The Malaysian government must immediately clarify a statement on the website of the Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Office alleging that Bangladesh citizens have been given voting rights in Malaysia.

From the website of the NGO Affairs Bureau of the Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Office:

BANGLADESHI Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told that she has been in Malaysia during her 6-day visit to South Korea and Malaysia last year.

At the last leg of her six-day tour, Hasina arrived in Malaysia on May 18 to attend the 66th World Islamic Economic Forum [WIFE] in Kuala Lumpur, the next day where she delivered a special speech. During her stay in Kuala Lumpur, she held bilateral talks with her Malaysian counterpart Mohammed Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak when some long standing issues, including legalizing Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia, were prominently discussed.

Highly placed sources claimed that during the meeting, the Malaysian prime minister assured Hasina of considering the issue of legalizing Bangladeshi workers to his country with utmost sincerity.

Today, Prime Minister’s office has allegedly received a confirmation from some of our citizens those working in several sectors in Malaysia since last year that they were given more than citizenships from Malaysian Government. In fact they now have been given a right to be a voter in upcoming Malaysian’s general election.

Another highly placed source from prime minister’s office has confirmed that Bangladeshi workers may easily conferred Malaysian citizenship with the condition to vote for party that represents the government in power.

Honorable Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina urges people to take this opportunity in order to lower the national poverty in line with government’s initiative and numerous measures to solve all major problems, including power and gas crises.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also urged Malaysian entrepreneurs to invest more in Bangladesh, particularly in labor-intensive industries including readymade garment, textile, light engineering, electronics, agro-based products, ICT, power and infrastructure.

A thorough independent investigation is needed into this allegation.

In any case, we urgently need to clean up our electoral rolls or start re-registering voters all over again with the most stringent of controls.

Update: Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin later reportedly denied claims that the BN government had given Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia citizenship in exchange for their votes. Bangladesh’s High Commissioner to Malaysia also reportedly denied that Sheikh Hasina had made any such statement. He explained that Sheikh Hasina and Najib Razak had discussed legalising the undocumented Bangladeshi workers in Malaysia, not making them Malaysian.