DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today said that a sophisticated social media campaign has been launched that aims to sow discord among Malaysians and exacerbate tensions beyond the realms of cyberspace.
Lim alleged that the “highly-funded” campaign hopes to bring the inter-racial and inter-religious animosity of “social media Malaysia” to life.
“The perception created by social media is a Malaysia which has never been more polarised in racial and religious terms in the nation’s history, increasingly worsened every day, as if the country is teetering on the verge of violent race and religious conflagration.
“But this is completely different from real-life Malaysia all over the country, where instead of inter-racial and inter-religious animosity, distrust, fear and hatred, there is only goodwill, amity, understanding, tolerance, and harmony among Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese or Indians, Kadazans or Dayaks.
“Observant Malaysians will have long realised that there are two Malaysias: real-life Malaysia and social-media Malaysia,” he said in a statement.
Lim then cited a recent viral post on social media of a photo depicting a man who looked Malaysian Chinese burning the national flag, when in truth it was from a 2013 incident showing a Filipino policeman burning the Jalur Gemilang in protest of his government’s handling of the Sabah repatriation issue.
“I dare say that there is not a single Malaysian Chinese who will deliberately dishonour the national flag as flying it up upside down or other despicable acts,” he said.
The Iskandar Puteri MP even conceded that the dissemination of such fake news, or according to him, time bombs, has already affected the public, saying such situations were extremely detrimental to nation-building efforts.
He described the current situation as “ludicrous”, saying all ethnic communities were harbouring sentiments of fear, distrust and even hatred, disillusioned by the idea they are to be stripped of their rights and sidelined.
“This is the result of the untrammelled spread of fake news and hate speech especially on the social media to incite inter-racial and inter-religious conflagration,” he added.
“Every day provides more evidence of such time-bombs to Malaysian nation-building which, if not de-activated, can only spell disaster for peace, tolerance and harmony in Malaysia.” – MMO