Despite improving on its social media popularity, PKR is concerned for the overall decline of the opposition parties on the platform that contributed to the success in the last two elections.
PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil remarked that the recent survey by independent social media research firm Politweet that catapulted PKR above the other Opposition parties appeared assuring, at least on the surface.
“In general, the trends highlighted by Politweet does not bode well for the Opposition as interest on Facebook was primarily driven by interest in DAP, which saw a major drop over the past few months,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted.
“Obviously this Opposition nett negative development is worrying, going forward as we continue to build momentum and public awareness on key issues and problems afflicting the country,” he added.
The Politweet survey last week showed that PKR and PAS have overtaken DAP as the opposition parties receiving the most interest on Facebook.
The social media researcher found that the audience for DAP was now just 1.1 million Facebook users or just under a quarter of its previous peak of 4.6 million in January this year.
PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli was concerned, however, with the methodology applied in the survey, saying the findings might not reflect actual trends.
“I don’t know the method so quite difficult to really tell. But if it tracks just mentions or likes etc – I don’t think it tells the whole truth,” he told Malay Mail Online.
The Pandan MP added that some of the negative trends for opposition political parties might be due to the public and politicians alike being fatigued by issues that have been raised.
“Fewer postings, less interaction, fewer mentions across the board and because of fatigue, people don’t bother to share that piece of news all around,” Rafizi explained.
Moving forward, Rafizi believes that lawmakers should put aside their differences and touch on issues of common public interest to gain traction.
“We have to pick ourselves up and get back to what really matters to people. Less politicking, more fighting for rakyat.
“There’s always something brewing in the minds of the common people. It what you carry is exactly like what they think. Then it will resonate,” he said.
According to the Politweet survey published last week, PKR is now the opposition party with the largest audience on Facebook with 1.8 million users expressing interest in it, while PAS is second with 1.6 million.
The reason for DAP’s steady decline however could not be determined directly from the data, but Politweet said it could be extrapolated from events prior to each major change in interest levels.
It noted that interest in DAP peaked when the party cut ties with PAS over their disagreement on hudud in March 2015, and dropped after it declared the death of Pakatan Rakyat in June the same year.