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Friday, January 31, 2020

Yoursay: Enough of lip service to curbing fake news and hate speech


YOURSAY | ‘PM, why not start with reprimanding Hadi who incites hatred…’

Ferdtan: "Police must immediately act! Arrest (those who sow hate) and take them to the station,” inspector-general of police (IGP) Abdul Hamid Bador said of people spreading fake news on the coronavirus outbreak and those inciting racial hatred.
What's the point of just talking? We have heard this warning before. Action is needed, not just talk.
All the police have to do is arrest such perpetrators under the full glare of the media, then you can be sure more people will take notice.
So IGP, the solution is simple – action, not talk.
Anonymous_1544: Dear Mr IGP, you have said the same thing time and again and little action has been taken, so is it any surprise that they ignore you like the boy who cried wolf?
For example, when a Puteri Umno leader defied you and called an Islamic State supporter a “martyr”, what has happened to her after the interview with the police or was it a chat over tea and cakes?
Bravemalaysian: It’s good that the government is taking a tougher stand against fake news.
But instead of focusing just on those spreading or creating fake news on the coronavirus, what about politicians who deliver hate speeches such as PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang and Indian preacher Zakir Naik?
They are doing it routinely and no action has been taken against them.
Zakir has quietened down for now, it seems. But Hadi with his latest “cow and pig herders” rant needs to be arrested and charged.
Otherwise, Harapan will always be on the defensive and worse, play along the same game in what seems to be a race to see who is more religious and more racist to get the support of the masses. This is a dangerous game for the nation in the long term, and very destructive.
Proarte: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, why not start with reprimanding Hadi who incites hatred amongst the races and religions in Malaysia?
Making innuendos that a Harapan government would relegate Malays to a community of “pig herders” is a vicious and evil aspersion implying the humiliation and downgrading of Malays by a DAP or Chinese-dominated government.
Hadi has also insulted non-Muslims by openly saying that they should be “Pakatan Turut” to the Muslims of Malaysia.
Malaysia's problems are due solely to the politicians who cheat, rob, fool and divide in the name of the Malay race and Islam. Malaysians of all races and religions have lived amongst and accommodated one another for more than 500 years.
Politicians are in no position to lecture us about not creating division or not to incite, because they are the prime culprits. “Baling batu sembunyi tangan” is a Malay proverb which aptly describes our politicians, Mahathir included.
JW: Sadly and disgustingly, there are idiots who are shown to have such a toxic ego to dish out fake news.
The only reason I can think of such despicable behaviour is their bigotry, looking at the virus as strictly a Chinese issue, thus ripe for holier than thou racist assumption. Facts be damn.
Still, it would do well not to invoke the fake news law and throw this law at such idiots in full measure, who surely more than deserve it.
We cannot fight unreasonable fear mongering and bigotry with more of the same. One can only hope to take a stand on reason and turn away from and condemn self-serving morons.
We can all do our part to be vigilant and not to be too quickly taken in by fake news. Due diligence is still needed and it involves at the least checking out the source because, thankfully, there are many credible sources available too.
Over the past few days, as fake news pile up, one thing is clear - one may have a lot of problems with an authoritarian government like that in China, but when it comes to crisis of the kind involving public health, it is to its credit that it can galvanise the nation to get on the same page to tackle the problem together quickly.
In this day and age, how easy really is it to have a city the size of Wuhan locked down? I cannot imagine this will ever happen in a more democratic society, say, in the US, where the first thing you will likely hear is the citizens asserting their individual right to move about freely, regardless of what unforeseen impacts that would create.
And then you have China constructing a hospital in Wuhan to be fully functioning within six days. Certainly not the first time this has happened, as a hospital was built within seven days in Beijing during the Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak.
Still, this can only happen because, for one, labour is in plentiful supply in China. The other is the authoritarian Chinese government that has managed to rally everyone together to overcome a common threat.
Ironic, isn't it? That an authoritarian system can be more credible and accountable than many netizens in a supposedly freer society who are abusing that freedom to dish out their toxic ego in the form of fake news without care.
Xiao Zhu: Yes, agreed. I was working in China during the Sars outbreak in 2003 that killed more people with a fatality rate of 10%. The relevant minister and city mayor were sacked over it.
This time their response rate in tackling this issue is three times quicker and with more drastic actions taken. I doubt any Western countries would be able to beat them in handling this issue.
Today, with smartphones it is easy to spread fake news and scare the people.
Pokokelapa: We all thrive on social media news. All this while we’ve been told that anything about 1MDB is fake news. So were many other issues that turned out to be true.
So now Malaysians cannot differentiate between what is fake and what is real, which is another reason we love to speculate and there are many soothsayers around.
Another of our bad habit is forwarding messages without checking, which has become a norm. It is already terrible to receive mass greetings on social media during every celebration, what more fake and questionable news. - Mkini

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