M'sian Woman Shares Harrowing Tale Of Stalking That Forced Her To Move To London In Fear

Acacia Diana, a photographer, has expressed how she continues to live in fear, adding that she doesn't think she "will truly feel safe again".

Cover image via @ShaFoShizzle (Twitter)

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In a shocking revelation that has left Malaysians reeling, UK-based Malaysian photographer Acacia Diana recently shared her harrowing experience of being stalked by a persistent individual for eight years

According to the woman, the ordeal became so terrifying that she was forced to leave her home country and seek refuge in London, where she continues to "live in fear in a system and society that has failed her".

Her story came to light through a series of tweets on the popular social media platform.

The lengthy thread, which quickly gained traction, provided details of the individual's relentless stalking, shedding light on the profound impact the ordeal continues to have on Acacia's life.

In her thread that was tweeted between 13 and 15 July, Acacia identified her stalker by name, while detailing how he has made her and her family's life a living hell as they endured it all silently for years.

"[But] I am done being silent. This story is for his screwed-up family, for the police, for the public. I live in fear," she tweeted, which also included a screenshot from SAYS' Bahasa Melayu sister site, SEISMIK.

Acacia has consented to SAYS using her tweets for this story.

In a chilling narrative, Acacia detailed how the stalking began innocuously, with weird comments and emails that gradually escalated into constant surveillance and invasive actions such as the stalker following her, showing up at her home, and harassing her family

According to her, the stalking began in 2016 when she noticed strange comments on her blog.

The stalker, Mohamad Shafiq Rosli, continued to contact Acacia through various email addresses and social media accounts, relentlessly harassing her online. Despite her repeated pleas for him to stop, the stalker's actions escalated over time, causing significant distress and disruption in her life.

"This was the beginning of his pattern," she said, adding her stalker grew obsessive and delusional with time, as he convinced himself that they were in a relationship and that she was am surrounded by bad people.

The ordeal took a terrifying turn when the stalker started physically stalking Acacia.

In 2017, when she was hanging out with a friend at a fast-food restaurant in Malaysia, he approached her and expressed his admiration for her work, leaving her unsettled. His actions only intensified, with him making multiple attempts to locate her, even showing up at public events where she was present.

The stalker also showed up at her home, telling Acacia's father that he wanted to be her friend. This incident shook Acacia to the core, as she couldn't figure out how he was able to find her address.

"To this day, I don't feel safe in Malaysia," Acacia said, adding that despite her telling him that she was not interested, he continued spamming her blog, which eventually led her to stop blogging.

In April 2018, she filed a police report but was told that they couldn't do anything.

"They were just like, well, he has not threatened you physically. Good luck," she shared.

A year later, he showed up at her first-ever photography exhibition held at PETRONAS Art Gallery.

According to Acacia, she has blocked some three dozen Instagram accounts the stalker created.

"Guys, he has made over 30 Instagram accounts to harass me for eight years," she tweeted.

While the stalker continued to torment Acacia — sending her flowers and a drawing of her with "I need you, baby" written in what appeared to be blood — she tried to get in touch with his family for help

The stalker's father never replied to her, but she received a message from someone claiming to be the stalker's male cousin, who claimed that he could solve Acacia's issue as long as she agreed to meet him in person.

Throughout this period of 2020 to 2021, the stalker never relented.

In January 2022, when Acacia's mother had an exhibition at The Linc KL, the stalker showed up there. And in March of the same year, when Acacia had an exhibition in KL, he showed up there as well.

"I was terrified of being in KL. I realised that he was going to stalk me wherever I was in KL. This had already damaged my ability to do my work," Acacia said, adding that in June 2022, when she just couldn't take it anymore, she begged him to stop harassing her, but it only became worse.

A few months later, he stalked Acacia physically for the third time, during the annual flash mob Keretapi Sarong event that was being held in conjunction with Malaysia Day celebrations.

"I was going to be there with women travellers from Malaysia, we shared on social media before the event. We wanted to meet other girls and gather. I was really worried he might show up, but I thought, maybe he won't. But I was wrong. He was there at the event. I was so f-cking terrified," Acacia recalled, adding that she tried to assure herself that since there was a big crowd at the event, she would be able to ignore him.

"Suddenly, I heard a voice say 'Hello, Acacia'. I turned and saw him. I screamed at him to stop. I told him to f-cking stop! That was the first time I got scared that he might want to hurt me. My friend pulled me away. I cried so hard. Keretapi Sarong was so chaotic and cheerful, the event just carried on. I had to suck it up and continue with the day. The next day, he tweeted it was nice to meet me," she said.

Unfortunately for Acacia and many others in her situation, Malaysia had not yet enacted specific legislation dedicated to combating stalking. The anti-stalking law only came into force earlier this year.

Acacia made a desperate attempt to escape by using all her life savings to relocate to the UK, but the stalking extended beyond borders

"I wanted to be free. I wanted to pursue my passion. Live my life. So, I moved. A new start," she hoped.

Despite her efforts to start anew, he managed to track her down, making her feel trapped and unsafe in her new surroundings.

In December last year, she learned, through a mutual friend, that the stalker was in the UK.

Acacia was scheduled to give a talk at the Malaysia Hall in London, where one of her photographs was on display. However, she ended up not going as she knew the stalker would be there.

