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ST coverage of Psy’s concert gives Malaysian propaganda a run for their money…

ST coverage of Psy’s concert gives Malaysian propaganda a run for their money…

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With epic non-coverage of ruling party’s loss of face

Malaysia’ mainstream press has a new competitor in The Straits Times, Singapore’s own propaganda production centre.

Psy Penang

On surface level, this seems like a normal news report of a concert by Gangnam-style superstar Psy, who was apparently engaged by Malaysia’s ruling party BN (Barisan Nasional) to the tune of RM 2million (~S$1mil).


Like every typical ST report, the article is disproportionally made up of self-congratulatory quotes from the prime minister, and then some stuff from the opposition. Throw in an unimaginative political analyst and a run-of-the-mill layman and voila!

Red: Najib quotes Purple: Opposition quotes Blue: The unimaginative analyst and random layman.

Red: Najib quotes
Purple: Opposition quotes
Blue: The unimaginative analyst and random layman.

Balanced, objective coverage by Singapore’s bastion of truth, which was matched by equally sycophantic reportage in Malaysia here, here  and here.

Unfortunately, this was NOT the story behind what happened at Psy’s Penang concert.

If you can’t already tell, this is a video of Najib desperately rallying the crowd (most of whom where impatiently waiting for Psy) to his 1Malaysia campaign, and failing spectacularly.

No, Penangites don’t want BN. They came for Psy, you arse.

According to various accounts on the social media, and Malaysia’s alternative press (here and here) this was what happened.

1. Psy was engaged by the BN to score political points among the younger electorate, and especially the Chinese majority in Penang.

2. Psy’s performance was delayed from 1130 to 1215 so members of the ruling party could make their various appearances. This pissed the standing audience off.

3. Najib’s son’s made a speech in Chinese in an attempt to engage the audience. However, this failed miserably when most of the audience could not understand the relevance of the wise-sounding but ultimately meaningless idioms that he peppered his speech with.

4. Najib’s attempted to engage the audience himself and also, failed spectacularly. When Najib shouted “Satu!”, there were replies of “Malaysia!” from what seemed like the local UMNO youth. But when Najib shouted “一个!”, he was greeted by crickets. Three times.

5. The impatient audience booed when Rosmah (Najib’s wife) surfaced on stage to sing (block) lip-sync CNY songs. Again, they came to see Psy, not a delayed hungry ghost festival performance.

6. Psy refused to appear on stage with the BN leaders to lo hei, who were all ready with their chopsticks, in a bid to preserve his neutrality. After a few awkward minutes, all the BN leaders were ousted off the stage to make way for the performance.

7. Najib makes a last-minute attempt to save what was left of his bitch-slapped face.
“Are you ready for BN?” “NO!” — well, that worked just fine didn’t it.

Three strange things that are happening up north

Three strange things that are happening up north


Because the elections are supposed to be… soon.

The Malaysian government has to dissolve parliament by 27 June this year. Which means that the clock is ticking for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition to get chummy with its voters, which gave it its worst election showing in 2008 in nearly four decades.

And if you think the PAP practice of giving out Nasi Lemak to entice rally-goers was strange, wait till you read about what’s happening up north.

#1 Oppa Najib Style

In an apparent bid to clock in cool cache with younger voters, the BN will be bringing in Psy to perform Gangnam Style in Penang on Feb 11. According to one industry player, it costs up to US$700,000 to hire Psy to appear in a mall for a half hour show. It is not known if his fee will come from the Malaysian taxpayers.

Op op oppa

Op op oppa

#2 Malaysia’s KKK calls for mass burning of bibles

Perkasa, Malaysia’s ultra-conservative Malay rights group which counts former PM Mahathir as its spokesperson, is advocating that Muslims burn copies of the bible that use the word “Allah” to refer to God.

Unsurprisingly, opinion polls show that the ruling BN has all but lost the support of its ethnic Chinese, who account for a quarter of the population.

Allah wasn't too big on letting carbon into the atmosphere.

Allah wasn’t too big on letting carbon into the atmosphere.

#3 Anwar and Mahathir carry on their bitchfight on vote buying

Head of opposition Anwar Ibrahim reiterates his stance that he did not have anything to do with the citizenship-for-votes scheme granted to Sabah immigrants in the 1990s, and shifts the blame to his former boss, former PM Mahathir Mohamad.

He also says that the scheme is still ongoing and suggested that the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) investigate the other key members of the ruling party, including Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Mahathir, of course, claims that Anwar was in on the scheme the whole time.

The bickering pair in better times

The bickering pair in better times