Social media has fostered new forms of political communication and participation. These communicative forms include wit, parody, sarcasm and memification. Politicians who attempt to enhance their popularity using a humorous tone in their online discourse, is watched by a broad audience. In doing so, they try to project a positive self-image to attract prospective voters. Using the former Malaysian prime minister, Dato’ Sri Najib Razak’s Facebook posts as a case study, this research investigates the persuasive capability of political humour. Based on interviews with 27 undergraduates students from Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, this study analyses how exposure to political humour by Najib Razak would increase the salience of particular issues or constructs in the minds of the youth and how it contributes to bonding between politicians and audiences.
Keywords: Political communication, Facebook, humour, youth, Malaysia