KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 ― Having a Malaysian celebrity as an elected lawmaker or even prime minister in the 15th general election is entirely plausible, a public relations firm suggested given the current global trend of celebrities becoming full-time politicians.
According to local digital marketing firm Nobleman Creations, comedian-turned-politician Volodymyr Zelenskiy victory in Ukraine's presidential election along with former reality television star/business mogul Donald Trump becoming US president is evidence that more celebrities may enter the political arena in the near future.
Nobleman Creations chief executive Na’im Brundage said that based on the “potential” of celebrities using their star appeal to get elected for office, his firm conducted a quick analysis of the top five Malaysian celebrities who may run for office, based on the average volume of their names being searched on Google on a monthly basis.
Popular songstress Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin topped the list with more than 90,000 Google searches, followed by Noor Neelofa Mohd Noor (Neelofa) with 70,000, Yunalis Mat Zara'ai with over 60,000 searches and Mohammad Aiman bin Yusri (Aiman Tino) with over 40,000 searches.
Last on the list was actor Abdul Fattah bin Mohd Amin (Fattah Amin) with 30,000 Google searches.
“The 5 celebrities listed were among the 300 celebrity profiles that have been sifted through for the purpose of conducting this analysis.
“It is interesting to note that the average volume of Google searches for prominent Malaysian lawmakers do not vary greatly in comparison to the Top 5 most popular celebrities listed above,” Na'im said in a statement.
His firm did the same analysis for Malaysian politicians, and found that PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim topped the most searched list with more than 110,000 searches, followed by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad with over 90,000 searches.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman came in third with 90,000 searches while Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng came in fourth with 60,000 searches.
Umno's Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin made Nobleman's list at last place, with just over 33,000 searches.
“Based on the findings, Malaysian celebrities are at times more popular than their political counterparts. Will this be the new future of politics in Malaysia?” Na'im asked.
It remains unclear as to the complete details of Nobleman's research methodology, and whether sampling an average volume of Google searches for personalities is sufficient for the purpose of this analysis.
Interestingly, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not make Nobleman's list, despite having a much higher social media presence than Siti Nurhaliza or Anwar.