KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — An initiative to monitor the use of racial and religious rhetoric in the 15th general election has again highlighted instances of politicians from across the political spectrum resorting to the method either in their social media posts, or during their 15th general election (GE15) campaigning.

The initiative called #KamiNampak (Malay for “we see”) singled out Islamist party PAS president Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang, who is contesting in Marang under Perikatan Nasional (PN), for using a dog-whistle remark calling for violence against certain ethnic groups, with an anti-DAP social media post invoking God’s power in punishing certain ethnic groups by eliminating them.

“The continued use of race and religion has escalated to dangerous levels, especially with a party leader sowing the seeds for future violence,” said Jason Wee, the co-founder of youth group Architects of Diversity (AOD) and #KamiNampak coordinator, in a statement.


“Meanwhile, party leaders provoking each other with generalised, inflammatory remarks is simply irresponsible and fuels further conflict.”

The initiative highlighted Abdul Hadi’s remark as a “severe” violation, and categorised it as “public incitement to genocide” as it contains elements that justify the erasure of individuals based on identity-based characteristics.


Other PAS candidates listed by AOD were Mohd Fadhil Noor (Pekan) who reportedly emphasised the importance of prioritising Islam over all other parties, and Aire Roslan (Paya Besar) who claimed that 40 per cent of Parliament seats have non-Malays and non-Muslims as the majority demographic.

It also pointed to Umno vice-president and Barisan Nasional's (BN) candidate for Bera Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri for his campaign speech circulated in broadcaster TV3 for warning that DAP is behind Pakatan Harapan's Ayer Hitam candidate, saying that this remark is "falsely manufacturing or associating a political, economic or social threat with a racial or religious group"

Similarly, it also listed DAP's Nga Kor Ming who is contesting Teluk Intan for Pakatan Harapan (PH) who was reported telling Malaysiakini that the country would become "another Afghanistan" should PN come into power — saying it "motivated use of negative stereotypes of a racial or religious group". This sentiment was also shared by PH's Chong Zhemin (Kampar).

Others whose remarks were flagged included Quek Tai Seong (BN candidate for Indera Mahkota), Woo Cheong Yuen (PN-Batu Gajah), Auzaie Fadzlan (Gerakan Tanah Air-Larut), and Muhammad Zaki Omar (independent-Selayang).

Muhammad Zaki reportedly showcased a series of speeches on his TikTok account which included statements saying "enemies of Islam" will win if Muslims do not vote. and others advocating for Muslims to mandatorily support Muslim leaders.

“It is time for racial and religious sentiment in Malaysian politics to be a thing of the past. This is necessary for our democracy to experience a more healthy and mature practice in electioncampaigning and governance,” said AOD programme associate Adnan Yunus in the statement.

In its previous report, #KamiNampak had singled out Datuk Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PN-Rantau Panjang), V Ganabatirau (PH-Klang), GTA's Fazli Mohammad, and Parti Sarawak Bersatu’s Priscilla Lau.

#KamiNampak is a campaign by AOD as part of the Rapid Response Team of Centre for Independent Journalism’s 15th General Elections Social Media Monitoring campaign.

It involves over 60 youth volunteers monitoring social media accounts of election candidates in all 222 parliamentary contests across Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.