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Monday, April 29, 2019

AS WITH SO MANY THINGS NAJIB, ‘BOSSKU’ AN ARTIFICIAL CONCOCTION HATCHED & HYPED BY A PR MACHINERY WITH DEEP POCKETS: SAD TO DAY, ‘MALU APA’ IS NOW BACKFIRING ON NAJIB AS HE SITS IN THE DOCK, WITH MALAYSIANS USING IT AS A TOOL TO MOCK HIM

KUALA LUMPUR— Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Malu apa bosskuphenomenon was generated by a public relations machinery, which might have taken advantage of dissatisfaction with the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH), political analysts said.
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia political scientist Kartini Aboo Talib said the Malay phrase, which roughly translates to “What’s there to be ashamed of my boss”, was first uttered by the Pekan MP and former prime minister in a video clip with a youth as part of a well-planned online campaign.
“The support for Malu apa bossku has gone viral and is gaining momentum due to the powerful cyber troopers that simply inculcate good image, taglines, catchy phrases to people in all layers of society,” she told Malay Mail.
The tagline has become popular with various communities, especially Malay youths, spawning videos, memes, t-shirts, caps, vehicle stickers and a music video.

However, Kartini also believed that certain achievements made during Najib’s administration were still fresh in the younger generations’ minds, like the Malaysian Youth Policy and National Transformation 2050, which she said was supposed to provide youths with opportunities, funding and advice to be successful entrepreneurs.
The academic also said the seeming surge in support for Najib could be an “alarm clock” to remind PH that the people are not happy with various aspects of the PH government’s performance, citing some controversial actions by ministers and an unfulfilled PH manifesto.
Penang Institute political analyst Wong Chin Huat highlighted the possibility of subsidised merchandise playing a role behind the “bossku” hype.
“In Rantau, I came across various bossku t-shirts sold at the price of RM5 or RM6. The vendor told me his cost price from supplier in Selangor was RM1.
“For the quality, the real cost might be around RM7 to RM8. So, someone was heavily subsidising these merchandise to create the sensation,” he said.
The analyst also questioned the composition and motivation of supporters behind Najib’s resurgence in popularity, noting that no research has been conducted on the matter.
If most of the bossku supporters were voters with no fixed party loyalty in the last general election, then their actions might be an expression of protest against the PH administration for not performing satisfactorily, he indicated.
Azlan Zainal from research firm Ilham Centre believes the bossku movement was orchestrated by a special campaign team and had morphed from its initial effectiveness in reigniting support for Najib into a thing of mockery among Malaysians.
He said youth support for the bossku tagline can be fragile.
“It’s undeniable that Malaysians are only interested in anything that is currently ‘trending’, viral and unique,” he said.
But he also said the motto can be turned around into a rallying cry for the Opposition over time if the government failed to address public expectation.
“So, if people have started to become angry with Pakatan Harapan over many issues, then this campaign is easily embraced,” Azlan said.
MALAY MAIL

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