SUNGAI SIPUT, Nov 15 — Voters here, especially from the Indian community, were divided over MIC president Tan SA Vigneswaran’s use of Kollywood songs to reach them ahead of the 15th general election.

The clips of Tamil songs have made their way online, either purely in audio or as videos with montages of Vigneswaran in various settings, and were primarily being shared on messaging platforms such as WhatsApp.

In one song posted online titled Restore Sungai Siput, the lyrics in Tamil could be translated as “Tan Sri’s service unites us, Tan Sri’s love has bound us”.

The songs appear to be based on popular Kollywood tunes, with the lyrics altered to praise MIC candidates and their service to the community.

It remains unclear who performed the modified songs, but the clips themselves appear to be the product of Vigneswaran’s supporters.

Some voters who spoke to Malay Mail liked this approach and said it was more effective and efficient at reaching the voters, while others still preferred that the candidates went to meet them face-to-face.

A 45-year-old florist, who only wanted to be named as Renu, said that she has watched some of the videos she received from her friends.

But she was among those not sold on the idea.

“Actually, there is no need of such videos for publicity. If the candidate meets the people and contribute service to them, I’m sure the matter will spread through mouth words, which would strongly convince the voters,” she told Malay Mail.

S. Kamala, 46, a restaurant worker, said there was no personal touch in such videos.

While she said the songs themselves were catchy, they did not do much to convey the personality of the candidates.

“To build the trust with the voters, I think candidates need to meet them in person,” said Kamala.

A 37-year-old factory worker, who wanted to be known as Prem, said he watched some of the videos when they were shared among friends in the WhatsApp group.

“The videos are fun to watch, but will it garner voters? I’m not sure. We can’t predict voters’ minds,” he said.

However, restaurant owner K. Puganes, 39, said that campaigning through creative videos was the best way to reach the voters.

“Nowadays, almost everyone has a smartphone and information can be shared effortlessly. Using catchy songs in the videos will attract the voters and it is effective in reaching many people and also cost efficient.

“Candidates don’t have to spend a lot of money to print brochures and banners to promote themselves. These videos could help,” said Puganes, who will be casting her vote for the second time in the 15th general election.

A first-time voter, who only wanted to be named as Kailash, said the videos appeared to mimic those popular on the TikTok short video platform.

“Definitely it will get the attention of the youngster. It is a good move to campaign using Indian songs. The Indian community will feel more connected with the candidate as they’re used to cinema and songs,” said the 22-year-old student.

Vigneswaran will be contesting the Sungai Siput parliamentary seat against Pakatan Harapan’s incumbent S. Kesavan from PKR in a seven-cornered fight on November 19.

The seat has sentimental value to MIC as it was once the stronghold of the party’s icon, the late Tun S. Samy Vellu, who died in September.