KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 4 ― Khairy Jamaluddin revealed today that he calls himself “Abah” on social media, describing it as a form of political branding in which Malaysian youths can identify with.
The Youth and Sports Minister said the term “Abah” (daddy) has been often been associated with him, so he has learnt to adapt and use it as part of his image branding.
“I am Abah. I play with the label Abah. Wherever I go, youths say ‘Abah, we love you. Daddy’.
“I play with the label because there is branding. It is easier for people to relate to us,” Khairy said today during his speech at Umno’s national social media convention today.
Khairy has been labelled “Abah” by a majority of Instagram and Twitter users especially by those from the younger generation. He has played along with it and even referred to himself as “Abah” in recent postings.
The Rembau MP added that as new-age politicians, a more personal and relatable persona should be created so that the public can easily engage.
“We have to be funny and relatable. We have to create a funny image.
“We have to be authentic, that’s when the people will like us. We cannot be fake and ‘poyo’,” Khairy said.
The Umno youth chief also warned Barisan Nasional (BN) to keep their cool when responding to any issue especially on social media as emotional responses might just result in unwanted criticisms.
“We can’t lash out on social media. You have to keep your cool. Do not respond immediately.
“Take your time and answer with facts. Cause the answer might be used against you. Maintain your cool,” Khairy said.
He also warned any leaders from making “personal attacks” against anyone as that generally pushes away support and gains sympathy for the other side.
“If you want to attack, make it on facts and stuff. Do not make personal attacks. People don’t like it. Any personal attacks on anyone, people don’t like it.
“Do not attack them personally as this would only bring sympathy for them,” Khairy stressed.