PETALING JAYA - Large sections of society have come to the defence of the granddaughter of Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi after the nine-year-old’s viral video backing the latter ended up attracting severe criticism.
The video recording of the girl “warning” those responsible for her grandfather’s arrest was first posted on her mother’s Instagram account on Saturday.
It quickly went viral on social media, irking Malaysians who starting hurling insulting comments directed at the girl.
In the comment section of one news portal that featured the video, readers made disparaging remarks against the nine-year-old.
The news portal removed the remarks soon after Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Hannah Yeoh tweeted it, saying that parents should protect their children instead of allowing such videos to float on the Internet.
“I ask that we stop sharing the child’s video. She is too young to understand what is going on and it is normal for kids to be attached to grandparents.
“Adults should know better and not manipulate her emotions. The child is innocent,” the Segambut MP tweeted yesterday.
Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar echoed the view, saying: “By the same token, we each have to do our bit to reject bullying in any form whatsoever.”
“Leave the child alone. Best to keep your nasties to yourself,” she wrote on Twitter.
Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari said such negative comments, which was a form of cyberbullying, must stop immediately.
Child rights activist Dr Hartini Zainudin also weighed in on the issue, and criticised those who justified attacking the girl just because they do not agree with her family’s politics.
“You can’t have it both ways — be outraged when cyberbullying happens to one child and say it’s OK to do so because you don’t like her family’s politics! Lay off her! You have no right,” she said.
On Friday, Dr Ahmad Zahid claimed trial to 45 charges of money laundering involving RM72mil and criminal breach of trust and accepting bribes involving RM42 million (S$13.9 million).