Malaysia is known for being the home of ‘Makcik Bawangs‘ which may directly translate to Onion Aunties, but it means people who say bad things about others online and put their noses where they don’t belong.
And it’s officially become international recognised considering Malaysia now ranks at number 6 in the list of countries where cyberbullying was reported the most in 2018. Comparitech, who did the research and compiled the list, released this information following KPop idol Sulli’s suicide, which was reportedly caused by cyberbullying.
Though many Malaysians don’t actually realise what they’re doing is considered cyberbullying, others choose to openly attack people online based on their physical attributes (especially celebrities and online personalities who do not fit or are trying to disrupt unrealistic beauty standards) and even just because of general differences, which can cause emotional distress just as impactful as physical abuse.
Cyberbullying has become so severe in our country that the Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo recognised the need to introduce a policy to curb such destructive behaviours. But yet, it seems that Malaysians regard the law below their love for leaving malicious comments on others’ social media pages.
Following Sulli’s passing, South Korean lawmakers will be proposing a bill in her memory, respectfully titled ‘Sulli’s Act’ during their National Assembly in December, as according to Metro. The act aims to tackle online trolling and eradicate online violence, something Sulli as well as countless others have and are still experiencing.
We genuinely hope their bill sees more progress than the policies instilled by our authorities have.
But until we finally see development in the Malaysian cyber-landscape, there’s only one thing to say to each party:
To the cyberbullies: Take a long look in the mirror and figure out how you can improve your own life. Find productive things you can do with your time because before you know it, the world will have moved on without you.
To the cyberbullied: You are not alone and you will never be alone. Even our beloved, kind and super sweet Permaisuri Agong is no stranger to cyberbullies. So don’t give in and don’t give up on the good fight.
Those encountering cyberbullies and need someone to talk to, the Befrienders are here for you 24/7 at 03-79568145 and so am I.
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