#PrayForPasirGudang may no longer stand for solidarity like it used to

The people of Pasir Gudang faced another outbreak on June 20. It was reported that 15 students from a school in the district suffered from vomiting and breathing difficulties, and five of them were admitted to the hospital.


It was just about three months since the crisis at Pasir Gudang happened in March due to illegal chemical dumping at the Kim Kim River.


This time, the incident happened due to air pollution. More than a dozen students suffered from the same symptoms of vomiting and breathing difficulties on July 1.


However, the authorities have yet to identify the sources, which has angered the locals. At the same time, the air pollution at Pasir Gudang becomes a trending topic on Twitter, but not as huge as the previous crisis which united the netizens with #PrayForPasirGudang.


Malaysia, Pasir Gudang, pollution, Twitter , Yeo Bee Yin


The network of the recent Pasir Gudang air pollution can be divided into two main clusters, green and blue.


In the blue cluster, the influencers were from the government side with the official Twitter accounts of the Department of Information, @JPenerangan, and government-owned news agency, @bernamadotcom.


Malaysia, Pasir Gudang, pollution, Twitter , Yeo Bee Yin


@JPenerangan tweeted updates on the authorities’ effort in resolving the pollution, such as temporarily shutting down the chemical factories in Pasir Gudang, but the information was sourced from Bernama.


Other accounts in the blue cluster also tweeted with a similar pattern, for example @Mazli_H.


Malaysia, Pasir Gudang, pollution, Twitter , Yeo Bee Yin


Besides, they also frequently used the hashtags, #SayangiMalaysiaku and #MalaysiaBersih.


On the other hand, the green cluster had @MohdHazwannn as its influencer. He tweeted that the people in Pasir Gudang have protested the industrial lot development at the district seven years before the pollution incident.


Malaysia, Pasir Gudang, pollution, Twitter , Yeo Bee Yin


Another account in the green cluster, @SuaraBiasa, claimed that the husband of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister, Lee Yeow Seng, owned three chemical factories in Pasir Gudang.


Lee is the CEO of IOI Properties Group Bhd and the youngest son of IOI Group founder, Tan Sri Lee Shin Cheng.


Malaysia, Pasir Gudang, pollution, Twitter , Yeo Bee Yin


Additionally, it is noticeable that accounts in this cluster used the hashtag, #PrayForPasirGudang. Nevertheless, they did not revive the popularity of the hashtag.


Accounts in the blue cluster with #SayangiMalaysiaku and #MalaysiaBersih were more incline in supporting the government, while accounts in the green cluster with #PrayForPasirGudang were more likely to criticize the government.


As of July 10, there is still zero update on the source of the pollution. However, Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin announced that the authorities will shut down all the factories in Pasir Gudang that are operating illegally by the end of July.