KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — A group of non-governmental organisations (NGO) today raised the alarm over what seems to be a coordinated paid attempt on social media to generate anti-DAP and anti-Chinese sentiment.
These inflammatory social media posts push an anti-DAP agenda while calling for Perikatan Nasional (PN) to govern, said a statement by the Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ), Architects of Diversity (AOD), Justice for Sisters, Beyond Borders, Sisters in Islam (SIS), KRYSS Network, Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor and Pusat Komas.
“These posts demonstrate trends that include a rewriting of the history of May 13, 1969, including that the DAP was the cause of the race riots.
“The posts then evolved into videos containing images of weapons and guns, with messages warning the Malay majority to beware of DAP and Pakatan Harapan (PH). They also threatened a return of racial unrest,” the statement read.
The group also brought up allegations that PN has engaged professional agencies to coordinate these narratives.
CIJ executive director Wathshlah Naidu noted that these posts have gone viral across platforms, especially Twitter, and includes paid-partnership with young content creators.
“These contents using the May 13 incident are creating fear, polarising the already divided society along racial and religious lines, and at times inciting outright violence while leveraging the deepened social tensions,” she said.
Founding member of Justice for Sisters Thilaga Sulathireh said that the May 13 content that surfaced after the 15th general elections (GE15) are consistent with PN’s election campaign, which she said relied on demonising PH and its leadership to distort voters’ perception of the coalition.
She went on to call for the Election Commission to investigate PN’s election campaign tactics in line with Section 4(a) of the Election Offences Act.
The legislation mentioned that any person with a duty to perform in accordance with any written law relating to any election who makes in any record an entry which they know to be false or has reasonable cause to believe to be false shall be liable to imprisonment of not more than two years or a fine of not more than RM5,000 or both.
Additionally, if a person is convicted of this offence they will not be able to be elected or vote and their seat shall be vacated until five years after the conviction.
“The burden is now on the political parties to stop manipulating and orchestrating hate narratives and focus instead on good governance.
“What Malaysia needs is political leadership that will address recession, generate investments, minimise unemployment, and mitigate the climate crisis,” Wathshlah said, adding that the people need political leaders that are accountable to them instead of those that base development on political expediency.
Before GE15, CIJ and its partners had launched a site that monitors hate speech as they expected hate speech and the dissemination of disinformation to intensify on social media during GE15.
The site, “Say No to Hate Speech”, was meant to encourage Malaysians to report hate speech when they see it to the portal, which exists to educate the public on hate speech while providing general updates on how hate speech occurs and who key actors are.
The site can be accessed at: https://cijmalaysia.net/election-monitoring/about/