Was the HBB 5277 taxi driver caught on video vandalising Pakatan Harapan flags?!
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : HBB 5277 Taxi Driver Caught Vandalising PH Flags!
A video showing the driver of taxi number HBB 5277 has gone viral on WhatsApp, TikTok, Facebook and Twitter, with many people accusing him of vandalising Pakatan Harapan flags in the run-up to GE15 – the 15th Malaysia General Election!
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Truth : HBB 5277 Taxi Driver Did NOT Vandalise PH Flags!
This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on WhatsApp and social media, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Destroying Political Flags During Election Is A Crime
First, let me just establish the fact that it is a crime to destroy political flags or election materials during the campaigning period of any election in Malaysia.
Several police reports have already been lodged regarding the defacement or destruction of flags, banners and other election materials during the GE15 campaigning period.
These crimes are classified under Section 427 of the Penal Code of Malaysia – those who are convicted may be sentenced to 1 to 5 years of jail, and/or a fine.
Therefore, most of these vandalism occur when no one is looking, and where there is no CCTV coverage to catch the perpetrator in the act. So anyone participating in this crime will always run once they realise that they are being recorded on video.
That’s why this video was so perplexing when I first saw it. The man didn’t seem perturbed that someone else was recording him while he was casually and slowly removing the flags.
Fact #2 : Pakatan Harapan Allegedly Clarified He’s Part Of Their Team
Hours after the video went viral all over WhatsApp and social media, Pakatan Harapan allegedly clarified that the man in the video is part of their team, and was merely removing the flags to replant them elsewhere, as instructed by the police.
Unfortunately, I am unable to confirm (yet) that the message came from Pakatan Harapan, as their social media pages have neither mentioned the viral video, or clarified the matter officially.
Fact #3 : HBB 5277 Taxi Driver Is SPR Enforcement Agent For Pakatan Harapan
The good news is – the driver himself posted a video, identifying himself as Mohammad Affendi – an Election Commission (SPR) enforcement agent for Pakatan Harapan in Lembah Pantai.
He explained that he was removing the Pakatan Harapan flags because they were wrongly placed outside government buildings or tourist attractions, which is against the law.
He also asked that anyone who doubts his explanation or his identity to verify them with the Election Commission (SPR).
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