A local online personality recently garnered netizens' attention after he pretended to be a COVID-19 person under surveillance (PUS) eating out in public
Chazynash, also known as Nash, recently uploaded the video of his prank on Instagram.
In the clip, he can be seen casually eating food at a restaurant while wearing a pink wristband similar to those worn by people under the Home Surveillance Order (HSO) implemented by the government.
Other restaurant patrons in the video can be seen looking concerned while some of them started to record him using their phones.
One individual approached Nash and realised that the wristband was in fact a decoy. Upon inspection, the person saw that handwriting on the band read, "Wife forbids from going out for two weeks."
Upon realisation, all the customers at the restaurant laughed along.
Many people reacted to the video negatively and said that the video was insensitive
The now-deleted video received criticism from social media users and one person commented, "Do you think this is a joke? Later more people will joke about this! Do you think the virus and quarantine are things to joke about? Where is your brain?"
Meanwhile, another netizen wrote, "Take down this video, something as sensitive as this shouldn't be a joke. People are struggling hard to break the chain."
On Tuesday, 22 September, Nash issued a statement on Instagram and admitted that the video was staged and everyone involved, including the restaurant patrons, were actors
"Today I would like to talk about the pink wristband video that went viral. First of all, I would like to say sorry. I cannot blame you if you don't agree with me and don't consider the video as a joke. I understand," he wrote.
"But I see that a lot of people have misunderstood and thought that the video was a public prank. For your information, it was not a public prank. Everyone was acting, 100% staged. Including the people around, they're all friends and it was filmed on set," he added.
"I made the video not to mock anyone. It was only for fun. Most of my content is like that, about marriage. No matter what, I still want to apologise to everyone for making you uneasy."
The comments for his Instagram post have been turned off.
Today, he shared another post on Instagram that says, "I cannot believe that so many people have bashed me to this extent. Although some people said that the video was okay, I cannot do anything. Yes, I agree. I shouldn't have posted content like that. Alhamdulillah, I have already deleted the video."
"After this, if I want to make more content, I have to be more careful. This is a reminder for everyone, this issue is not a laughing matter. Yes, our intention is to entertain people but don't let it be like my case. I've always made videos like this. I just got a bit unlucky this time. It's okay, I accept that it is my mistake."
He ended the message by saying, "I apologise to all Malaysians and our frontliners."
Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has since called out the influencer and said that flouting quarantine is no laughing matter
According to The Star, during a live address yesterday, the minister said, "I hope we can be more responsible. We shouldn't take this as a joke or laughing matter. It's a major issue as it has to do with people's lives. Don't assume this is a matter that can be taken lightly or played for laughs because it has far-reaching consequences."
He then added, "If he was really under quarantine, then going out with the pink wristband would have warranted some action against him."
"Then if he's not under quarantine but wearing the wristband or anything issued by the Ministry of Health as a prop for certain purposes and in this case, to fool the public, then he's also wrong for doing so."
Ismail Sabri then noted that it is up to the police to take action on the matter.
Keep practising social distancing and wash your hands often. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation: