If you (or your parents) have been keeping up to date with the local Facebook live stream scene, you’ll know that getai veteran Wang Lei is no stranger to the world of live streams.
Although he started off using the platform to sell different products such as fish, he recently expanded his platform to… help the family of a missing girl.
What’s more: the girl isn’t even from Singapore.
On 9 April, Wang Lei took to Facebook Live to state that he would be offering a cash reward of RM150,000 (approximately S$47,800) to anyone who has information regarding the whereabouts of Chia Min Yong, a Malaysian.
Chia, 22, has been missing since 5 April, and her family is worried that she may have fallen into a job scam of sorts.
The live stream proved to be incredibly effective in attracting attention to Chia’s disappearance, with over 385,000 Facebook users viewing the live stream. The live stream also garnered over 14,000 reactions and 9,500 comments.
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Comments on Malaysia’s Safety
Throughout his live stream, not only did he ask for viewers to aid in finding Chia, but also made some comments that were a little less… pleasing to the ear, especially for Malaysians.
In particular, he touched on Malaysia’s safety, saying that he was ” jeopardising his own safety by offering such a huge sum of money”.
“If [Chia] has really been kidnapped by someone, have I offended the kidnappers? Won’t it be very dangerous for me if I go to Malaysia? What if they let her go and kidnap me instead? I’m older so I’m easier to catch,” he stated.
And of course, his comments did not leave a good taste in many Malaysians’ mouths.
Amongst the live streamers who spoke out against Wang Lei’s comments, a Malaysian live streamer, whose username is “Happy Boss Live”, said that Wang was exploiting Chia’s case to earn more popularity for his live stream sales.
Sunny Seow, also a Malaysian live streamer, took offence to Wang Lei’s opinions about Malaysia’s safety.
He even posted a live stream of his own in response to Wang Lei, and urged him to not speak of Malaysia so poorly.
In the live stream that he held on April 11, he argued,”Can you please don’t make Malaysia out to be such a dangerous place? What do you mean when you say that you’ll get killed or kidnapped when you cross the border?”
“Malaysia is a very safe country, don’t say these things and give the rest of the world the impression that bandits run the place. This isn’t right.”
His live stream also attracted many Facebook users, with that particular live stream garnering over 402,000 viewers.
Wang Lei’s Response
Of course, Wang Lei did not let the matter rest.
He then held another live stream on 14 April, where he clarified that he did not make such comments about Malaysia.
He also hit back at those who criticised his approach, and even asked if they had “lent a helping hand to anyone before”.
In the comments section, many of Wang Lei’s fans also posted encouraging comments in support of the getai singer.
Thereafter, three days later (17 April), Wang Lei took to Facebook once again to reveal that he would be increasing the reward money to RM400,000 (approximately S$129,000).
He also highlighted that the increase in the amount of reward money was due to how various members of the public contributed to the fund.
He also said that these members of the public wanted to help the Chia family, and hoped that Chia would be able to return to her family safe and sound.
Danger of Offering Reward Money
However, despite the appealing increase in reward money, some also felt that such an increase was inappropriate.
One of these people was Malaysian live streamer Jaguar Lim, who said that the money offered in exchange for Chia could bring about safety concerns.
“What if the person that gets the money is an associate of the kidnappers, or someone that the kidnappers sent? This will empower them financially; does that mean they will kidnap more people?” he asked.
Upon hearing Lim’s perspective, there were also netizens who agreed with him. They proceeded to write comments related to this issue in the comments section of Wang Lei’s live streams.
Jack Neo’s Response
No, he didn’t come to tell everyone that it’s a plot for his new Ah Boys To Men movie.
Instead, local director Jack Neo also took to Facebook Live in support of Wang Lei.
Throughout the 26-minute long live stream, Neo, 62, continually defended Wang Lei and insisted that he is a “very righteous” person.
He also noted that both of them have known each other for many years, and that he is sure of Wang Lei’s character.
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Neo also took the chance to clear things up for Wang Lei, citing how he has to talk about these acts of charity widely on social media due to how the funds have been contributed by kind-hearted members of the public.
“If he doesn’t make it very high-profile, his donors might think he pocketed their money,” he explained.
“When he was doing this act of charity, I don’t think he thought much about other problems [that might arise from this].
“Wang Lei is a very simple-minded person, when he sets his mind to doing something, he doesn’t care about anything else or who he might offend.”
However, Neo also mentioned that he “isn’t afraid to put Wang Lei in his place” if the situation ever calls for it.
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