Political Parties Using K-Pop to Attract Young Voters in Indonesia

Political parties in Indonesia have been making efforts to attract young voters by using K-pop, specifically by offering tickets to concerts by the popular K-pop girl group Blackpink. The Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI) and Gerindra have both tweeted about giving away tickets to Blackpink performances to those who follow their accounts on social media and repost their giveaway posts. The tweets have gained over a million views and thousands of shares, showing that K-pop is highly popular in Indonesia. The National Mandate Party (PAN) recently hosted an event called "Birukan Langit Indonesia" featuring the K-pop group Astro, among other Indonesian artists, as part of the party's national working meeting. The PAN's intention was to attract young voters in advance of the 2024 general election, as millennials and Gen-Z are projected to form 60% of the voting population.

While some supporters are divided about political parties' tweets offering free tickets, many fans have criticized parties for injecting K-pop into Indonesian politics. Journalist student Ines Sela Melia said that K-pop was not related to Indonesian culture, and she would not let the presence of a K-pop idol at an event, or the distribution of free tickets influence her vote. However, she appreciated the originality of including K-pop in the political sphere, recognizing that political parties may have enticed new voters this way. In the upcoming election, Ines said that she was interested in environmental issues and had been looking for political figures who were more relatable and humbler for millennials. Other fans viewed political parties' involvement in K-pop as a regular approach to attracting voters.

According to a study by the think tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), millennials and Gen-Z in Indonesia are demanding honest and anti-corruption leaders, with growing awareness among today's youth of corruption's pervasiveness and the urgency of combatting it. Political parties could focus more on public education, such as stressing the value of paying taxes, rather than handing out free tickets. Regardless, K-pop's popularity in Indonesia suggests that incorporating K-pop into political events may remain a relevant strategy for attracting young voters in future elections.