Malaysia: journalist target of online hate campaignEvent
- Initial Date
- Mar 12, 2020
- Event Description
Malaysiakini journalist Kow Gah Chie has been targeted in an online hate campaign after publishing a story on the country’s new environment minister and his defence for logging in Kelantan. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists Peninsular Malaysia (NUJM) to urge Facebook to take immediate action to end the harassment of Kow Gah Chie on its platform.
The attacks on the Malaysiakini journalist began on March 12, after publication of a video on KiniTV a day earlier of a doorstop interview with the incoming environment minister, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man. In the video, Tuan Ibrahim, who is also the deputy president of Islamist Party PAS, was asked by reporters to respond on the criticisms of logging activities in Kelantan, a state governed by PAS. He went on to say logging was legal because Kelantan had ISO certification and accused opposition politicians for the negative perception of logging in the region.
The online onslaught of hate against Kow accused Malaysiakini of fabricating the story and directed personal and racist posts at Kow calling her a pig, with threats of physical harm. By March 14, the posts were shared more than 2,900 times and garnered more than 2,200 comments.
Malaysiakini reported the posts to Facebook but said no action was taken. Malaysiakini said it had been trying to contact Facebook directly since March 13.
The NUJM said: “The NUJ calls on the government and respective authority to take swift action against those responsible for posting the threats and racist remarks against Kow. Sooner or later more and more such incidences will occur not only against journalists but also between races in Malaysia if it is not curbed immediately.”
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- Intimidation and Threats
- Online Attack and Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Internet freedom
- Media freedom
- Right to healthy and safe environment
- Right to protect reputation
- Media Worker
- Suspected state
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 12 March 2020, Kow Gah Chie, media worker and WHRD, was victim of an online hate campaign featuring insults and threats after her outlet shared a story on the Malaysian Environment Ministry in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.