opposition.
“The people can find out and decide for themselves if such fake news is real or not. The Opposition has done it before, and we believe they will do so again in the coming election,
“The portal marks the the first BN initiative for 2018. It will be legitimate, fast, and accurate. Above all else it will be authoritative,” he said, adding internet users can also provide their views and feedback through the portal.
Following the launch, Najib attended a special meeting with other BN leaders to discuss their election preparations.
The BN government’s mandate expires on June 24 this year, following which the 13th Parliament of Malaysia will automatically be dissolved and elections to be held within 60 days if not called earlier.
Political observers said the earliest likely date for the elections to be held will be during the one-week school holidays from March 16 to 24, and the latest in August.
The 13-party BN coalition is seeking to recoup its two-thirds parliamentary majority, which it had held since Independence until the 12th general election in 2008.
The coalition failed to regained supermajority during the 13th general elections in 2013.