Social media can at times be used as a hub for ranting. Here’s not to say that ranting is a bad thing because most times it is someone’s detailed account about an experience that they have had, be it good or bad. After all, there will always be an audience for everything, and in Malaysia, one such example would be social media updates about one’s experience with road bullies.
Sure, these cases happen often and those who take to social media to complain about it, would at times receive feedback from others. However, what happens when the Facebook update happens to be from someone who already is famous and has amassed a good number of following?
Jason Lim is a film director and producer who is famous for producing content which is thought-provoking and he self-described his work on his Facebook page as, “evoking civic consciousness and moral ethics”. Some of the shorts in his body of work include videos which has gone viral, such as the “Heartless Malaysians?” video produced last year, that has since garnered more than 150,000 views.
Voicing Out Of Concern
As such, Jason is a name in the industry itself, and being a public figure, he has a voice which can reach the thousands, especially since the share, comment and like buttons are ready to be used by each social media user. When he experienced an encounter with road bullies on January 9 recently, he took to Facebook to post a status update complete with four images accompanying it as well.
“Today I was Attacked, Please Help me Malaysia”, Jason begun his post which has more than 4000 likes and 8000 shares thus far. “As I was driving down Kesas Highway today, suddenly Two Malay Motorcyclist on the Highway suddenly appeared both left and right sides of my car only inches to spare.” Jason said on Facebook. According to him, the motorcyclists were illegally speeding on the highway where no motorcycles were allowed, and had attempted to break his car window.
True to Malaysian nature, during his state of panic, Jason whipped out his cellphone and begun recording the alleged assailants. The entire incident concluded with Jason saying, “I urged you Malaysians to Help me by Sharing this to Hunt Down these Culprits as they have taken photos of my vehicle as I am worried for the safety of my family and myself. I did my part in making films for a better Malaysia, would you do your part to help me back?”
Backlash From The Netizens
Malaysians in general are helpful citizens and would help a fellow Malaysian back. However, this time around it was different with Jason. Surprisingly, the 30-year-old received backlash from the netizens instead. One Facebook user by the name of Azwan Jake commented, “First of all, why did they do that to you? There must be reasons for such behaviour. Plus, they are taking pic of u and ur car. Maybe its the way u drive. Im a motorcyclist myself. Did u text and drive or mayb fb n drive?”
Another Facebook user by the name of Izrul Faris Idris said, “From the look of the biker, he is the one offended. He looks angry and puzzled at the same time. Did u mocked him? Remember there’s always 3 version of story.”
“Jason, in your previous post, you mentioned “indian” lady. Now “malay” motorcyclist. Is there a need to name the race of whoever offended you? Just my two cents…” Jason Tan said in the post as well.
In a twist of events, where such posts would be flooded with how to prevent such situations from occurring or well wishes to the individual, it seemed like netizens were curious as to why the motorcyclist had a puzzled expression in the 4 images which Jason uploaded. They were also questioning why there was a need to mention the race of the motorist in his status update.
The Stem Where It Began
Jason would perhaps be used to comments of backlash from netizens, as he is after all producing thought provoking videos which touches between topics of races and social classes. The underlying factor would then be why did the netizens react in such a way? However, like with every coin, there will be two sides it. Likewise, with Jason’s tale, there are also two sides to the comments received.
Some netizens like Facebook user Hema Ayavoo, commented saying, “Jason…please be extra careful…remember PDRM can’t do much…even with Vehicle Registration Number provided to them…Stay Alert and be alert…Will pray for your safety….”
Facebook user, Michael Sng also said, “To all of you who wants to turn this into a racial thing, please focus on the matter at hand instead. Describing the assailants does not indicate racism. It is normal to describe whatever is factual. When you go to the police station, the police will ask you to describe them too. Not only in malaysia, you scumbags, it is everywhere in the world. Go read the incident in hamburg and see what the news describe them.”
At the end of the day, Jason thanked the PDRM for their swift actions with another Facebook update saying, “I appreciate the fast response from the Malaysian Police Force in dealing with this matter. My update from the Police last night is that the two motorcyclists have been successfully detained. I am humbled by your support and concern.” Although no names were mentioned, in an article from The Star that seems to be related to this incident, the two motorcyclists have been detained but according to them, the victim was “driving fast and dangerously” and “almost crashed into them”.
Viral For A Reason
Every viral piece of status update goes viral for a reason and it could be perceived two ways. My own two cents would be that social media is where everyone expresses themselves in one way or another and there are no rights or wrongs to a situation. All are entitled to their own opinions as they perceive it differently from one another.
However, it was interesting to see how one post alone could get everyone voicing out their own thoughts. It is good to have opinions about matters because it shows that at the very least, they care about it enough to comment.
Therefore, if there is one thing to learn from Jason Lim’s post, it is that yes, things are happening around us, not just in Malaysia, but in all parts of the world as well. If anything, the post just served as a reminder that we should be careful with social media because once it is out there in the open, it would be subjected to the thoughts of others and whichever way it turns out, we would have to accept their opinions, because the responsibility ultimately lies in the person behind the keyboard. Plus as netizens, be aware that not every story posted on Facebook is the whole truth, it is merely the perception of one half of the people who are involved.