Yesterday, a blog called My Media Hub (which claims to publish the latest news, current affairs, crimes, and entertainment so that its readers will obtain information faster from a trusted source) posted up a story about a Facebook user named Sim Kwang Yung Sim.
In a post titled, “WANITA CINA HINA KAPTEN MH17, ISLAM, MELAYU & BUMIPUTERA“, it was stated that Sim Kwang Yung Sim, a teacher from SMK Kuhara in Tawau, was seen commenting on a picture of Captain Wan Amran Wan Hussin (who piloted the ill-fated flight MH17) with racial slurs. Within hours of the post going live, the screenshots of the alleged comments spread like wildfire across various social media platforms.
Posts like these went viral:
As seen in the above screenshots, Sim Kwang Yung Sim clearly went on a rampage (or so it seems).
Of course, her racist words were met with a giant backlash from scores of netizens, with some saying that she should be reported to the police, calling out to the Ministry of Education to penalise her because she’s a “dangerous teacher”, and even right down to threatening her safety. Some even took the “liberty” to insult her physical appearance, making references to pigs and “mad dogs”.
All in the same breath, Facebook user Lee Chye Ewe, who was previously attached to SMK Kuhara as a teacher, saw Sim Kwang Yung Sim’s posts go viral. For the fear of it getting out of hand, he quickly engaged a former student, Fatimah Naz Ali, to look into the situation. The result?
He posted up the following on his own Facebook page soon after:
As explained by Lee Chye Ewe, the person behind the racial postings was not Sim Kwang Yung, as previously assumed by hundreds of netizens. This is because her Facebook account was hacked a long time ago.
A police report that was made by Sim Kwang Yung in June 2013 was also shared by Fatimah Naz Ali in the comments thread. The report clearly stated that Sim Kwang Yung’s account was hacked. She mentioned that the issue has been brought up to Facebook’s administrators but no action was taken:
One more thing: The report also includes her actual occupation – an insurance agent. Not a teacher from SMK Kuhara as previously assumed by netizens who were quick to jump into their own conclusions.
Some netizens, who found Lee Chye Ewe’s Facebook post, immediately shared it with others in hopes of clarifying the situation before it spiralled even more out of control. The goodwill of these netizens was only met with more harsh accusations, with some strongly believing that she should be “attacked” while others claiming that it’s all lies:
Clearly, it blew out of proportion.
So much so that even Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin got word of Sim Kwang Yung’s story:
Laporan polis dibuat terhadap Sim Kwang Yung Sim. Kalau individu ini wujud, wajar disiasat bawah Akta Hasutan.
— Khairy Jamaluddin (@Khairykj) July 19, 2014
What’s being done about this on the real Sim Kwang Yung’s side, you ask?
The 38-year-old Sim Kwang Yung turned up at the Tawau district police station at about 10am yesterday (19th July, Saturday), the same time as local politician Datuk Mohd Jeffry Rosman who went there to lodge a report against her for the purported comments on Facebook. In her report, Sim told police that her Facebook account under the name “Sim Kwang Yung Sim” featuring photographs of her had been used by the hackers to belittle Muslims and other communities.
She had made an initial police report last year that her Facebook account had been hacked and was being used to promote hatred and anger through various religious and racial comments. “I was shocked when friends told me about those nasty postings on my Facebook,” she said.
She alerted the Facebook administrators about the hacking and to shut down the account but to no avail. “Then, I left messages for the hackers in that account and they stopped putting up those nasty postings,” said Sim. However, she said the offending postings on the Facebook account suddenly resurfaced on Friday when the hackers put up disparaging remarks about the pilots of flight MH17.
“Since then, scores of Facebook users have posted hurtful and messages,” she added. Sim Kwang Yung told police yesterday that such postings had caused her to feel threatened and fear for her life.
We sure hope the repercussions won’t end up anywhere nearly as bad as what happened earlier this week, especially if Sim Kwang Yung’s racial slurs were really the work of hackers in the first place. We also hope that netizens will stop spreading fake posts from the hackers. After all, everyone should be considered innocent until proven guilty.