Why Malaysians Should Keep Questioning Things On Social Media

Have you ever wondered why something was trending on social media, clicked on it and ended down a rabbit hole of multiple arguments, speculations and theories? At the same time, did it make you come up with your own theories and broaden your knowledge and perspective on the matter?

I know you have, because I have too. #METOO

Literally me when I discover a trending topic. Must. Know. Everything!

My social media feeds were buzzing when the news of the tragic deaths of six divers from the Fire and Rescue Department (JPBM) Water Rescue Unit (PPDA) broke out — and with good reason, how on Earth could that have happened? Six people dead trying to save one boy.

SAR mission the following day. Credit: The Sun

According to Astro Awani, the firemen received the report of the boy falling into the mining pool at 5.19pm but arrived at the location at 8.55pm and the mission only started at 9.15pm. Sure, one could say that it took time to gather qualified officers but that’s a four hour gap…  After four hours, why would they still go to the same place the boy was seen falling? It would make sense that he might’ve been washed further away by the current.

RELATED: Malaysians Express Their Grief Over The Abang Bomba Tragedy

In an interview with 999, Assistant Director of the Selangor Fire and Rescue Department Mohd Rizal Buang said that the firemen were following the SOP for shallow waters rescue. “The men were wearing complete attire — the wetsuits, gloves, booties and life jackets. They were not wearing scuba diving equipment and relied on buoys and the rope.” It was raining that fateful day, how did it slip their minds that the water levels could have risen? If they were really fully prepared, why weren’t there any scuba divers on site?

Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia director-general Mohd Hamdan Wahid. Credit: Malay Mail

Fire and Rescue Department of Malaysia director-general Mohd Hamdan Wahid said that it was time for the SOP to be reviewed. And that raises another question, are tragedies like this the only thing that calls for SOPs to be reviewed? I can’t help but wonder if these procedures are tried and tested from time to time?

How we all are when there’s breaking news!

With the ‘Abang Bomba’ tragedy, many were quick to say that it was fated to happen and that we shouldn’t question the experts in the field. But six families were involved, six families are grieving right now and they deserve to have closure by being given the correct answers.

Water beneath weir/dam. Credit: US Swiftwater Rescue Manual

Facebook user Reza Putra Carlos did not hold back on explaining the importance of having scuba divers during the mission. He kept on explaining the techniques used in scuba diving that would’ve helped during the mission.

“Conserve energy, stay calm and when the downward flow eases up or not, you kick out past and pull the cord that inflates the Buoyancy Control Device and propel past, away and to the surface.”

This allowed other users who were on his post to get a better understanding on how things work.

This isn’t the first time this has happened; social media is such an open platform for everyone so people don’t hold back their thoughts and opinions. Some could say that this is because people are more confident hiding behind their screen when sharing their opinion but there’s no denying that some comments shared do have some great valid points. Social media has also become a key player when shedding light on issues that should be focused on.

Syed Saddiq and Numan Afifi. Credit: Deenamk

The importance of questioning things on social media isn’t only to shed light on certain issues, but it also helps keep authority in check. We live in a democratic country and it’s important for everyone’s voice to be heard and that their views do matter.

With social media, the public are less afraid of questioning things that can seem a little jarring. Especially after the birth of the new Malaysia, people have been very vocal about their opinions on social issues, public policies etc. People did not hold back on expressing their disappointment with Syed Saddiq when he failed to defend his former interim press officer, Numan Afifi who got backlash for being a LGBT activist.

Being vocal on social media also allows healthy discussion among people. Sure there are trolls here and there (don’t feed them), but having a civil discussion on social media regarding a trending issue can broaden ones perspective on the matter.

Sure some would say ‘Let bygones be bygones’ and that it was meant to happen but if we keep letting things like this slide, it will keep on happening. Every time something similar happens, it will get swept under the rug again and again, which can be really unfair to those involved.

As the new generation, we need to keep fighting and voicing out our opinions so that justice can be served and those grieving can be given closure. It’s clear how every view matters (Read: GE14) and how it can contribute to change, so it’s time for this ‘It’s fated’ mentality to be reduced. Keep questioning the system and authority so they can keep improving and tragedies like ‘Abang Bomba’ doesn’t happen anymore.