THE Telugu community in Bagan Datuk is unhappy over fake news online claiming that several Barisan Nasional banners were written in Bengali and wants the authorities to take action against the culprits.
Malaysia Telugu Welfare and Cultural Association president J. K. Kanayya said the association members learned that unscrupulous parties have been claiming that banners printed in Bengali had appeared in Bagan Datuk.
“Some also alleged that the banners were written in Burmese.
“It clearly shows that they had no idea what they were claiming and the fake story has been making its rounds online on various social media platforms.
“In some pictures circulating online, the words ‘Bagan Datuk’ were even edited to read ‘Bangla Datuk’.
“We strongly condemn such irresponsible actions because such sabotage was totally uncalled for,” he said.
Together with a group of association members, Kanayya and other members from the Telugu Association of Malaysia staged a peaceful protest at one of the banners here on Monday.
Also present was Bagan Datuk Gerakan division chief Tan Siak Koi.
Kanayya said Bagan Datuk has about 1,500 Telugu people and the banners actually contained words in the Telugu language.
“Telugu is the mother tongue of the second largest ethnic Indian community in Malaysia after the Tamils.
“The banners were written in Telugu to appeal to the group of voters here and there is nothing wrong with that,” he said, adding that the words were about promotion of unity and call to support Barisan Nasional in the elections.
Kanayya said political inclination was a personal choice.
“We are all matured enough to know that. But to resort to such tactics and smear campaign is simply low-class.
“I call on everyone not to be fooled by such misinformation, especially during the elections period,” he added.
Tan noted that there are about 30 banners written in Telugu put up around Bagan Datuk.
“There are also banners written in Chinese and Malay, which clearly shows that Barisan cares about all.
“People should just stop sharing fake news like this altogether before verifying if they were true,” he added.
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