Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad rose as the Prime Minister of Malaysia for the second time after Pakatan Harapan’s victory in GE-14. Subsequently, he formed his seventh Cabinet with a total of 28 ministers.
Out of the 28 ministers, three of them were Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department. They are Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Datuk Liew Vui Keong and Waytha Moorthy with the respective portfolios – Religious Affairs, Legal Affairs, and National Unity and Social Well-being.
According to media intelligence, Mujahid had the highest media exposure in the beginning of the year. He peaked in March with more than 750 articles published on him before slowing down in the following months.
Meanwhile, Liew had a fluctuating presence in the media, having higher exposure in January, March, April and July. Whereas, the Legal Affairs Minister had lower media exposure in February, May, June and August.
On the other hand, Waytha had the least media presence. He had a slight peak in June, but the number of articles on him still did not pass the 250 articles mark.
Mujahid appeared in a tremendous number of articles in March due to being caught in controversies.
Earlier in the month, the Religious Affairs Minister met with Indian preacher Dr Zakir Naik. After the meeting, Mujahid praised Zakir through his Facebook post, calling the latter’s efforts in preaching Islam as “an inspiration”.
Consequently, the Religious Affairs Minister was condemned by netizens, particularly from those who opposed the permanent residency status of the controversial Indian preacher.
Besides, Mujahid also came under media attention for condemning certain quarters who were alleged to use the Women’s March event to promote Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT), calling the act as an abuse to democracy.
Apart from that, Mujahid also addressed on Haj subsidies and the Christchurch mosque shootings in March.
Despite the decline of Mujahid’s media exposure, he remains as the dominating voice among the three Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department. For the past seven days, Mujahid controlled 76.15% of the share of voice, while Liew and Waytha only took 14.62% and 9.23% accordingly.