KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 26 — Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek has berated netizens, particularly youths, for using the Internet as an avenue to abuse national leaders.
The MCA president said government leaders, including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, now use social media tools to engage with the young but often end up being “scolded every day” by Internet users.
“I have my own Facebook account too... about 130,000 (followers) now and every day people scold you... which is not a good thing.
“Youths must understand that people are entitled to a difference of opinion and if they are the very people who talk about democracy and freedom of expression, they should not be rubbishing others,” Dr Chua (picture) told The Malaysian Insider during an interview at his office last week.
He was commenting on Najib’s recent launch of a new Facebook page — “Ah Jib Gor” — a move by the prime minister to reach out to the community and for Malaysians to get to know him as an ordinary member of society.
But while Najib’s page quickly drew thousands of “likes” within hours, it just as quickly spawned new pages created by unknown users to counter “Ah Jib Gor”, such as “Dislike Ah Jib Gor” and “Say No to Ah Jib Gor”.
In a no-holds-barred manner, pro-opposition Internet users have been using these pages to criticise the prime minister and other members of his administration.
An upset Dr Chua told the users that their actions would not make them “educated” people and ring hollow their cry for democracy and freedom of speech.
“Do not rubbish others because you are the ones saying the government should be open and hold more dialogues but when people want to engage with you, you rubbish them,” he said.
He added that the hallmark of an educated person is one who has the ability to articulate his or her frustrations after listening to both sides.
“It is making an informed decision based on the conflicting views presented... an ability to draw our own conclusions.
“If you just know how to read and rubbish others, you are merely literate, not educated,” he said.