From stalking to body-shaming: How some Malaysian women are silenced online

Source: Malay Mail Online

AFP pic

A United Nations (UN) Broadband Commission report in 2015 highlighted that 73 per cent of women and girls have been exposed or have experienced some form of online violence. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 ― When it comes to online bullying and harassment, the viciousness cares not what a Malaysian woman’s ethnicity, religion, political affiliations or even sexuality may be.

A report titled “Voice, Visibility and a Variety of Viciousness” to be launched by women’s human rights group Empower Malaysia today has revealed the tactics used by parts of Malaysian society to harass women into silence online ― sometimes through bandwagoning, and at other times, with sinister intent to cause harm.

The qualitative study involving 15 women found that in most cases, bullying and harassment often started with an individual or group of main antagonists who generate offending data or image, which was then amplified by secondary perpetrators by retweeting, downloading, forwarding, liking, and sharing the contents.

The study also found that while most respondents were harassed by individuals who acted of their own accord, some were aware they were victims of coordinated campaigns, with one target believing her harassers were being paid to do so. Read more

Intolerance rising in Malaysia, says report

Source: FMT News

Rising intolerance is believed to be largely due to the influence of Malaysians who study in Saudi Arabia and, upon their return, introduce Salafist ideas into the nation’s administration. Image taken from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has shifted towards a more rigid, political Islam, resulting in greater intolerance in the country, according to a report in The Diplomat.

The report quoted researchers and Muslims as saying that intolerance was becoming a part of Malaysian life.

Dr Zachary Abuza, a professor at the National War College in the US

Dr Zachary Abuza, a professor at the National War College in the US, was quoted by The Diplomat as saying: “Malaysia has become steadily more intolerant, and this has been a top down government policy.”

Abuza, who focuses on Southeast Asian politics and security issues, described Malaysian Islamic religious leaders as state-sponsored and who used vetted sermons.

“The people most at risk are clearly the ethnic minorities, atheists, and Christian Malays, which is actually unconstitutional.

“I was just in Malaysia, and the intolerance displayed by Malays is growing. I don’t know one Chinese Malaysian or Indian that is not alarmed at where this is headed.” Read more