'Angry' emojis for Najib, Hong Kong's Leung

A screengrab of Mr Najib's Facebook page shows a netizen using the "angry" emoticon to show his unhappiness with the Malaysian leader.
A screengrab of Mr Najib's Facebook page shows a netizen using the "angry" emoticon to show his unhappiness with the Malaysian leader.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ NAJIB RAZAK

KUALA LUMPUR/HONG KONG • Netizens have put tens of thousands of angry emojis on the Facebook pages of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying.

The deluge began not long after Facebook said it had introduced a "reactions" function to add to its rather bland "like" button. The new emoji responses are "love", "haha", "wow", "sad" and "angry".

Datuk Seri Najib's latest Facebook posting on Friday has attracted some 34,900 "angry" emojis as at 7pm yesterday. This compares with 7,400 "like", 347 "love" and 247 "sad" emojis.

His latest posting was on the contents of the sermon for Friday prayers calling on Muslims to unite. The posting was on the same day that the Umno Supreme Council decided to suspend deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin from his post.

Many of the 1,434 people who commented on the post wrote about the financial scandal that has clouded the Najib administration, linked to the investigations into state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad.


A screengrab of Mr Najib's Facebook page shows a netizen using the "angry" emoticon to show his unhappiness with the Malaysian leader. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/ NAJIB RAZAK

Another Asian political leader who came under heavy emoji attack was Hong Kong's Mr Leung.

As at 7pm yesterday, he had 100,000 "angry" emojis. The other responses showed 2,300 "like", 154 "love" and 591 "sad" emojis.

Mr Leung's post was about his attendance at a Chinese New Year banquet organised by the Employers' Federation of Hong Kong.

For Hong Kongers, using the emoji was an outlet for them to express their feelings about their leader.

Mr Leung's Facebook page had deactivated the comment function, unless users were approved as "friends" and the remarks were positive.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 28, 2016, with the headline ''Angry' emojis for Najib, HK's Leung'. Print Edition | Subscribe