Tuesday, September 15, 2015

From Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)

KUALA LUMPUR - The Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) lodged a police report today regarding a rumour that has been spread via WhatsApp since Sept 11.
The rumour had linked FRIM’s National Day celebration with the upcoming “Red Shirt” rally, also known as Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu (United People’s Assembly), to be held on Sept 16.
FRIM director-general Datuk Dr Abd Latif Mohmod said the claim (allegedly made by a trekker who was in FRIM) was shocking and so ridiculous that initially they did not think much of it.
“Nonetheless, we sent out a message to all our contacts regarding the rumour, cautioning them about this and explaining that we are having our FRIM National Day Celebration, which was a fun, colourful and joyful event.
“Our officers also shared the counter-message on their Facebook.
“But that seditious message was circulating through the weekend and may still be shared today, based on feedback from our staff,” he said in a statement today.
Abd Latif said while it was totally unfounded, the claim was very serious and was not only harmful to FRIM’s reputation but was inciting racial hatred, spreading fear and suspicion.
He and legal adviser Muhammad Daniel Mohd Yusof had accompanied FRIM corporate communication head Norhayati Nordin to lodge the report at the Desa Jaya police station in Kepong.
Abd Latif added he was disheartened by the rumour and expressed hope that the police would be able to track down its source and catch the culprit.
In the WhatsApp message brought to the attention of Norhayati at noon on Sept 12, the part related to FRIM reads as follows:
“Forward from Trekker: I was in FRIM just now and they were having a parade practice for Sept 16. There were a lot of fiery speeches. A big part of them contain very seditious contents calling for violence against Chinese and to kill Chinese.
“I would believe other groups would be as bad or even worse. So the threat of violence on the day is very real. It is best to avoid going out on 16/9. You may even want to stock some necessities”.
Norhayati advised people not to forward any messages containing the above-mentioned information.
She also urged those who had received the message to check out for themselves the FRIM National Day celebration report and pictures on FRIM Facebook page.
“We want to assure our visitors that there is no truth to the rumour.
“Perhaps few people believe it anyway because despite the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading of 151 this morning, a large number of joggers were still seen running in the FRIM campus.
“We worry for these people and will like to caution them against doing any physical outdoor activities when the API reading for Batu Muda, Kuala Lumpur, hits 100,” she said. - Therakyatpost
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