At the end of last month (July 31), the High Court of Malaya ordered 18 suspects for the murder of National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM) cadet officer Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnian to enter their defence.
Zulfarhan was pronounced dead at Serdang Hospital in June 2017. It was reported that the deceased might have been abused for allegedly stealing his friend’s laptop.
He was found with burn marks all over his body believed to have been caused by a steam iron.
After more than two years, 18 out of the 19 suspects of the incident are to be put on trial, set to commence on October 2.
The 19th suspect, Muhammad Akmal Akif Alias was acquitted of voluntarily causing grievous hurt to Zulfarhan as he was also a victim during the incident, and was discharged.
Consequently, Zulfarhan became a trending topic on social media, particularly on Twitter. Netizens used hashtags ‘#justiceforzulfrhan’ and ‘#saynotobully’ to show their support for the late Zulfarhan.
From the Twitter network of Zulfarhan, it can be divided into three separate clusters – orange, blue and green.
The green cluster had @SinarOnline as its main influencer. The account shared the news that the High Court ordered the 18 accused to enter defence.
However, the blue cluster with @501Awani as its influencer had a bigger response for their tweets on the same news compared to the green cluster.
Nevertheless, the Twitter network of Zulfarhan was dominated by @madhiamadani, the main influencer of the orange cluster which took up about 81% of the whole network.
@madhiamadani is the official Twitter account of Astro Awani journalist, Madihah Abdullah. She tweeted photos and videos of the father of the late Zulfarhan, Zulkarnian Idros.
One of the videos showcased Zulkarnian prostrating in prayer outside the courtroom upon the court’s decision on the 18 accused.
The video attained about 44 thousand retweets and 24 thousand likes.
In addition, @madhiamadani also tweeted an image of Zulkarnian donning a t-shirt with hashtags, ‘#justice4farhan’, ‘#sayNotoBully’ and ‘#humanity’. The Awani journalist also used ‘#saynotobully’ in her tweet which led to its virality.
Overall, most of the news about the court’s order on Zulfarhan’s murder suspects were sourced from Astro Awani.