By Kerri Heng,
The New Paper,
Sunday, Aug 3, 2014
What if someone copies everything you do down to a T?
Prominent Malaysian blogger Tey Cindy, who blogs at teycindy.com, had an experience recently where an overzealous fan copied her online posts to haunting detail.
Speaking to The New Paper on Sunday, Miss Tey, 27, alleges that she found herself being stalked by a female fan on Instagram. The fan would post photos and updates that were uncannily similar.
For instance, when Miss Tey posted a photograph of herself with a red packet covering half her face on Instagram during Chinese New Year, her fan followed suit.
When the blogger uploaded a photo of her book and teddy bear, presto, a few weeks later, a similar update appeared on the fan's page.
When we contacted the fan about the allegations, Madam Yeap Wan Hoong said that she may have been a "little extreme" in her fan adulation but denies any wrongdoing. She explains she is "going through a tough time".
"I just plainly admire her. But I took it to an extreme level and she took it (the wrong way). And because of this issue, I have to resign (from my job) and I will be migrating," she said. She declined further comment.
Ms Tey says she actually met Madam Yeap once, during a promotional event last year.
"She was with her husband. She seemed perfectly normal, like a loyal and happy fan," Miss Tey says.
Miss Tey - who was also the winner of the first season of the Malaysian Dreamgirl modelling competition back in 2008 - then accepted Madam Yeap's friend request on Facebook.
That, she alleges, was when things started to get strange.
Initially, she dismissed the too-similar posts. But she began to worry when Madam Yeap started following her friends on social media outlets.
"My friends then came up to me, saying that she had started following them and their boyfriends on social media. And that she asked them about me," said Miss Tey.
The line had been crossed and Miss Tey decided to block Madam Yeap on Facebook. The blogger alleges that her fan started using foul language (on her now defunct Twitter account) while addressing her by name.
"She said she hoped that I would be 'raped and murdered'," says Miss Tey.
There was also an anonymous phone call to her office in Kuala Lumpur, which turned out to be Madam Yeap trying to confirm Miss Tey's whereabouts.
Miss Tey made a police report on the same day in February.
"The next day, (Madam Yeap's) husband called me and promised to keep his wife in check. She also apologised on Twitter, asking me to retract the police report and saying that she would not stalk me anymore."
Last month, however, the stalking resumed. This time, she used different names but when Miss Tey traced the various IP addresses, they all matched Madam Yeap's.
"I decided to reveal her actions on my blog because she did not keep her promise not to stalk me," Miss Tey says. She wrote a detailed account of her experience and posted it on July 13.
Mr Daniel Koh, a psychologist at Insights Mind Centre, says that the fan may have done all that to get closer to Miss Tey.
"By doing the same thing (copying Miss Tey's social media posts), fans may feel a sense of connection towards the blogger," says the psychologist of 14 years.
On Madam Yeap's tweets directed at Miss Tey after Miss Tey blocked her on Facebook, Mr Koh says that when people get isolated or rejected, they can become angry or spiteful.
Miss Tey says that now, she takes extra precaution. For instance, she makes sure to check-in to a location on Foursquare only after she has left the place. She also tries not to be alone in public.
"On the surface, I can ignore (the incident). But when I grab a coffee at work, I feel scared, because she knows where I work," says Miss Tey.