Then, in January this year, Acacia's former photography tutor in London emailed her saying that the stalker had signed up for a class. The good news was, she had finished the course so she wasn't there. Instead, he left a note with her tutor, specifically for her, saying he was in the UK with the intent to find her.

The experience, however, traumatised Acacia to the extent that she started hiding her appearance by wearing a face mask and dark hoodie whenever she went out in London.

"I could not go around freely. I stayed at home. I avoided meeting people. I could not advertise my photo services. My new life became a prison. I felt hopeless," shared a dejected Acacia.

In the UK, the stalker made things worse for Acacia

In her distressing account, she detailed instances of the stalker engaging in sexual harassment by sending her disturbing videos of him masturbating to her photos.

"He was sending me sexual videos. They were so disgusting. He had photos of me saved. And he would masturbate and cum to them. It was disgusting," she said, adding that she had no option but to go through them as needed to document the evidence in order to file a police report in the UK.

She shared her feelings of helplessness, expressing concerns about her safety as well as the potential impact on her future, including starting a family, as his behaviour made her feel disgusted about physical intimacy.

Eventually, Acacia began to blame herself for what the stalker was putting her through.

"Maybe it's my fault? If I didn't exist, I wouldn't have to go through this. Maybe it's just easier to bow out here and end myself. Nobody was helping me. Nothing's gonna make it stop," she told herself.

According to Acacia, she was getting too depressed and dangerously close to harming herself, but she knew she needed to live

"In April 2023, I volunteered with an NGO that organised public Ramadan iftar events. For the first time in months, I went out and used my camera. I felt a bit like myself. Sadly, of course, he took this as an opportunity to get to me," she said, adding, "He showed up at one of the events. So, there he was. In London. Looking at me in the eye like he had found his 'treasure'. I felt like killing myself."

Throughout the years, Acacia had attempted to seek help from various sources, including the Malaysian authorities, but found little assistance in curbing the stalker's actions. So, in the UK, when the stalker showed up at the Ramadan event, she called the police straight away.

"I told the organisers and they took him out. He tried to talk to me! But thank god, someone stopped him. The last time [he had tried to physically stalk me was in Malaysia] and I was screaming at him and now he's in the UK trying to talk to me. The police came in minutes, handcuffed him, and took him away," she said.

While he was held overnight, the police released him on bail with conditions that he cannot contact Acacia in any way or be near her. A court date was also set, which both Acacia and the stalker had to attend.

"[The UK police] were looking to charge him for stalking and sexual harassment. However, he left for Malaysia by breaching his bail in the UK and did not show up to his court date," she said, adding, "The moment he lands in the UK, the police can arrest him. I am assured if he manages to get to me in the UK in any form, digital or physical, he would be arrested immediately."

Acacia pointed out in her thread that although the stalker left for Malaysia, he continued to harass her online by sending her photos of his private parts, while at the same time, tweeting verses of the Quran

"This past week, for some reason, he has increased his activity. I don't know why, but I cannot live like this anymore. I am too scared to have a family and children while he is still alive. I feel like giving up on doing anything while he is out there, because I feel, even if I go to the ends of the world, he will somehow find me. He will continue to pursue me for the rest of his life, or my life," a helpless Acacia tweeted.

Frustrated by the lack of effective intervention, she resorted to sharing her story on social media, hoping to bring attention to her plight and find the justice and protection she desperately needs.

Following which, the online community has rallied around Acacia, expressing solidarity and support while condemning the stalker's reprehensible actions. Many have called for immediate action from law enforcement agencies to apprehend the stalker and ensure Acacia's safety.

Amidst public outcry, the authorities have taken notice of Acacia's case

According to Acacia, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil has been personally informed, and the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) is investigating the matter. However, she will now have to file additional police reports in Malaysia and relive the whole ordeal again for any actions to be taken against him.

For now, she filed a new police report on Sunday, 16 July.

"It will be a long, exhausting process. This case is now on file," she tweeted, adding that as she awaits action to be taken against her tormentor, she continues to live in fear, "in a system and society that has thus far failed me, and so many others. The inside of my head is not safe anymore".

While Acacia's courageous decision to share her story has shed light on the urgent need for stronger legal measures and improved support systems for stalking victims, sparking a broader conversation about the importance of taking stalking cases seriously and providing comprehensive protection for those affected, the road to recovery remains long and arduous for Acacia as she navigates her traumatic experience.

Her case also serves as a stark reminder of the pervasive issue of stalking and the devastating impact it can have on an individual's well-being. It underscores the necessity of a society that must stand against harassment and supports victims, especially women, in their quest for justice and security.

"I am sorry to say that for the rest of my life, I don't think I will truly feel safe again," she expressed.

If you or someone you know may be at risk or has experienced sexual abuse or assault, please reach out to these Malaysian organisations:

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Operating hours: Monday to Friday (9am - 5pm)
Contact: +604-2280342 | +604-3988340
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Operating hours: Monday (7pm - 9pm),Tuesday to Thursday (9.30am - 11.30am), Saturday (2pm - 4pm)
Contact: +6082-368853
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Anonymously and confidentially report child sexual abuse content and non-photographic child sexual abuse images with IWF's Reporting Portal.

Earlier last week, a woman was shocked to find an unknown man watching TV in her apartment when she came home from work:

Last year, a stalker allegedly invaded another Malaysian artist's studio to defecate on the floor and damage her paintings, among other vandalistic actions, while live tweeting the whole process:

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