Natasha Qisty Mohd Ridzuan, a student of Kolej Tunku Kurshiah in Negri Sembilan, was deservedly featured by several news media outlets last week for obtaining straight 9A+s in her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination. Screen grab from Bernama News Channel

KUALA LUMPUR: Natasha Qisty Mohd Ridzuan, a student of Kolej Tunku Kurshiah in Negri Sembilan, was deservedly featured by several news media outlets last week for obtaining straight 9A+s in her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination.

But instead of being showered with praise for her tremendous achievement, Natasha found herself being slammed by merciless netizens for an unexpected reason.

The scholar had been very happy with her results, and smiled with pride as she was interviewed by news agency Bernama News Channel last Thursday.

But a video of the interview on the channel’s social media site, which went viral, drew some very ugly responses from online commenters.

Natasha’s results were not the focus of the netizens’ attention, however. Instead, social media users took to criticising the pretty girl’s looks, saying that she wore too much make-up for a 17-year-old; that she spoke Malay with an “English” accent; and that she didn’t cover her hair properly in spite of wearing a headscarf.

One user, Afiq Iqmal, said she could probably find a job “selling her good looks”, not by her SPM results.

“SPM result tinggi2 nak pergi mana… kau kerja pun bukan tengok berapa A kau dapat… mungkin jual muka dapat lah kerja,” he said.

However, since the initial barrage of abusive comments, Malaysians are coming to the defence of Natasha.

“Apart from dazzling beauty, adik ni behaved as normal as normal is. The way i see it, she is way more humble than probably many girls her age, given the mega-success she has just received,” said Facebook user Mohd Zamri.

Meanwhile, Twitter user @unarodzi, believed to be Natasha’s cousin, expressed her disappointment over netizens’ reactions to Natasha through her social media account.

“She's my cousin and we're close. Seeing all the comments hurt me. She doesn't do anything wrong but why people are being so (mean).

“My cousin (natasya qisty) has deleted all her socmed (social media) account. So if you found any please report because it's fake. Thanks.

“She's being a victim of cyber bullies and it hurt us as a family,” she said on her Twitter account on March 18 and 19.

However, today, @unarodzi tweeted that many people have supported Natasha and offered positive words.

“For the past few days, I've received lots of positive words. There are still few unpleasant words but let's ignore the negativity.

“Thank you for taking your time to spread the word and send us some positivity. InsyaAllah, I have relayed all your messages to tasya.”

SPM 2016 results were released nationwide on March 16. According to Education director-general Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof, candidates’ overall performance in the examinations improved compared to 2015.

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