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13 NGOS AGAINST RACIAL POLITICKING

The NGOs are All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC), Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI), Institute for Research and Social Advancement (REFSA), Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT), Labor Resource Centre (LRC), Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement (DEMA), National Institute of Electoral Intergrity (NIEI), Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower), Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS), Pusat Khidmat Pekerja Tanjung (PKPT), Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) and Youth for Change (Y4C).



PERMATANG PAUH BY-ELECTION: NGOs against racial politicking
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Thirteen non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have urged political parties and politicians involved in the Permatang Pauh by-election to disassociate themselves from racially and religiously divisive messages that are aimed at the voters.

In a joint press statement, the NGOs said the messages, which appeared in printed form, short message service (SMS) and in private speeches could play up the fear of one ethnic group against the other.

The NGOs claimed that feedback from observers and many from the ground indicated this, underlining a real possibility of dirty electioneering.

"As civil society organisations not aligned to any political parties, we are concerned that our elections are far from free and fair, and conform to international good practice," the statement said.

"Will the Permatang Pauh by-election turn out to be the lowest point in Malaysian election history, despicable campaign standards, election rigging and vote buying?"

The NGOs said that crude racial politicking and the use of inflammatory and racially-distorted content to win votes must be condemned not only by contesting parties and candidates but also by other stakeholders.

"Party leaders claim that they are waging a fair war but the onus is on them to not only exercise full control over their respective election personnel and machinery, but to immediately repudiate whatever unethical behaviour or unacceptable activities," said the NGOs.

The NGOs were All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC), Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI), Institute for Research and Social Advancement (REFSA), Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT), Labor Resource Centre (LRC), Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement (DEMA), National Institute of Electoral Intergrity (NIEI), Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower), Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS), Pusat Khidmat Pekerja Tanjung (PKPT), Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) and Youth for Change (Y4C)

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