An Instagram video featuring Sofee, the nine-year-old granddaughter of embattled former Malaysian deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, has gone viral – and not in a good way.
In the short video, the girl promises to make the people behind her grandfather’s arrest regret it.
“You can lock my grandpa up, but not his soul and his fighting spirit. We are his family and we’ll never stop praying for him,” she said.
“I will make your life unpeaceful. I will make you regret your life. Remember, I am only nine years old and I am my country’s future.”
View this post on Instagram
Comments have been disabled on the video, uploaded by Zahid’s daughter Nurulhidayah Ahmad Zahid, but places where it is featured – including on a news site – saw the comments section fill up with insults and disparaging comments directed at the child, the Star reported.
The vitriol is so bad, some Malaysian politicians and rights activists have even taken to Twitter to request that the public refrain from cyber-bullying.
I ask that we stop sharing the child’s video. She is too young to understand what’s going on and it’s normal for kids to be attached to grandparents. Adults should know better & not manipulate her emotions. The child is innocent. https://t.co/pzDNQrwLKy
— Hannah Yeoh (@hannahyeoh) October 21, 2018
By the same token, we each have to do our bit to reject bullying in any form whatsoever. Leave the child alone. Best to keep your nasties to yourself. https://t.co/O4ovyRBkj5
— Nurul Izzah (@n_izzah) October 21, 2018
The strong language in the video also led many Twitter users to call out Nurulhidayah for exposing her daughter to online hate, with some saying the girl was too young to understand the consequences of making such a speech.
It’s disappointing to see people bring their children/grandchildren into politics, and to witness Zahid Hamidi’s granddaughter being pulled into this current turmoil he’s in is just plain disgusting. Spare the kids and the stupidity, Nurulhidayah. #beranikeranabebal
— JY (@jasonyong_) October 20, 2018
It is definitely a trying time for Zahid Hamidi’s family but it was foolish of the daughter to use the granddaughter to deliver a message. Always sad to see parents drag children into their business, especially when its politics. Definitely ‘un-peaceful’. #unpeaceful
— Aiman Syed Jaafar (@aimansjaafar) October 21, 2018
Nurulhidayah herself has responded to the criticism with another Instagram post. In the post, she wrote that her daughter’s words would have impact on Malaysia’s future.
UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was slapped with 45 charges of money laundering, graft, and criminal breach of trust involving RM114 million (USD27.5 million) on Oct 19. He was arrested on Oct 18, and is currently out on bail.