Malay silent majority elect to be disconcertingly quiet
today yesterday (as it’s three minutes past midnight) carried an identical Bernama news item on an abused Terengganu girl in both English and bahasa Melayu.
The story appeared in English first and followed by its BM version. They were accompanied by the same photo illustration.
Reader responses to the article in English was vehement while responses to it in BM was muted — see screenshots.
BELOW: Screen capped at 10.25pm on May 4
The report titled ‘Gadis mangsa dera dibiar kebuluran, digigit, dicederakan’ drew only one comment from a reader with a Chinese name who nonetheless wrote her remark in English. She expressed sympathy for the deceased victim.
The report was FB shared two times.
BELOW: Screen capped at 10.45pm on May 4
The report titled ‘Autopsy reveals woman tortured to death’ drew seven condemnatory comments from four readers with a Chinese name, one reader with an Indian name and two readers using a pseudonym.
They generally wanted the culprit(s) to be meted a harsh punishment.
The report was FB shared 31 times.
Two separate spheres
The differences in volume and pitch could have something to do with the peculiarity of FMT‘s reasder demography, i.e. the portal might simply have more non-Malay readers.
Or the non-Malay readership in FMT is more vociferous.
My own observations (incl. from my monitoring of blogosphere) are:
(i) The Chinese are probably fewer but those who are Christian make their self-righteous online presence felt through sheer pushiness. They’re also louder than their actual numbers.
A good example would be the noise or incessant RBA clamour in the Life of Annie blog.
(ii) The Malays are greater in number but they prefer to read quietly without saying anything. Even when they venture to comment something, their feedback is generally restrained and certainly more polite.
An example would be in my blog. I have currently 6,915,183 hits and I am also Alexa ranked in Malaysia. These are indicators that I do have a readership albeit a sometimes deliberately silent one.
From the back-end of my blog as the admin, I can see what web traffic is coming my way and from where they’ve been channeled, e.g. some are routed via the blogroll in established pro-Umno or Malay language blogs.
Najib: Beware of Opposition’s psy-war tactics‘ (FMT, 4 May 2016)
Najib: Internet users must discern truths from lies dlvr.it/Kcj39C—
The Star (@staronline) February 26, 2016
Tub-thumping on the pulpit
The problem, as I see it, is that the Chinese in cyberspace have effectively drowned out the voice of others. They bully – even terrorize – other netizens and they’re in denial as well as beginning to believe only in their own propaganda.
The other problem is that the Malays are keeping the cards close to their chest. Maybe they do talk strictly among their ethnic community members but unlike the Chinese, they do not use the loudhailer to try and stamp their sentiments on the public narrative.
Incapable of any introspection
Instead of feeling smug and cocky thinking that they have won the shouting match, the Chinese should have at least exercise a modicum of self-awareness and wonder what is going on behind the Malay wall of silence.
Still waters run deep, and the Malays are not letting on about their inner thoughts.
I would advise the Dapsters to stop shouting and start listening but I know that such advice would only fall on deaf ears.
Do they really have no idea?