Taipei mayor's re-election rap video goes viral

Taiwan Mayor Ko Wen-je's video has now racked up 1.3 million views and is one of the most-watched videos in Taiwan.
Taiwan Mayor Ko Wen-je's video has now racked up 1.3 million views and is one of the most-watched videos in Taiwan.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

TAIPEI • Faced with an increasingly tight re-election race, Taipei's mayor has dropped a rap video that has quickly gone viral as he calls on voters to "do the right thing" and keep him in office.

Dr Ko Wen-je, a former trauma surgeon turned social media-savvy mayor of Taiwan's capital, is currently locked in a heated race against Dr Ting Shou-chung from the Kuomintang party.

Some opinion polls show Dr Ko leading by a mere three percentage points ahead of the Nov 24 vote.

In a bid to stand out from his rival and win over some crucial youth voters, Dr Ko, 59, has taken what is often a risky route for politicians - getting down with the kids through the medium of rap.

But his bid appears to have paid off, with the video receiving a largely positive response from young Taiwanese, racking up 1.3 million views and storming to the top of the island's most-watched YouTube chart in recent days.

In the video, a bespectacled Dr Ko - sporting a shirt with a pen in the top pocket - channels his inner mumble rap star, repeating his well-known political mantra, "do the right thing, do things right", over and over again while local rapper Chunyan spits out more complex rhymes alongside him.

"Don't steal chickens or pet dogs/Build houses well," raps Chunyan, referencing a Chinese idiom about not taking shortcuts.

  • 1.3 million

    Number of views the rap video has received.

Dr Ko won the mayoralty by a landslide as an independent candidate in 2014 and has built himself a reputation for being something of a maverick with an especially effective social media presence.

"Mayor Ko has been using the Internet to closely interact with young people. His way of doing things is close to us. We like that," said Ms Crystal Lee, a 35-year-old office worker who has shared the video on social media and with her friends.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 04, 2018, with the headline 'Taipei mayor's re-election rap video goes viral'. Print Edition | Subscribe