Psy, the world-famous K-Pop star performed in Penang today (11th February 2013). He was called, in a last desperate attempt by the ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front) to re-take Penang state, which was wrested from them by the Opposition Pakatan Rakyat (Peoples’ Coalition) at the last general elections on 8th March 2008. It seemed that the BN was gearing up for an all out onslaught of this PR stronghold and didn’t spare any cost to make the possibility of regaining lost territory a reality in the coming 13th GE. According to the media, Psy would be RM3,000,000 – RM5,000,000 richer after this gig.
Just before Psy landed here, readers of Malaysian online dailies, particularly Malaysiakini subscribers went to Psy’s Facebook account to demand that he cancel this performance and, bypass Malaysia to frustrate BN intentions.
It seemed that Psy, didn’t respond to these demands by ordinary fans and still turned up to perform in Penang. No doubt, he was the main attraction for the thousands who turned up, not for the rhetorical “promises” by the BN, that many are aware is pure rhetoric and nothing else. Malaysians wonder whose money ultimately goes into Psy’s account. Indirectly, probably taxpayers money, despite the go-between agency or private company. The show was ‘free’ as was the Chinese New Year spread laid out for public consumption.
Whatever his Malaysian fans may think after this, Psy perhaps can’t be blamed for turning up to perform for the public. Whether his conscience was pricked by pleas to cancel the performance, I can’t be sure, but understandably, he’d made a legal contract and was not ready to complicate matters for himself by any apparently, irresponsible action. It would reflect badly on his reputation and non-involvement in local politics as a foreigner in this country.
He was asked to perform, agreed to do so and carried out the contract accordingly. Hopefully, Psy has left these shores by now and is already on his way to his next engagement.
Yet, Psy is not the only one who may have faced a dilemma when some unscrupulous party uses him for their own purposes. Those wanting to take advantage of this rare chance to see a live world-class performance FOC, which may be a chance in a life time for them, are also caught in this trap.
Faith in public commonsense says Malaysians are not as stupid as the ruling party likes to think. They know how to play the game and will enjoy what is put out but may reconsider their choices when it comes to the crunch. That is what hopefully will happen. Like the Roman Empire, the emperors’ attempts to distract the populace by holding the Roman games (much like televising football matches or other entertainment to distract) didn’t stop the empire biting the dust. Sadly, all hell broke lose when that happened. But it shouldn’t happen now in this day and age when we have a government in waiting.
Hunger will not be alleviated by a belly full of ‘promises’ or distractions and small temporary handouts of RM500 or RM100, when millions are splurged on spurious projects that push us closer to national bankruptcy. The people cannot blame the PR for any lack of national funds in the near future, if they succeed to Federal Government in Putrajaya in the next GE.
All in all Psy’s visit, was interesting, not just for the Penang electorate but for him as well, as he probably stole the show from under the noses of the BN who hoped to use his popularity to poach Pakatan votes. With all these shenanigans and money leaks, it is up to Penangites to defend their turf. The BN treat of Psy’s Gangnam performance was a win-win for the ordinary Penangite but might not be translated into a BN landslide in Penang. We probably can still work it through with our ‘new’ Pakatan government as the BN has already had 55+ years which they wasted and will go on wasting, given the slightest chance.
Let’s do it Oppa Gangnam style!