Elderly politician gets advice from grandson, connects through social networks | The star


JOHOR BARU: It is normal for a grandson to listen to his grandparents, but in the case of Johor Umno veteran Datuk Othman Jais (pic), he listened to his grandson and took to social media to connect with young voters.

Othman, who is the president of Umno’s state veterans group, acknowledged that times have changed and many people, particularly the younger generation, are active social media users.

By embracing social media, he said, his group has been able to reach many young people and first-time voters.

The 75-year-old said he got the idea to use social media in his political work after a conversation with his 20-year-old grandson, who voted for the first time during the Johor election in March .

“A relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild is always special where the little ones will listen to their elders’ advice. But I also listen to young people.

“So, after the polls in Johor, we decided to create a TikTok account as the medium is very popular among the youth,” Othman said.

And so, the “Otai Bangsa Johor” TikTok account was born. Since then, he has uploaded 26 videos and gained 1,101 followers.

“We have received positive feedback from other TikTok users, particularly younger users,” he added.

Othman said his group is actively reaching out to the masses through various social media platforms as well as messaging apps like WhatsApp.

“We want to play our part and help the Barisan Nasional machinery to attract voters, especially first-time voters, regardless of their age.

“In Johor, about 300,000 voters are aged 55 and above, accounting for about 47% of the total voters in the state.

“The rest are young and early voters, who we need to connect with, as every vote counts,” he told The Star.

Othman said Umno veterans like him used to take the traditional approach of going to the ground and meeting the public face-to-face.

But now things are changing for these elders.

“We are not afraid to go to social networks and we even actively use them to conduct our meetings (online).

“We will continue to create content for our TikTok account and use other social media platforms to attract voters to Barisan Nasional,” he added.

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