March 1st saw the swearing-in of the eighth Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Instantly, Muhyiddin became one of the top trending topics on Twitter.
Hashtag #NotMyPM was largely used by netizens since the eve of Muhyiddin’s swearing-in ceremony. This hashtag captures netizens’ dissatisfaction towards the appointment of Muhyiddin as the eighth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Many felt betrayed, quoting that Muhyiddin’s appointment marks the death of democracy in Malaysia. This is due to him switching sides from Pakatan Harapan to the UMNO and PAS coalition, the latter which Malaysians had previously kicked out from the government in GE-14.
Besides the appointment of Muhyiddin as PM, netizens were also actively addressing the Coronavirus which first originated from Wuhan, China. In fact, it can be observed that talks on the virus — officially named Covid-19 — were more intense during this period than people rejecting Muhyiddin’s appointment.
Previously, the Prime Minister advised all Malaysians not to panic, and to abstain from panic buying following the Covid-19 outbreak.
At the same time, he wants everyone to take appropriate health care measures in facing the outbreak.
On Twitter, netizens link the Prime Minister with the slowing economy and in facing the Covid-19 outbreak. Many urged Muhyiddin to revive the economic situation in Malaysia and tackling the spreading of the virus.
Recently, the Health Ministry of Malaysia confirmed 14 new Covid-19 cases in the country, bringing the tally to 50.
While there are many who mentions the PM on Twitter, Muhyiddin interestingly does not use the social platform.
Based on his official page — @muhyiddinyassin — his last tweet was in 2016. The page has more than half a million followers.
Although the eighth Prime Minister stopped tweeting 4 years ago, it can be observed that his page continues to drive interaction and engagement.
In the past week, people were most active to retweet and mention Muhyiddin on Monday. This was Muhyiddin’s first day as Malaysia’s PM.
Will Muhyiddin return to Twitter, or will he opt not to use the social platform at a time where social media plays a crucial role in shaping political perception?