KFC dust-up and alleged ‘babi’ name-calling
UPDATE 4: This piece of news is being talked about in chat forum(s) in Indonesia, and has hit Singapore – World News item next? – 7.45pm, Feb 9
UPDATE 3: Sample of Malaysiakini readers’ call for boycott of Kentucky Fight Club and this is surely replicated in Facebook, chat forums and elsewhere. So who says a discussion here of the episode is making a mountain out of a molehill?
Elsewhere, FMT story ‘Punched customer: I won’t go back to KFC‘ tallied 11,900+ Facebook shares, and 12,300+ online shares and 326 tweets at 11.15pm — this must be a record for the news portal.
There’s also a pattern in the responses — Malay-named readers defend the KFC staff, Chinese-named readers defend the customer (not everyone defends or blames but there is certainly a discernible trend as stated). – 2.35pm, Feb 9
UPDATE 2: ‘KFC assault victim denies provoking attack’ (in Malaysiakini)
“I was angry and scolded them loudly but I didn’t not use any vulgar, racial or discriminatory words,” said Danny Ng during a press conference today.
“Some accused me of saying things that insulted religion and race. I had never said it… Some accused me of being drunk that night but I was not. I don’t drink,” he stressed. – 1.15pm, Feb 9
UPDATE 1: goodking2′s upload has similarly been flagged as inappropriate. Why inappropriate? It’s not a snuff film, it’s not porn, it doesn’t contain profanities, it’s not graphic violence or explicit torture. In fact, it’s milder than any cowboy punch-throwing scene ever screened on our TV.
So why do people seem think that this 28-second video is so inappropriate that is has to be flagged? Or is KFC the one doing the flagging?! Although it’s flagged in YouTube, earlier embedded versions (like below on this blog page) are unaffected. – Feb 9
Video re-uploaded by YouTube user ‘goodking2′ yesterday (Feb 7) after earlier video titled ‘Pekerja KFC yang kurang ajar’ uploaded by ’Jess6366′ was flagged.
Jess6366 had written that one of the workers allegedly told the customer: “Kalau mau makan, buat sendiri lah babi (If you want to eat, make it yourself, pig!)” — FMT report here.
That the punched customer was called ‘babi’ is telling of the parlous state of race relations.
From the video, both the assailant and the victim are young people.
As we know, young people are more Internet savvy as a general trend.
Do you think that race relations has been deliberately aggravated by the nature of political activities online?
Asia Sentinel yesterday did a report on Malaysian cyberscape which included a telephone interview with Rocky Bru.
“Ahiruddin Attan, the Kuala Lumpur-based pro-government blogger who writes under the name ‘Rocky’s Bru’ says last September he pulled together friends to set up what he calls a small news portal called The Mole with the idea ‘to give certain balance to the reports of Malaysiakini, Malaysian Insider, Malaysia Today‘.”
“In Ahiruddin’s view, ‘there are too many anti-establishment, anti-government sites in Malaysia’.”
Asia Sentinel, a regional online news portal, itself had a paragraph describing “the proliferating anti-establishment news organizations that are thronging Malaysia” as well as “an explosion of readers who gather their news from the Internet”.
In its article ‘Malaysia’s Anti-Opposition Bloggers’, Asia Sentinel reported:
“Because all of Malaysia’s mainstream media, including newspapers and television, are owned by its ruling political parties the country has generated perhaps the most vociferous opposition Internet news portals in the region, with some, including Malaysiakini and the Malaysian Insider, providing professional coverage of the government.” [bold emphasis mine]
Asia Sentinel makes a parallel mention of the cybertroopers on the payroll of the government of China for comparison.
“The so-called ’50-cent party’ arose in China in 2005 when Nanjing University officials hired students to search bulletin boards for undesirable information and counter it with comments friendly to the Communist Party. The price for each entry was said to be half a yuan (0.8 US cents) although varying prices have been paid by different Chinese organizations.
“The result has been a deluge of comments, not only on Chinese bulletin boards but almost any Internet publication across the globe that contains stories about China. Any even-mildly negative story about China on the pages of Asia Sentinel is certain to generate swift and angry replies …”
Although Asia Sentinel‘s story focus was on anti-opposition bloggers, its description of the terracotta cyber army is more fitting of pro-opposition followers.
Taking the two elements “a deluge of comments” flooding any story that is negative, as well as “swift and angry replies” — and measuring both these indicators in our local context — it’s indisputable that such cyber carpet-bombing is representative of Pakatan supporters especially the DAP’s.
In fact, I rarely see any comments online defending MCA by netizens with Chinese-sounding names.
Does the aggression online by smear campaigners, admittedly from both sides of the political divide, have any percolated effect on the ground? (i.e. increasing the possibility of short tempers sparking incidents like the one-sided fisticuff at KFC)
The antagonism, which in the country inevitably takes on a communal hue, is augmented and amplified through Facebook, Twitter and other social media networking. Even the recent Bread War between Gardenia and Massimo was coloured by race.
Can we make any link between online venting and race-influenced bust-ups in ‘real’ life due to the fact that a sizable segment of the combative cyber participants who are pro-opposition are Chinese (DAP supporters) whereas their pro-establishment opposite numbers are Malay (Umno supporters).
I do not see that MCA has any discernible presence in the news portals, and as individuals, the Chinese editors and reporters (personally and independent of the organizations they work for) lean towards DAP.
The Chinese may rant louder and with a more contemptuous sting (take this guy, for example) in the virtual world but in the real world – if the KFC altercation* is to be any barometer – the regular Malay male is more physical and packs a punch.
I’ve written several times on ADU – Asal Dapat Undi – and the length those people are willing to go to get votes but its proponents are seemingly oblivious that their incessant taunting may translate into undesirable consequences.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
* Disclaimer: I’m only judging by appearances and appearances can be deceiving as in the nude squat in police lock-up case. However, I’m still willing to generalize that the Malay male is tougher as they’re in the uniformed services, i.e. police, army and play football etc. whereas Chinese guys typically look like this.
Continued: KFC punch: What’s the real temperature of babi?, Babi belaan selebriti dan ‘pig nose’ Cina