As you might already know, Malaysia will be holding its 15th General Election (GE15) on 19 November, and the 14-day campaigning period has started.
Around 21.1 million Malaysians are eligible to vote in this election, a five million increase from the 2018 election, largely because the government lowered the minimum voting age from 21 to 18.
This is significant since politicians have to appeal to younger age group as well.
As such, some of them have started their own TikToks for their campaign.
The Subtle Trash Talk In Trends
One of the TikTok videos that went trending was from the former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who gingerly danced to the hip-hop song “Swipe” by Singaporean singer Alyph.
Every time Alyph sings “swipe” in the chorus, the leader of Perikatan Nasional (PN) would swipe away the logos of Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Harapan (PH).
It has been well-received among the younger generation, as many netizens took to the comment to comment how cute their “abah” (father) was for following the trends.
The video has since garnered over 3.8 million views.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad (surprise!) is ahead of his peers in the social media aspect.
If there is one thing the two-time former premier is not known for, it is his silence.
Currently, the TikTok account he created in August 2020 boasts more than 400,000 followers.
His most recent video involves talking about why Tan Sri Muhyiddin is a “traitor” who is not apologetic in the least for taking part in the Sheraton move, a protest which catalysed the PH government in 2020.
You can watch this video to know more about what happened:
Pakatan Harapan managed to win the majority in the Malaysian government during the 2018 Election, under Mahathir’s lead, thus breaking BN’s long streak of victories.
Siapa Pengkhianat? Saya cuba bersangka baik bahawa setelah dijatuh dan dihina oleh UMNO, dia taubat atau merasa kesal dengan perbuatannya. Dia khianat kepada saya tidak mengapa. Saya sangka dia akan cuba tebus khianatnya. Rupanya dia tetap angkuh dan hanya mahu menjadi PM.
Wong Chen, a politician under PH, has also been active of TikTok, sharing his views about Malaysia’s current state of finance and clips from his campaign trail thus far.
Other candidates who have huge followings are Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz and Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.
Their TikTok content tends to involve a short summary of their policies, as well as clips of their interactions with residents.
Both Malaysian ministers have also featured in videos of their Singaporean counterparts.
For instance, Mr Khairy has shot a video of him dining and cycling with Health Minister Ong Ye Kung in the central business district.
Hello To The Younger Candidates
However, younger candidates seem to snag the attention of the younger generation better.
29-year-old Syed Saddiq, often uses the platform to spread awareness about the importance of postal voting—while doing push-ups to show off his fitness—and address a whole range of issues from mental health to wage gaps.
Another notable candidate who is making full use of social media is influencer-turned-politician Nur Fathiah Syazwana Shaharuddin, who is better known as Cleopatra online. She is intending to contest the Batu seat in a 10-corner fight.
Best of luck, because she’s going to need it.
In truth, it isn’t really surprising that politicians have moved into TikTok.
Afterall, it has happened to Facebook, and while the Twitter scene is more active the western sphere of politics, both examples show that maintaining a social presence is very important to get their campaign messages across.
After all, who watches live television these days?
You should watch this video and you’ll understand:
In any case, with the electoral race heating up, TikTok has reminded creators and users that misleading information regarding the election is prohibited on the platform.
To avoid the debacle that occurred during US Elections, TikTok has an election report function and fact-checking tools to make sure that false and harmful narratives are nipped in the bud.
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Featured Image: TikTok
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