Taylor's FSLM Journals
The Malaysian power shift: The mainstream perspective

@ SEARCH Journal of Media and Communication Research

Online ISSN: 2672-7080

*Roslina Abdul Latif & Abelyn Oh Ying


The Malaysian power shift that happened in February 2020 shook the nation and the democracy system in the country to the core. Several political parties had secret meetings which culminated in rumours of the formation of a new alliance to helm the government. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned as the 7th Prime Minister (PM), submitting his resignation letter to the King on Monday, 24 February followed by his resignation as Chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), half an hour later. Bersatu President Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin then announced that his party was quitting Pakatan Harapan (PH), causing the government led by the multi-ethnic PH to collapse and further throwing the country into political turmoil. The objective of this study is to find the differences of news coverage concerning the power shift struggle combined with the Covid-19 pandemic in Malaysia, between two mainstream media, The Star and The New Straits Times. The criteria that were studied were headlines, sources, visual images, story angle and perspective as well as historical references. These criteria would aid in identifying how the newspapers’ background influenced the way news stories were reported or presented. From the analyses carried out, the mainstream media have done their duties as the fourth estate to circulate news from the new government of Malaysia to the people. The new PM has also demonstrated a clear direction of duty and responsibility towards the country in this time of crisis to ensure Malaysians continue to live in peace and harmony and above all, safe.

Keywords: Malaysia, power shift, Covid-19, government, opposition