Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) is appalled by the personal attack and threats made against human rights activist Heidy Quah in response to her sharing on refugees.
The vicious campaign against refugees and migrant workers in Malaysia is not a natural occurrence but a driven hate-campaign that attempted to divert Malaysian’s attention from the political instability resulting from the coup in February and the inevitable economic fallout from the Covid-19. This is abundantly clear from the false and misleading narratives consistently put forth by bots and fake accounts prevalent on social media.
It seems the proliferation of disinformation is no longer adequate for the perpetrators as they have now escalated to personal attacks and issuance of threat against personal safety. Such threats cannot be tolerated, and swift action must be taken by the authority to deter the normalisation of hate speech and violence in society. Failure to act will bear dire consequences for the physical wellbeing and safety of those affected.
The Royal Malaysian Police and the Malaysia Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has consistently shown that they are equipped and able to track down individuals posting ‘offensive’ materials against politicians. It is time the authorities use the investigative tools available to them to tackle an actual crime where a person is subjected to criminal intimidation and threat of violence.
SUARAM calls on Minister for Communication and Multimedia, Saifuddin Abdullah to take the lead on the matter and ensure that the perpetrators advocating for violence are brought to justice.