TTF: A so-called former Barisan Nasional (BN) “cybertrooper” was said to have revealed how her past 13th general election (GE13) online campaign for the former ruling coalition helped solidify perceived “racial tensions” between different ethnic communities in Malaysia.
Reportedly a PKR member, Syarul Ema Rena Abu Samah now says she regrets what she did in the past and has “repented.”
But that’s precisely how one’s ‘tune’ changes the minute a government collapses.
The fact remains, that not only do “racial tensions” still exist, the Malays are actually finding it difficult to gain employment.
As a matter of fact, they are often rejected by Chinese employers who make it clear that they prefer Chinese.
The attitude displayed by many Chinese employers has long been against the spirit of nation building.
Ema forgets, that at the time she made those videos, Dr Mahathir Mohamad was firmly with Barisan Nasional and consistently criticised the DAP for being chauvinist.
On the 1st of May 2013, he told a cheering crowd that Lim Kit Siang was a racist and “pelampau perkauman” and even criticised the DAP for wanting to establish a “democracy.”
He told the crowd that instead of responding, Kit Siang got the late Karpal Singh to intimidate him by sending him a letter requesting that he retract the allegation.
Mahathir then went on to reiterate that the senior Lim was racist (watch video below).
But what did he do thereafter?
He joined hands with Kit Siang and stood for elections under the PKR banner.
Tell me, Ema, is that not the banner you’re now representing?
KUALA LUMPUR: A former Barisan Nasional (BN) “cybertrooper” today revealed how her past 13th general election online campaign for the former ruling coalition helped solidify perceived “racial tensions” between different ethnic communities in Malaysia.
Syarul Ema Rena Abu Samah, also known online as Ratu Naga (Malay for “Dragon Empress”), told a forum organised by the Cooler Lumpur Festival at the Publika shopping mall here that the work she did for BN for the general election included creating videos which portrayed Malays as being marginalised and exploited by other ethnic groups.
“In GE13, I did a video playing up racial issues, especially among the Indians and the Chinese. At that time, a lot of people were angry with DAP,” she told a forum titled “Kasi Viral: The Spread of Racial Disinformation in Malaysia.”
Syarul Ema explained how in that video, actors were employed to portray how difficult it was for Malays to find gainful employment, and how they were rejected by would-be ethnic Chinese employers because of their race.
“The video became viral, about how the Chinese will say ‘no Malays’ to Malays seeking jobs and how Indians became bosses in many job fields. The actors, the editing I did it all myself.
“I spread the video through WhatsApp, because the issue of race and religion is very sensitive, and if I had shared it on Facebook, many people would have sued me,” she claimed.
She claimed at that time she had over 500 WhatsApp groups in her phone to share these types of content, and that these groups comprised of BN, PAS and even Pakatan Rakyat supporters.
“I even had groups for ‘cari jodoh!’” she exclaimed to laughter from the audience, referring to groups of those seeking soulmates.
When asked by moderator Melisa Idris whether her work for BN had worked, she replied: “All I know is that BN won GE13.”
Ever since joining PKR a few years back, Syarul Ema says she now regrets what she did in the past, and has “repented.”
“I feel bad when I see people fighting about race and religion on Facebook because I feel that I had a part in it,” she said.
Another panellist, academic Gayathry Venkiteswaran said that a rising concern is how people often shared information on WhatsApp, even though it has not necessarily been verified, and if it reinforces certain perceptions or stereotypes.
She also pointed out how some media organisations further entrenched racial divisions by the language used in stories and how they are framed.
“There have been certain types of languages used against minorities. It is always used to describe them as the ‘other.’
“We end up viewing everything from a racial lens,” she said.
Source: The Malay Mail Online