Malaysia

YouTube a way to spread ‘new politics’

Zairil is standing for the Bukit Bendera parliamentary seat on a DAP ticket.Zairil is standing for the Bukit Bendera parliamentary seat on a DAP ticket.GEORGE TOWN, April 23 — As the election campaign on the ground heats up, several politician have taken to putting their message on the YouTube video-sharing site to reach a wider audience in Election 2013.

The MCA’s Frankie Gan Joon Zin has uploaded video clips of him singing songs with his electoral team apart from distributing video CDs in Kuala Lumpur’s Bukit Bintang federal seat where he is the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate.

Then, there’s the plethora of video clips of various ceramahs and skits that either praise or mock the parties contesting the May 5 general election.

But two young DAP candidates have taken a different approach to appeal to the new generation of voters by espousing the values of “new politics” through a recently released candid video.

The two — Bukit Bendera parliamentary candidate Zairil Khir Johari and Bukit Mertajam parliamentary candidate Steven Sim, both 31, who launched the three-minute video clip —wanted to shift the mindset of voters to understand the value of “new politics”.

In the video, Sim and Zairil discussed the values of “new politics” where it is no longer about criticising different views by different people but to celebrate the difference in views as this could bring about new ideas.

They both talked about “new politics” that allows people the right to choose their leaders and not let others take away that right.

“New politics is not about choosing between individuals or even between parties but about choosing the policies that you want for a just, clean and corrupt-free country,” Zairil said.

When contacted, Sim said this was not a DAP production but an individual production as a result of an idea he and Zairil had about reaching out to more voters.

“New politics is not about creating programmes for the people but to get the people involved where they become a part of the governance and be a part of those who make decisions for the country,” Sim told The Malaysian Insider.

He said it was not only meant for the young voters but for voters of all ages and race as “new politics” transcends all boundaries.

He explained that the concept of “new politics” meant all boundaries are gone so it is meant for everyone of all races, age, religion and political affiliation.

“We started this initiative to drive in our two main points, that is we must put people above profit and that justice comes first above legitimacy,” he said.

He said all decisions and policies must be biased to the people and the people must also be involved in the making of these policies.

Coincidentally, both candidates used to own chocolate companies before they went into politics so this also became one of the topics discussed in the light-hearted video clip.

“Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’ll get but in new politics, you can choose what you want to get,” they said.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng also released a similar candid video of a conversation with PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu.

In the short clip of also about three minutes, the duo talk about their experience being locked up in Kamunting when they were detained under the Internal Security Act.

Mohamad shared how he had shed tears when Lim was handcuffed and taken to the Kajang prison.

He almost teared up when he talked about Lim’s subsequent release and voiced his admiration for Lim’s wife, Betty Chew, who had to weather through it all when Lim was arrested.

“She had to deal with a ‘naughty’ husband who’s in and out of prison so frequently and I admire her for that,” he said.

Lim, on the other hand, talked about the time he spent in Kamunting with Mohamad and how till now he still remembers Mohamad’s fish curry.

They both then reminisced about other PAS leaders who were also incarcerated in Kamunting under the ISA.

Lim said the experience had made all of them into a big family, not just mere political acquaintances.

Both Lim and Mohamad were arrested under the ISA between 1987 and 1989.

These two video clips, different from conventional elections video clips and advertisements, show a new side to a political campaign that is out of the norm.

Sim and Zairil’s video is to reach out to the new generation of voters while Lim’s presented another side of him that is not often seen in his public persona as a state leader.

“We feel that by doing this, people will better understand what we are all about,” said Sim about the reasons behind the creation of the video clip.

 

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