By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — Election campaign songs, music videos, as well as YouTube channels — these are Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) tools of choice to garner maximum voter support ahead of a looming general election.
This became evident during last night’s glitzy DAP election theme launch, which also saw the attendance of top PR leaders such as DAP’s Lim Guan Eng, PAS’s Khalid Samad as well as PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.
DAP national publicity secretary Anthony Loke told a 2,000-strong audience here last night that his party’s election campaign song, available in three languages, would be used to attract young Malaysians and educate them about the importance of voting.
“We want to spread the message of change... we want this message to sweep across Malaysia, starting from Kuala Lumpur,” the Rasah MP said.
Loke said that his party had also created its own Internet video channel on YouTube, called “Fokus Pilihanraya Umum 13”.
“It will focus on core issues affecting Malaysians, to spark and encourage debate, and what Pakatan Rakyat can offer as an alternative for all Malaysians,” he stressed.
DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim said PR promised Malaysians a brighter alternative than Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN), adding it was “a chance not just for Malays but all Malaysians.”
“What has BN done for our country? Take this opportunity to make the change. We will lose our country to thieves if we don’t do something,” he said.
Nurul Izzah said the prime minister’s dismantling of the Internal Security Act (ISA) was the collective “victory” of PR and ordinary Malaysians, but that the replacement laws were still tyrannical.
“We have to change this government ... enough with [the] lies, cheap publicity shots, propaganda,” she said.
Former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi led BN to its worst electoral result in the 2008 general election, when it lost five states to Pakatan Rakyat as well as its customary two-thirds supermajority in Parliament.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is expected to call for an early general election soon to allow BN to take advantage of the positive mood following a slew of cash handouts and a civil service pay increase.
The Malaysian Insider understands the election may be held as early as June with Parliament expected to be dissolved in mid-May.
Observers say Najib, who took over in April 2009 ostensibly to improve on the ruling coalition’s performance, will need a return of a two-thirds majority able to guarantee he remains in power.