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Tuesday, February 12, 2013
PSY SLAP IN THE FACE: Korean superstar refused to toss 'yee-sang' with Najib, BN
Tuesday, 12 February 2013 00:01
Written by Wong Choon Mei, Alaa Soleiman, Malaysia Chronicle
PENANG - UPDATE3Korean superstar Psy handed Malaysia's ruling party a slap in the face when he declined to come onstage to toss the traditional 'yee-sang' with embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak and other top members of his BN coalition at a gig to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
In Penang to sing his signature Oppa Gangnam-style, Psy lived up to his fame and his purported RM2mil fee. He had the crowd singing and strutting along with him and his troupe of sharp and incredibly good-looking dancers.
For four minutes, the tens of thousands of Penangites who came to watch him at the Han Chiang school field simply went crazy. They demanded an encore and he gave them what they wanted. More Gangnam!
Oppa BN style: No politics for Psy!
But sadly for the BN, Psy wisely swerved away from being used to promote Najib's 1Malaysia brand of politics. The Malaysian leader had moments earlier announced to the crowd that Psy had a surprise for them - Oppa BN style.
It was not to be. Najib, wife Rosmah Mansor, son Norashman, former premier Abdullah Badawi, Gerakan chiefs Koh Tsu Koon, Teng Chang Yeow and Tourism minister Ng Yen Yen were among those left red-faced after Psy did not appear on stage to join them for the 'yee-sang' tossing ceremony and perform the Oppa BN style.
Crest-fallen, the BN team dissembled, returning to their VIP tent. Only Norashman stayed back, joining the main box below the stage and just a few feet away from where the Malaysia Chronicle team was to watch Psy's astonishing performance.
Yee-sang' is a raw fish salad tossed by Malaysian Chinese during the Chinese Lunar Year to signify good luck and success. The BN's 5-year mandate to rule will end on April 28, 2013 and Najib is widely expected to call for the 13th general election within weeks.
However, the signs so far are that BN may lose its 55-year stranglehold on the federal government, with the Pakatan Rakyat led by Anwar Ibrahim rated as having an even chance of pulling off the country's first-ever regime change.
To survive an ouster from within his own Umno party, Najib needs a convincing victory and to ensure this, he needs to claw back the lost support of voters, in particular the Malaysian Chinese community, who have been disgusted and frustrated by the endemic corruption and scandals of the BN elite.
Not ready for BN & Han Chiang not Han Yang
'Despite the millions spent on this showcase event, Najib may have 'blown it' for himself and the BN when he blundered several times during his speech.
The dull response from the Penang audience was unmistakable when the PM was unwise enough to ask them - three times no less -, "are you ready for BN". The 'Nos' drowned out the ayes. Yet when Najib had asked if the audience was ready for Psy, they had gone wild, screaming 'Yes' with all their might.
Worst was yet to come for Najib. In his speech, he mistakenly called the Han Chiang College 'Han Yang' several times, drawing loud boos. The implication that he was not sincere was clear and from then on, there was no way for him to win the crowd back to his side.
Even his announcement that the BN would build 20,000 new affordable houses for Penangites was greeted with lukewarm applause, and his assurance that he would "bring the best for Penang" was marred by shouts from among the crowd for him to "finish lah" and "we want Psy".
When Najib rehashed a promise first made by former premier Mahathir Mohamad that the federal government would allocate funds to build a monorail for the Penang island, there were few claps although several sarcastic shouts of "build first lah" could be distinctly heard.
Psy was "smart and fair"
In the countdown to Psy's much-awaited performance, many Malaysians had pleaded with Psy on his Facebook to turn down the BN's invite which they viewed as an 'election gimmick' to get Psy to 'recommend' voting for the BN.
"Psy's response shows he is on the ground with the Malaysian people. They want to come and watch him sing and dance but do not want to be used by Najib and Gerakan to show support for BN. Who to vote for is a serious matter not a public relations circus for Chang Yeow to show off his organizing skills or to butter up to the Najibs," Tan Kee Kwong, a senior Opposition leader in Anwar's PKR party, told Malaysia Chronicle.
"I am glad Psy was smart and fair. There is no reason for him to support the BN. It is not known for decent politics or for reform. They tried to use him, so why should he support such insincere politicians."