KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — A 17-year-old in Penang is living in fear for his life after a teacher from his school reportedly linked him to a Facebook page declaring “I love Israel”, prompting immolation and boycott threats against the student.
The teen, an Indian Hindu filed a police report yesterday, after discovering Facebook threats against him by his teachers and a schoolmate, with one of the educators allegedly calling for him to be burnt in the latest incident of hate speech online.
A teacher allegedly screencaptured the “I love Israel” post from the teen’s Facebook before uploading it to her own Facebook page and commenting in Malay: “My student likes Israel? How shameful for me”.
Her comment drew calls from another Facebook user who is allegedly a teacher from the same school, to boycott and cut off ties with the student, and a dire message from one supposed teacher: “Kita bakor je hahaha [We just burn hahaha]”.
The teen, whose name is withheld as out of fears for his safety, said he was unaware of the “I love Israel” banner that had been linked to his Facebook page.
“They spoke as if I did that and scolded me, and wanted to burn me,” he said in his police report sighted by Malay Mail Online, adding that he feared he might be harmed as a result of the incident.
It is unclear whether the student’s Facebook account was hacked.
A close friend of the student’s family who spoke on their behalf said the teen insisted he did not click “like” on the “I love Israel” Facebook page as alleged.
A police officer confirmed with Malay Mail Online that an investigation is underway into the student’s complaint, but did not disclose further information as he was unauthorised to speak.
The school officials declined comment when contacted, but Malay Mail Online understands the student’s parents have also contacted the school to look into the matter.
“We told them, we want the particular teachers to apologise on Facebook and Twitter and make sure the school clears this boy’s name.
“Those who saw the post, they don’t know anything. They may keep on harassing him without knowing the truth,” Jasonkumar Ramakrishnan, a close friend of the student’s family told Malay Mail Online.
He said he was speaking on behalf of the family as they were not prepared to address the media directly as yet.
Jasonkumar, who had accompanied them to the school, said the meeting was cordial and that the deputy principal was “supportive” of the family’s fears, and assured that action would be taken, saying the school had reported the incident to the Seberang Perai Selatan district education department.
According to Jasonkumar, the teen who will be sitting for his SPM this year, is a top scholar.
He related that the fifth former had skipped school yesterday out of fear, but returned for lessons today despite feeling rattled.