If you’re a foreigner in Malaysia holding a MyKad, a greedy politician or simply a Barisan Nasional supporter planning to wreak havoc during polling day, you have been warned.
While stoking fire of what is arguably the most unpredictable election season in Malaysian history, Asalkan Bukan Umno (ABU) – a movement calling for a regime change in Putrajaya – has delivered a fiery warning, against foreigners who plan to vote, politicians who jump ship and Barisan Nasional’s alleged plan to cause mayhem.
“ABU squads would be patrolling all polling stations and they will deal with all foreigners who are intent on defying this warning. Please take this warning seriously,” said ABU leader Haris Ibrahim
To non-BN party candidates who win, Haris says: You get our vote by default. Not because we love you but because we so despise Umno Barisan Nasional and the manner in which they have cheated and robbed the rakyat all these years. Do not take our vote for granted.
Haris warned that the new regime should deliver the reforms promised and gave them 200 days to deliver or face the ‘rakyat on the streets’. If any of the elected representatives decide to switch parties, Haris warns that ABU will ‘hunt them down“.
To Najib Razak, Haris said: Najib, understand this. We hear that you and your party intend to cause trouble before, during and after poling. We are ready for you. Many of us are ready to die. Are you ready to die?
Strongly-worded? Yes, Haris told us. In fact, it was intended to be that way. So does this mean they are threatening to incite violence?
“ABU does not stand for violence but in defending our nation and the rights of the rakyat, we will go to all lengths and all cost” he told us in a phone interview.
His method of dealing with foreigners who attempt to cast their votes is simple: by asking them where they’re from.
“If a Pakistani, for instance, says he was born here then my question would be where did he go to school? We will persuade them and do everything that we can to get him or her not to vote. We are not advocating
violence at all, but if he insists on going in, then he will be physically blocked. Our task is to prevent them from voting.”
To him and his volunteers, the days of being bullied and frightened by ‘scare tactics’ used by Umno are over.
“I said we are ready to die in the context of what we're hearing, that Umno is anticipating violence and we have heard of violence in some ceramahs. The finger has been pointed at Umno. What we say is that this is an attempt to scare the rakyat. We are not going to be scared and bullied anymore. If that is what they intend to do, our message is that we do not fear you. We are ready,” he said.
“We are not agitating violence. This is a reaction to what (Home Minister) Hishammuddin (Hussein) said and to what we have seen. “
“My father's generation bought into the fear and ABU's message is that we will not succumb to the threats. This is a guarantee to the people of Malaysia.”
And what about hunting down greedy politicians?
“It is across the board, even for Pakatan candidates. If they allow themselves to get the vote and then get seduced by BN then the will of the people is cheated, if you will,” he said.
To date, the movement has distributed some 400,000 copies of its ‘warning’ to foreigners, with efforts being made to ship it to Sabah and Sarawak.
Its volunteers – or squads – have been trained on what to do during polling day and how to look out for dubious voters.