a little girl draws in the sand at the beach

In Malaysia, Combating Hate Speech Aggravated by COVID-19

April 22, 2020

Internews partner in Malaysia, Projek Dialog ran a public competition for videos with messages of positivity in the time of COVID-19.

The competition was in reaction to the rise in racially-charged comments on Twitter aimed at ethnic Chinese and related to COVID-19. There was also a rise in anti-Tabligh posts. (About 60% of COVID-19 cases in Malaysia were linked to participants of a Tabligh mass gathering in late February.)

This Instagram video (in Malay and English) features the winners of the competition with the hashtag #kitasayang (#welove):

Screenshot of Instagram video

Text of video in English:

During this time of uncertainty, it’s been disheartening to see an increase in racism, xenophobia and discrimination online.
So how can we counter hate speech?
By putting more positive vibes out into the world, of course!
Times are tough, so let’s spread more love!
Smile wider
I get dressed to go nowhere in particular
I hold hands
Facetime my best friend
#KitaSayang (we love)
Jom cuci tangan dengan bersih. Jaga diri, jaga keluarga, jaga semua.
(Translation: Let's wash it clean. Take care of yourself, take care of your family, take care of everything)
Don’t travel, stay at home, stop chain of COVID-19
(Girl speaking): I want to tell you something. We must help the nurses and frontliners to defeat COVID-19.
Say yes to kindness and love.

(Banner photo: by Xaman/Pixabay/CC)