Psy a PR blunder for Najib, BN

The prime minister should realise that he cannot horse around with the wishes and aspirations of Malaysians anymore 

By M Krishnamoorthy, FMT

“We must win back Penang at whatever the cost.” So went the Barisan Nasional’s plan to win the hearts and minds of Penangites during the Chinese New Year open house celebrations.

Some smart aleck in BN or the Prime Minister’s Office would have said at a high-powered meeting: “Yes. The only way to win the minds of voters is get Psy and his horse-riding song to rock Penang.”

But the big question is: Was Penang ready for Psy or was Psy used to attract votes for BN? The writing was already on the wall when there were protests not to bring the K-pop star.

So, BN did not listen! listen! listen! and the famous quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the US, seems an appropriate epithet:

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

Now, it’s too late as the Psy show has backfired on BN’s plans. It was a major public relations disaster as the Penang crowd refused to be fooled by the millions paid to engage Psy.

When Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak asked the crowd before the start of the show: “Are you ready for Psy?” the crowd responded with a vociferous: “Yes!”

Quickly switching gears, Najib then asked not once but three times: “Are you ready for BN?” “No!” the crowd shouted back.

BN must recognise that throwing money at all its events at the expense of the taxpayers is a big “No!” BN must not horse around with sentiments, emotions and feelings of Malaysians.

Boos and jeers

It was clear that the multi-million-ringgit show in Penang on Monday was a blunder. It was not the first event where the crowd had not been receptive to BN’s offers and overtures.

Psy’s performance was delayed for almost an hour. The event organisers were restless trying to ride on the wave of Psy’s worldwide popular song.

It was like waiting for the food at a dinner and speakers keep on dragging the time with their long-winded speeches.

Najib, his wife Rosmah Mansor and state BN leaders like Teng Chang Yeow showed up on stage to placate the crowd but were least interested.

Later came Najib’s son’s speech to demonstrate his Chinese-speaking skills to engage the audience. This failed miserably again as there was muted response from the crowd.