Less than a month old, the Malaysian “rich kids” Instagram account has been making waves with Malaysian Instagrammers, featuring snaps of the leisurely life of the supposed wealthy Malaysians. The account is modelled after @richkidsofinstagram, which became so wildly popular that it now has a TV show associated with it.
To date, it has garnered over 18,000 followers, just by showcasing the high life of “rich kids”, displaying images of everything from exotic holidays to just shots of people behind the wheels of luxury cars.
The individual responsible for the account has stressed that it’s simple a “leisure page for fun people”, and that the posts (read: pictures of people) were “nominated” by others. @therichkidsofmalaysia moderator, who only identifies by the moniker “the bete noire” (“the black beast” in French) told MMO exclusively:
I got the idea (to set up the page) after the ringgit went down. I want to show that actually there are many Malaysians living the good life… yes, some of them are just show-offs, but the fact is all of them are far from poor.
However, not everyone’s a fan of it, considering the fact that Malaysia is currently bracing itself for an all-time low economically and preparing to tighten belts. Although “the bete noire” says that @therichkidsofmalaysia is meant to encourage people to aspire to be successful, some commentators have been quick to jump the account with insults and criticism.
Those who were featured without prior consent, especially, felt that it was a violation of privacy and demanded their pictures to be removed, while others simply ridiculed the idea of having had their pictures posted up.
In that aspect, “the bete noire” admitted that permission is not typically sought before a photo is posted, but insisted that photos are only taken from public profiles that are “nominated” by others and are promptly removed upon request of the owners.
“No issue (in removing the photos), and netizens should be aware and know this is part and parcel of social media. (It is) to show prosperous Malaysia, rich Malaysians. But I’m upset with a bunch of followers who condemn the owners of the pics… they should #keepitpositive, if they don’t like this IG they can move on,” the moderator said.
More recently, a “statement” from the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) has been circulating via cross-platform messaging service, WhatsApp, purportedly by its director-general, Datuk Othman Mustapha, issuing a ban on the Instagram account.
According to BERNAMA, the statement stated that Jakim had decided to call for the ban of the account because of several factors, among which was the uploading of pictures contrary to Islamic teachings. The call for the ban was also made because it apparently revealed women not covering their modesty.
“The images were also taken at locations where vice activities take place,” the statement read. It also added that the images on the account revealed the wealth the users had, which could inevitably lead to criminal acts against them, apart from promoting the feeling of arrogance. But apparently, the statement is fake.
“We deny the statement was made by JAKIM,” JAKIM public relations officer Asiah AlKharib Shah said.
Other similarly “encouraging” “rich kids Instagram accounts” from all around the world include:
That having said, do you personally think that @therichkidsofmalaysia should be banned? Should the authorities pull a plug on the account considering the circumstances? Let us know what you think in the comments box below.