Serious election shows lighter side of Malaysians

PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - As the political temperature rises with the nation heading for the polls on May 9, Malaysians are tempering the heat with a cool collection of jokes and comics, which has gone viral online.

From puns to popular culture, election-related wit has gripped the country right after the Election Commission announced that Malaysians are to cast their ballots on a Wednesday.

The polling day inspired some social media users to joke that Rabu – Wednesday in Bahasa Malaysia – is an acronym for “Rakyat Akan Balik Undi” (Rakyat Will Return to Vote).

GE14 fever sees supporters of both sides of the political divide bringing their rivalry to a colourful notch.

A tongue-in-cheek meme depicts a light blue tudung-donning lass saying: “Bang, pilih biru muda saja tau bukan bini muda (Hubby, pick light blue, not young wife).”

The poster promoting Pakatan Harapan plays on the double meaning of muda, and the witticim of biru (blue) and bini (wife).

While light blue is associated with PKR, under whose symbol Pakatan candidates in the Peninsula will contest this time, the darker shade is iconic of Barisan Nasional.

Not to be outdone, the camp supporting Barisan has a poster showing two young women in blue urging voters to mark X for the coalition’s well-known scale. The meme reads: “Pilih biru tua saja tau, bukan PM tua (Pick dark blue, not old Prime Minister).”

It too plays on the double meaning of tua and takes a jab at Pakatan’s prime minister candidate, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who turns 93 in July.

A slew of other punny GE14-themed cartoons has become a hit, especially pick-up lines from social media user Eday Bahrom.

“Which DUN are you voting at? Because I DUN want to lose you,” reads one. (DUN stands for Dewan Undangan Negeri or state assembly.)

Another says: “Are you a candidate? I am also a candidate; a candidate for your future.”

Eday’s #UndiPick-upLines feature black-and-white images of stars such as American celebrities Chris Evans, Tom Brady and Kendall Jenner as well as British actor Kit Harington, of Game of Thrones fame.

As politicians bicker over the implications of the polling date, comic artists unleashed a lighter side of things.

One viral comic by Pyromania Art shows a son asking his father for advice on how to hold a wedding reception on a small budget.

The father comes up with this: have the wedding on a Wednesday, so fewer people would attend.

Another comic by Facebook page “Bro, Don’t Like That La, Bro” shows a class monitor announcing that the students will vote for a new monitor on Saturday – a non-school day – and wondering why his classmates are upset.

Ernest Ng, the artist behind this comic, said he wanted to use humour to encourage his young audience to exercise their democratic right to vote.

“Politics can be boring and hostile, I wanted to find a lighter take on the elections and hopefully get people to go out and vote,” he said.

Funny videos have also surfaced, with one featuring a pants-wearing chicken strutting around with the caption: “YB (Yang Berhormat) is visiting the constituency” superimposed on the video.

One meme features a drawing of a sperm with the line: “You were born because that one sperm did not sit at home thinking it wouldn’t make any difference among million other sperms. Go out and vote.”