Korean YouTube sensation Psy held a Chinese Lunar New Year concert in Penang, Malaysia on Feb 11. While the government-controlled newspaper, The Star, reported on Wednesday on its front page the success of the Gangnam Style singer's concert, it kept quiet about an embarrassing incident involving the Muslim country's prime minister, Najib Razak.
Mr Razak, who is up for reelection in mid-2013, served as the emcee of the concert held at the Han Chiang High School in Penang Province. When he thrice asked the crowd if they were ready for Psy, the audience shouted, "Yes!"
However, when he asked them three times if they are ready for BN, referring to Bansan Nasional, the crowed replied, "No." Bansan Nasional is a major political coalition in Malaysia chaired by Mr Razak..
Some of the audience took video shots of the incident and posted it immediately on YouTube, which has become viral with at least 100,000 hits.
The loud "No" is seen as an indicator of the result of Malaysia's general election which must be held before June 27, 2013.
Celebrities on political campaigns have long been strategies of electoral candidates in different parts of the world. However, many of the audience in concerts prefer not to include politics, which explains why Madonna was booed in October 2012 when she pitched a vote for then reelectionist President Barack Obama in her New Orleans concert.
What irritated fans of the Material Girl was her infamous line, "I don't care who you vote for as long as you vote for Obama." After the boos, she added, "Seriously, I don't care who you vote for . . . Do not take this privilege for granted. Go vote."
Politics and celebrities mixing is not new in the Philippines, having had a former B movie actor as a president, who was kicked out of office in 2000 for corruption. Past campaigns often featured movie stars and singers performing in political sorties
and celebrities endorsing their favoured candidates.
Ahead of the 2013 election, pre-campaign materials featuring singer Sarah Geronimo endorsing Senator Edgardo Angara and his son, Congressman Sonny Angara, are airing on Philippine television, similar to the one she made in 2007 for the same politician.
Psy, apparently aware of the tainted image of politicians, did not share the stage with the Malaysian PM, but wowed the Malaysian audience with his rendition of his hit song Gangnam Style and other songs as well.