LETTERS: With the 15th General Election (GE15) just around the corner, it is important to recognise the power of candidates' rhetoric during campaigning.
There are three elements that need to be considered, including the familial rhetoric, their predictions about the future and, lastly, their appeal with the intention to create fear.
Politicians come to our homes every few years, with a smile on their faces, interested in our wellbeing.
Malaysians must know that it is their responsibility as representatives to act on our behalf and to protect our interests.
We must also beware of the tendency of politicians to give predictions about the future.
For instance, 'Do we want a more prosperous country for our children?' Or, 'Do we want the future of the nation to be destroyed just because we choose wrongly?'
We must realise that they cannot prove something that is yet to happen.
Also, be aware of the appeal to create fear. We can never be sure what will happen next, after all, but this understandably causes fear, which makes for a persuasive message.
It is also a powerful technique to exploit our sentiments as it contains threatening scenarios that evoke fear.
We need to check the psychological underpinnings of our own fears to be informed, level-headed citizens.
And when we reach that stage, it is important to recognise that such an appeal is no longer a persuasion, but a subtle coercion. Therefore, let's vote based on facts, not fears.
DR NADILLA JAMIL
Department of English Language and Literature,
International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM)
ABDUL HAMID ABU SULAYMAN
Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, IIUM
The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect those of the New Straits Times