It’s all in the details

The misspelled slogan on the PRS Youth t-shirt.


As a bystander, it never fails to entertain to watch how things unfold every election, whether it is a general or state or even by-election.

Among them is to observe the content and designs of campaign posters, banners and other forms of publicity. It would be even more interesting if one were to spot something that is not quite right.

About two weeks before nomination, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) Youth in a function, used a t-shirt with a slogan containing an obvious typo — “Command, Coquer & Win GE14” instead of “Command, Conquer & Win GE14”.

Everyone had a good laugh about it, including party president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing who responded with a ‘crying’ emoji when asked for his response and admitted that it was the printer’s mistake.

Following PRS, with the 14th general election (GE14) campaign period officially started and candidates allowed to put up their posters, banners and flyers, there are bound to be some blunders of such nature.

Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Mas Gading candidate Anthony Nogeh’s fishtail banner with its ambiguous Chinese slogan has served to create more confusion than put across a clear message to the voters.

Photos of the Chinese slogan that roughly translates as “I hope in the time to come, you will not regret for not choosing me” area already making the rounds on social media.

Screenshot of an online post highlighting Mas Gading BN candidate Anthony’s ambiguous campaign message.

This strangely worded phrase was first picked up by a social media channel in Sabah which published it with a title — “Read properly to see what is the problem there”. The item was also captioned with one big and one small
‘crying’ emoji.

Then yesterday, a local daily published a Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) advertisement with the caption “Better Quality of Live”. Today, the mistake was rectified — it came out as “Better Quality of Life”.

SUPP campaign material printed in a local daily.

There was another advertisement by SUPP, that read “Support Youth Women Entrepreneurs”.

This is also a confusing one because should it be construed as “Support Young Women Entrepreneurs” or “Support Youth, Women Entrepreneurs”? It raised some head-scratches among the DayakDaily team. No head-scratching emoji to go along with it though.

SUPP campaign material printed in a local daily.

Meanwhile, SUPP definitely has not shortchanged its Bandar Kuching candidate Kho Teck Wan. Huge billboards displaying her likeness are already set up around the constituency.

However, a sharp-eyed journalist noticed a discrepancy in one particular graphic featuring Kho’s photo with a city skyline, and questioned whether it was an actual photo of the Kuching city skyline as it featured buildings more than 20-storeys high.

Bandar Kuching BN candidate Kho’s likeness with the city skyline.

This sparked an interesting exchange online with other journalists. Someone pointed out that under current laws, buildings with more than 20 storeys were not allowed. Another journalist said this graphic was a vision of what Sarawak will become in future if people vote for Barisan Nasional (BN). Yet another journalist opined perhaps Kho will change the law to allow such buildings to be built. Meanwhile, an environmentally-conscious member of the group said, “There goes our green Kuching.”

Another issue which has come up is that some campaign banners appear to be printed by foreign companies. Photos of these banners have also been circulating on social media, and along with them, questions of what are the licensing requirements for such banners to be printed and whether these banners meet the requirements.

Screenshot of a Facebook post complaining about foreign companies printing local campaign materials.

If there is anything to be learnt from the above examples, the first and foremost is the message in the campaign material must be clear and unambiguous.

Secondly, double and triple check your campaign material before putting it to use.

And thirdly, perhaps the BN coalition should support local businessmen instead of foreign ones? — DayakDaily