Many foreign workers are worried about going out on polling day for the fear of being attacked due to being mistaken for phantom voters, according to a report of The Star, Malaysian Newspaper that quoted Migrant88 Program Director Khadijah Shamsul as saying.
“Migrant workers have been used time and again as scapegoats by politicians to distract the nation; the association of migrant workers to phantom voting being the latest in a long series of accusations.
"We need to bear in mind that there was no conclusive evidence of migrant workers being used as phantom voters in GE13, a fact recognized at the last Peoples Tribunal organized by Bersih,” she said in a statement on Monday (May 7).
She added that the non-governmental organisation had received evidence of several audio and video threats made towards migrant workers regarding this.
She also said that Migrant 88 had conducted over 120 interviews with migrant workers in five states and found that no worker had ever been asked or offered a national identity document in order to vote for the upcoming GE14.
The interviews had been conducted with the assistance of the North South Initiative (NSI).
Khadijah said that as the most highly contested election in the history of the country, it was convenient for plenty to resort to using religious and racial sentiment to fuel political agendas.
During GE13, there were many reports of voters being harassed and manhandled for not looking “Malaysian”.
“The elimination of racial discrimination and racial prejudice is one of the most pressing imperatives of our time. A peaceful and a just social order must be underpinned by unity. To discriminate against any race, on the ground of it being socially backward, politically immature, and numerically in a minority, is a flagrant violation,” said Khadijah.
She also urged Malaysians to create a safe environment approaching polling day by reporting any threatening behaviour or targeted attacks towards migrant workers to authorities or relevant NGOs.
To file a complaint, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or message them at Facebook/migrant88.
Meanwhile, a Youth Lead Initiative based in Malaysia requested the migrants and refugees to exercise prudence on the poling day for prevention of untoward danger.
It also encouraged them to refrain from going out unnecessarily on polling day if they work, asked to stay in the work place to avoid and prevent danger.
‘ If there is anyone experiencing such incident, encourage them to lodge report to authorities. Tenaganita hotline is available to receive report for such incident: +60123350512; +60123395350.’