Indonesia candidates turn to K-pop to pull votes

Indonesia candidates turn to K-pop to pull votes

JAKARTA: Indonesia holds its presidential election on Wednesday (Feb 14) but candidates are looking to another country’s export to win votes – K-pop, the South Korean sensation that has swept much of the world.

At an event held by young volunteers for candidate Anies Baswedan in the capital Jakarta, die-hard K-pop fans had photoshopped his face with sunglasses on merchandise fashioning him in the style of a South Korean pop star.

In Indonesia, megastars BTS and other K-pop groups are extremely popular, giving politicians another route to appeal to young people. Millennials and Gen Zers make up more than half of the country’s electorate.

Hundreds gathered in a noisy crowd on Thursday evening, some holding posters, paper fans and stickers emblazoned with Baswedan’s face in a K-pop style.

“It is funny, very contemporary,” said tax analyst Nurul Hidayah, a supporter of Baswedan.

“Usually the campaign materials are old-fashioned, too boring. But this is very fun.”