A clip from a local news station under broadcaster Awesome TV has gone viral after its newscasters said “other races” would gain control of political power if Malay voters did not vote this coming election
In the one-minute-41-second video, one of the anchors can be heard saying, “All Malay voters must come out to vote to fulfil their civic duty if they do not want political power to be controlled by other races… If Pakatan Harapan, or PH, wins.”
The news station also states, “If Malays do not vote, politicians who should not hold power will come into power and marginalise Malay rights.”
A headline that appeared in the clip also stated, “Ensure that the interests of the Malay people are preserved.”
The bulletin was reportedly aired on 3 November.
Image via Screenshot/SAYS
It had cited research that showed 80% of Chinese respondents planned to vote in the 15th General Election (GE15)
New Straits Times reported that, based on the survey, the Chinese participants, who had declared their willingness to come out and vote, comprised PH supporters at 69.36%, followed by the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (MUDA) at 54.22%, Barisan Nasional (BN) with 49.29%, and Perikatan Nasional (PN) at 39.39%.
The study was conducted by the Huayan Policy Institute in collaboration with O2 Research Malaysia, Ilham Center, The Star, Sinar Harian, Sin Chew Daily, Malaysia Nanban, and Astro Awani.
Since the clip was uploaded, the station in question, Berita 7:57, has been criticised for its supposed racial connotations and fear-mongering
Former Klang member of parliament (MP) Charles Santiago denounced the video, calling its reporting “racist to the core”. In a tweet, he wrote that the news station had intended to sow fear before GE15.
He then urged the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission to take action against Awesome TV and probe the incident.
Image via @mpklang (Twitter)
Twitter users have also labeled it “crazy” and the bulletin racist.
Image via Twitter
In response to the condemnation, Awesome TV defended the news bulletin, saying it aims to “nurture people to be responsible in matters of voting”
In a statement, it said, “Berita 7:57 advises Bumiputeras to vote so that the government that is elected in the future is a government that does not oppress the interests of Bumiputeras.”
It went on to state that some parties with “political interests”, especially those who do not support the “Bumiputera agenda”, have manipulated the intention of the station as “racist”.
“Once again, Awesome TV would like to emphasise that if Malaysians do not vote, especially the Bumiputeras, then the risk of electing a government that will not take care of their welfare is significant.”
Watch the viral news clip here:
STATEMENT: This reporting is racist to the core & seems planted to create fear ahead of GE15 News must be accurate & truthful as it influences public perception. @MCMC_RASMI needs act urgently. (1/3) pic.twitter.com/TuEphj81k4
— Charles Santiago (@mpklang) November 6, 2022