Psy-light of Malaysia's election campaign
Updated 5 February 2013, 0:33 AEST
Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional Party has invited international pop sensation Psy to perform his Gangnam Style dance at its Chinese New Year celebration next week, in a bid to attract the youth vote ahead of elections in April.
Organisers hope to attract about 60,000 people to the event in Penang, including Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Barisan Nasional's chief strategist for youth, Neil Foo, did not deny that there is a political element behind Psy's invitation.
"Rather than getting not a first-hand source of information about Barisan Nasional, at least [the youth] come for seeing is believing [about Psy] as well as the Barisan Nasional, the leadership," he told Radio Australia's Asia Pacific.
In the 2008 elections, the ruling coalition lost its traditional two thirds parliamentary majority and control over five states, including Penang, to a resurgent opposition.
By having the open house and concert in Penang the Barisan Nasional is seeking to win more Chinese votes and take the electoral challenge to the state's ruling Democratic Action Party (DAP).
Penang's chief minister and DAP secretary general, Lim Guan Eng, has welcomed the concert, saying it will bring domestic and international visitors to the island.
But DAP vice chairperson, Theresa Kok, says social media has made young Malaysians politically-savvy, and attempts to woo them through entertainment alone will be ineffective.
South Korean pop music is popular in Malaysia with a recent show, the annual Golden Disk Awards featuring performances by Super Junior and other acts, drawing thousands of fans.