What Got Netizens Buzzing: Viral stories of 2023

08 Dec 2023 11:02am
Viral stories that captivated netizens in 2023 - Sinar FILE PIX
Viral stories that captivated netizens in 2023 - Sinar FILE PIX

IN 2023, several compelling news stories captured the attention of Malaysians, ranging from controversial incidents to significant public figures' new ventures.

Here's a detailed look at the top five viral news events that resonated throughout Malaysia:

Controversy around Jocelyn Chia's MH370 jokes:

Jocelyn Chia, a comedian, stirred up controversy with her stand-up routine at the Comedy Cellar in Manhattan, New York.

Her act included jokes mocking Malaysia's economic development and the MH370 tragedy.

After a member of the audience identified as Malaysian, Chia's response was considered offensive by many.

This incident ignited debates on offensive humor, "cancel culture," and the limits of free speech.

Inspector Sheila Sharon Steven Kumar's viral video:

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An police personnel from the Criminal Commercial Investigation Department Sheila Sharon Steven Kumar became the centre of attention after videos surfaced showing her in a heated argument with police personnel and civilians.

Detained and subsequently suspended, she faced multiple charges including threatening, tarnishing reputations, and insulting modesty.

Though one charge was later set aside by the High Court, the incident sparked discussions on police conduct and accountability.

Khairy Jamaluddin's career shift:

Post-politics, former Umno youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin ventured into the entertainment industry, notably appearing as a radio DJ and a food delivery rider in a Pak Mat Western advertisement.

Khairy, a three-time Cabinet member who had held the portfolios of health, youth and sports, and science and technology, went on to launch the "Keluar Sekejap" podcast with former Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan, who was likewise subjected to disciplinary action and suspended for six years.

The podcast, named as an allusion to the fact that they are both on a break from politics, was a hit, with its first episode scoring more than 700 views in just three hours.

His transition after losing his parliamentary seat was viewed positively, highlighting his adaptability and resilience in exploring new career paths.

Abang 'Sado' assault incident:

A viral video showed a muscular man assaulting a female driver, striking her head and using abusive language.

The suspect was arrested following the victim's police report.

This incident, along with reports of a prior assault by the same man, sparked discussions on road rage, gender-based violence, and appropriate conflict resolution.

Anwar's stance on meritocracy and racial quotas:

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim faced criticism for his response to a student's question about racial quotas in education.

The inquiry addressed the limitation on opportunities for Chinese and Indian students in public universities due to these quotas.

Anwar's handling of the question and interruption of the student prompted mixed reactions, highlighting ongoing debates on meritocracy, racial quotas, and inclusivity in Malaysian education.

Each of these stories significantly impacted our society, sparking debates and discussions on various issues, from freedom of speech and police conduct to political transitions and social justice.