Welcome to the Web 2.0 age for Malaysia!
Never before have so many small-run sites especially Malaysia-based ones braced so many hits within a few hours, as much as during the few short hours after Malaysia Election 2008 closed this afternoon around 5pm at most of the voting venues... Disappointed by slow reporting and less interactivity on TV (e.g. "official" reports via RTM TV1, government-owned major TV broadcaster, was so boring, with poor analyst commenting on results), folks in Malaysia and from everywhere watching the election results are flocking to websites reporting both opinionated and plain bits -- looks like Anwar, a major personality in Malaysia's political scene, also seconded this: "My concern now is why is there a deliberate delay on the part of the government-controlled media in announcing the results..." (AFP) -- I suppose RTM/ruling government is doing its part to calm people down and prevent any untoward incidents like the rumored possible riot etc. (We don't want another '69, do we?)
When sites from mainstream media companies like Bernama fails to load swiftly, thanks to dynamic and up-to-date search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN Live, Malaysians get "routed" to many sites including independent ones run by bloggers like Kedah-born Jeff Ooi (a constestant himself having just won his first seat under an opposition party ticket in Jelutong, Penang -- although is mostly based in Subang Jaya/USJ), Chan Lilian (a Penang-based blogger), TV Smith, Ahiruddin Attan (Rocky's Bru), and other politicians like Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Dato Lim Kit Siang, Tony Pua, Teresa Kok etc.
Popular sites like MalaysiaKini.com and Jeff Ooi's Screenshot were hit hard making them mostly unavailable, and Chan Lilian (self-called "5xmom")'s blog had a post by evening time asking people not to reload her site too often or the server will break until that actually happens by around midnight:
MalaysiaKini.com on the other had to strip down its site to a small-sized front page, and set up serveral mirror pages elsewhere, while it braces for frequent downtimes due to the massive surge of traffic.
Jeff Ooi's site is also experiencing almost zero reachability amids his major victory in the election.
Among the many sites I checked out for Election results, TVsmith's dedicated resource page at http://www.mycen.com.my/malaysia/election2008.html happens to be one of the most handy.
The Star Online, the most popular news site in Malaysia which is run by the most popular English-language print newspaper, bracing the big rush for Election news opted for a much stripped down version of default home page to ensure better availability. Compare the two versions below (traditional site layout on the right, but still linked from the stripped down homepage):
It's good to know however that my normally troubling Intenet connectivity keeps its "coolness" this time... ;)
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