Post-14th General Election, Malaysia changed government for the first time since its independence. Subsequently, majority of the cabinet members are new with some exceptions like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Saifuddin Abdullah. Additionally, the current cabinet consist of Malaysia’s first Sikh minister Gobind Singh Deo and the youngest minister Syed Saddiq. Hence, Malaysia Indicator assessed some of the current Malaysia ministers’ media exposure.
The dependency chart above shows the media exposure of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Salahuddin Ayub, Education Minister Mazlee Malik, Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Communication and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh, Transport Minister Anthony Loke, and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq. Naturally, their media exposure increased after GE-14 in May.
However, Syed Saddiq suffered a decrease in June because he was only revealed to be a minister in late-June, while the others have sworn-in as ministers on May 21. Since then, he managed to attract the media attention after he became a minister, beating the other ministers’ exposure in the media, except Maszlee Malik, for most of time.
Besides, most of the ministers’ media exposure fluctuated, but not for Salahuddin. His popularity on the media have declined since August.
Maszlee Malik and Syed Saddiq media exposure are similar from July to October. In November, Maszlee exposure spike, while Syed Saddiq exposure dropped.
Among these ministers, Maszlee Malik is the highest covered minister by the media. For the past 6 months, Maszlee had been covered in 4,052 news. Coming in second is Syed Saddiq with 3,331 news. Anthony Loke, Gobind Singh, Dzulkefly and Salahuddin appeared in 3,087 news, 2,447 news, 2,040 news and 1,350 news respectively.
Nevertheless, Maszlee being popular in media does not mean that the media reported him in a positive light. Looking at his top issues for the past quarter, September to November, he faced numerous criticisms for his statements. Example of issues that he faced backlash are black shoes and black sock implementation, his appointment as IIUM president and usage of hotel pools for swimming lessons.
Now, the media have their eyes on Maszlee. Hence, he should be more careful on his words in the future to avoid getting caught in unnecessary issues in the future.