Be more discerning when sharing news over social media: Najib

Malaysian PM Najib Razak greeting family members of MH17 victims during a memorial service to mark the first anniversary of the disaster.
Malaysian PM Najib Razak greeting family members of MH17 victims during a memorial service to mark the first anniversary of the disaster. PHOTO: REUTERS

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysians must be more discerning about rumours that are spread on social media, said Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Citing the recent Low Yat Plaza incident, he said what was a non-racial issue was somehow falsely portrayed as a racial problem due to social media.

"In an age when social media has widespread influence over the public, the incident at Low Yat Plaza in Kuala Lumpur, which had nothing to do with racism, was twisted on social media as otherwise.

"Thankfully, the swift action of the authorities, especially the police, brought the situation under control and nothing more serious happened.

"As Malaysians, we must strive to be mature and discerning members of the public. We want the people to be able to judge what is right and what is wrong, and make their own conclusions," Najib said in his Hari Raya speech for Malaysians abroad.

He said if Malaysians had good judgment, the country will be united and reject extremist thinking.

He advised Malaysians abroad to build the country's networking overseas and always maintain a good image of Malaysia.

Najib, together with wife Rosmah Mansor, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Foreign Minister Anifah Aman and Deputy Foreign Minister Hamzah Zainuddin, had a video conference session with Malaysians abroad at Putra Perdana on Thursday.

Those participating in the video call were Malaysians in Lebanon, Brunei and Washington DC.

The video call in Lebanon was hosted at the Marakah Camp in South Lebanon, where Ambassador Bala Chandran Tharman was joined by Armed Forces chief Zulkifeli Mohd Zin and Malaysian peacekeepers.

About 40 Malaysians in Brunei joined the video conference at The Empire Hotel and Club in Jerudong, led by High Commissioner Datuk Ag Sahak Ag Salleh.

In Washington DC, the 2.30am time did not deter some 30 Malaysians, mostly students, in joining ambassador Awang Adek Hussin for the video conference at the Malaysian embassy.