Foreigners Attending A Conference In Penang Were Accused Of Being GE14 Phantom Voters

A Facebook post alleging that a group foreigners "are coming to Malaysia to vote" went viral recently.

Cover image via Facebook/Sin Chew (edited)

Two videos showing foreigners entering the Penang International Airport were uploaded onto Facebook on 23 April

Image via Facebook

"Bangalas (sic) are coming into Malaysia to vote for Barisan Nasional," the Facebook post wrote.

The videos featured dozens of foreigners, allegedly Bangladeshis, arriving at the Penang International Airport and gathering in groups.

The videos have been shared over 16,000 times within two days.

Some netizens began assuming that the foreigners are phantom voters for the 14th general election (GE14) after the Facebook post went viral

It is understood that 'phantom voters' refer to those who are ineligible to vote, but their names, including those who had passed away, underaged, or using fake identity cards, are included in the electoral roll.

One netizen warned Penangites of the arrival of "Banglas".

Image via Facebook

Another netizen expressed frustration at the alleged phenomenon of phantom voters for every general election.

Image via Facebook

One netizen also accused the government of using foreigners, and warned that corruption will happen if the government isn't changed.

Image via Facebook

However, Sin Chew reported that the foreigners were actually attendees of an annual convention organised by multi-level marketing company QNet in Penang

QNet's annual V-Convention in 2017.

Image via QBuzz

The report stated that the foreigners are Independent Representatives (IRs) of QNet, hailing from 70 countries including Hong Kong, Egypt, India, and so on.

The annual convention is being held at SPICE Arena, Penang from yesterday, 24 April to 28 April.

The allegations came just a day after Malaysiakini reported Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as saying that phantom voters from Bangladesh could be present on polling day, 9 May

"If Pakatan Harapan wins with just a few hundred votes, Najib will cheat and stuff with illegal votes," Mahathir was quoted as saying in a Malaysiakini report.

"Maybe Bangladeshis will vote too," he added, before urging Pakatan Harapan supporters to show up at polling stations in big groups on 9 May to prevent electoral fraud if the Opposition wins. 

Nonetheless, Borneo Post reported on 21 April that the Election Commission brushed off rumours of phantom voters ahead of GE14.

You can watch the opening ceremony of the QNet convention here:

Make sure you fact-check any information online before you share them!

Here's a few ways to self-check the GE14 news you're reading:

In January, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak launched a website to fight against fake news:

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