Indonesian political parties are turning to K-pop as a propaganda tool ahead of the 2024 general election, by offering tickets to the performances of popular groups as incentives to attract young voters.
The opposition Grandra Party, for instance, has announced on its Twitter account that it will be giving away tickets to the BLACKPINK World Tour "Bon Pink" performance in Jakarta through a lottery.
To apply for the lottery, potential voters must take a picture of themselves posing in front of a billboard displaying the face of the party's presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto wearing BLACKPINK merchandise, and post it on social media, tagging Grindra and Prabowo. The video tutorial for the event has already received over a million views since its publication on the 8th.
The Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) has also announced that it will be giving away BLACKPINK concert tickets as prizes through a lottery for those who follow the party's official Twitter account and retweet the posts that guide the prizes. Last year, the National Authorization Party (PAN) invited K-pop group Astro to perform at its own party event.
Jita Anjani, a member of the PAN Central Executive Committee who organised the performance at the time, said, "It's time for the party to listen to the voices of real young people, not just to chant slogans to attract support from young voters ahead of the 2024 general election."
The reason behind political parties using K-pop to promote themselves is the significant proportion of young voters in Indonesia. According to the think tank Institute for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), millennials born after 1980 and Generation Z born after the mid-1990s are expected to account for 60% of all voters.
However, the use of K-pop as a propaganda tool has had mixed reactions from young Indonesians. Some criticized the events, including a reply to the Grindra Party's post offering tickets to BLACKPINK's performance as a prize, saying, "Please don't involve BLACKPINK's name in political interests."
University student Inesella Melia (22) told the Jakarta Post in an interview that she does not agree with parties trying to implant the image of K-pop in politics and added, "We need to deal with more serious problems such as public education and corruption than handing out free tickets."
Meanwhile, makeup artist Putri Fahira Budiman, 23, said it seems urgent for political parties to make such efforts to win support from young people and added, "I think it's one of the parties' efforts to secure public support."
Indonesia is scheduled to hold large-scale elections in February next year to choose new presidents, lawmakers, and local council members.
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