THE FIERY speech of motor mouth Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi calling on Kedahans outstation and abroad to return home for balloting during the delayed Padang Serai parliamentary election last November was first manipulated by Pakatan Harapan (PH) cybertroopers who snipped the “we are … idiots!” part of his speech and spread as a troll as if the PAS warlord was insulting his own supporters.
But eight months down the road, Sanusi’s speech suddenly went viral and FYP (For Your Page)* on TikTok with dozens of videos of Kedahans heeding the call of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) election director by returning home to cast their votes during the recently concluded six states polls – and with Sanusi’s voice playing in the background.
“So much so that this was likened to Optimus Prime (the main protagonist in the Transformers movie) calling on the Autobots. One can open TikTok and search ‘Sanusi Autobots’,” penned political critic Dr Tanaka Mustafa in his latest Facebook post.
“No political analyst has yet to include the factor of Sanusi’s speech in commenting on the great support of the Malays for the PN or even the factor of polarisation.”
Added Tanaka: “Does the call of ‘Sanusi Prime’ really open the eyes of both the young and Malays in general to see the bigger (political) game that is unfolding in the country or is it just entertainment in a political campaign event?”
Whether it is sensible to put Sanusi at par with Optimus Prime who is the revered leader of the Autobots (and the brother of the Decepticon leader Megatron), some credit is due as the former has battled against all odds to inflict a 33-3 misery on PH-BN with Kedah recording the second highest percentage of voter turnout at 73.86% after Terengganu (74.79%).
“Perhaps a study can be undertaken to analyse the emotion of fence-sitters who hear Sanusi’s speech on TikTok. You swipe once and you can swipe over and over again but you keep hearing the same voice on every TikTok video uploaded by Kedahans who did return home. Is this also a factor for fence-sitters to choose PN and Sanusi?” wondered Dr Tanaka. – Aug 17, 2023
* An acronym for “For You Page”, FYP refers to the page on TikTok that is filled with recommended content and videos the app thinks users will enjoy the most. Creators tend to hashtag their videos #fyp to increase page views and brand visibility.