If you’ve been scrolling through social media recently, you will no doubt have stumbled across the many grassroots movements organised by local Malaysians to help out those who have been affected by the recent floods. From charity drives to soup kitchens and even rescue efforts in the very heart of disaster, our fellow countrymen have not squandered even a moment to provide for those who needed assistance the most.
Netizens urge ‘Don’t Donate To Government’ over social media
However, another recent social media trend has also emerged over the past number of days after major corporations, most notably American tech-giant Apple Inc., offered to contribute towards the flood relief efforts here in Malaysia. Rallying behind a single banner, Malaysian netizens have spurred a new social media movement to life: #DO NOT DONATE TO GOVERNMENT. As of writing (24th December 2021), it is now a trending topic in the country with over 26,700 tweets and counting.
Many have expressed their displeasure over the fact that the federal government is asking for donations from the public, citing the fact that taxpayers are already contributing to taxes that should be rightfully channeled into disaster relief efforts during times of need.
Others have pointed out that the Malaysian government, which has seen multiple controversies over the alleged misappropriation of taxpayer monies, has only themselves to blame.
And there are those who have pointed out that instead of using the money to create branded care packs that typically feature the names and logos of politicians and their respective parties, the money would be better spent being used directly on those who need it the most.
“I feel it is simply not right for donations from the people are used to pay for the printing of stickers and donation boxes with the faces and logos of politicians.”
Instead, netizens are urging those who are looking to contribute financially to channel their donations towards non-profit and non-government organisations working directly with flood victims on the ground.
Rina Harun says campaign is inappropriate in times of crisis
In the wake of the controversy, Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Rina binti Mohd Harun has since gone on to say that the ‘DO NOT DONATE TO GOVERNMENT’ campaign organised by social media users is inappropriate in times of crisis.
According to Astro Awani, Datuk Seri Rina has pointed out that all the funds obtained from donations that have been given to the federal government will be channeled directly to flood relief aid for victims. She has also stressed that the federal government’s main priority is still to ensure that the appropriate resources and funds will reach those who need it the most.
“In circumstances such as the one we are in now, there is simply no need for such hashtags to be shared. It doesn’t matter who is doing it [raising funds], as long as flood victims can benefit from it and we achieve our goals, that’s what is most important.” she said during a visit to Sekolah Kebangsaan Kota Warisan, which has been converted into a flood relief centre.
Her comments come in the wake of recent controversies surrounding her alleged organisation of a lavish dinner banquet to commemorate her own flood relief efforts, as well as criticisms from photos showing her wearing a pair of high-heels at a flood relief centre.
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