It’s probably fair to say that the last couple of years or so has brought about quite a bit of voter fatigue among Malaysians. Like, there’s actually been two changes of administration since 2020, and all without a general election too. With it being hard to track even the government of the day, what more your own local representative in the Dewan Rakyat right?
Well here’s where MyMP comes in. Founded by Lau Chak Onn and Seah Eu Hen, they created MyMP as a way to get people to know their MPs faster, better and in a fun and engaging way. As such, they decided to make our Dewan Rakyat members into 8-bit characters, like the Super Mario or Sonic the Hedgehog video games that they grew up with. The result looks something like this:
MyMP’s 8-bit characters come courtesy of local artist Ivan Yee, and the whole project itself is funded by the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR) via grants. They state on their site that they have not received funding from any political party and instead want to ‘improve the performance of Malaysian politicians regardless of party lines’. In fact, if you spend your time on Twitter a lot, you might’ve seen Ivan’s drawings as they’ve gone viral before.
Of course, it’s not just all about getting a nostalgic looking 8-bit character and dumping their biodata there. On any MP’s profile page, you get their details in the form of character stats reminiscent of RPG games. These are: availability, loyalty, work ethic, transparency and win rate. So how exactly are these calculated then?
The availability score refers to how easy it is to contact them. If an MP has multiple social media accounts as well as various ways to contact their service center, they would have better availability stats. Loyalty meanwhile is calculated by their political affiliation; basically if your MP has consistently been with the same party throughout their political career, they’ll score higher for loyalty.
Work ethic refers to their parliamentary attendance and activity record. For instance, if your MP has never skipped out on a Dewan Rakyat session, frequently submits bills and motions and is a member of a committee, they’ll have a high work ethic score. As for their transparency rating, it uses your MP’s history with the MACC as well as any asset and income disclosures to provide a score. And winrate basically means how well they do in elections. If you’d like to get into the nitty gritty of how MyMP calculates these scores, you can click here to see their weightage and criteria.
Taking Dato Seri Dr Wan Azizah as an example, you can see that she’s the representative for Pandan, her scores as well as some background information on her below that. There’s also a curious little magnifying glass below her, which indicates that she’s currently under some sort of investigation, either by the police or the MACC. Clicking it will prompt you to a pop up box with news articles to the incident. Similar icons exist for other stuff like being caught breaking COVID-19 SOPs or having been jailed before too.
For instance, if you check out Lim Guan Eng’s profile on MyMP, you’ll see all three of those icons under his 8-bit caricature. He had been jailed back in October 1987 and again in 1998, while a police report had been made by the Sabah Progressive Party’s youth wing against him when he and a few other MPs gathered at Dataran Merdeka. You’ll also be able to see information about his current ongoing court cases with the Penang undersea tunnel project.
You’ll also see the a frog icon and a lower loyalty score for those who’ve made the hop across political lines. Gombak MP Azmin Ali has icons under him for breaking the SOP and being under investigation, as well as a frog signifying that he has jumped between 2 or more parties and alliances during his political career. Other icons include a green virus logo for MPs who’ve been tested positive for COVID before.
However, it should be noted that because MyMP is mostly volunteer-run, it may not always be up to date. For example, Pasir Salak MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahman has icons for having previously been COVID positive, breaking the SOPs and being investigated, but Indera Mahkota MP Saifuddin Abdullah only has the frog icon for jumping alliances following the Sheraton Move. This is despite having spent time in the hospital after being infected with COVID-19 in April this year.
If you’re interested to know more about MyMP or perhaps even your own elected representative, you can head over to their site.