The Australian-Chinese community has launched a social media campaign to try to combat what it describes as intolerant and racist ideas being spread by senator-elect Pauline Hanson.
Community leaders said when Ms Hanson was last in parliament 20 years ago, they documented a significant increase in the number of people of Asian heritage being verbally and physically abused by strangers in public.
Dr Thiam Ang was the Chinese Australian Forum’s president in the 1990s during that period, and said he fears history will repeat itself.
“People tend to think that it’s confined to blue-collar workers, but that’s not true because in those days men in suits were spitting on Chinese Australians in the Chatswood and Turramurra stations,” he said.
“So I would like to appeal to middle Australia to guard against this trend and ask them to speak up when they see any instances of racial abuse.”
The Chinese Australian Forum is calling on people to take photos with signs that feature the #SayNoToPauline hash tag, and upload them to social media.
The forum’s president, Kenrick Cheah, said the organisation will join forces with the Muslim community and others being targeted by Ms Hanson’s party, One Nation.
“We condemn Islamaphobia,” he said.
“Just because we aren’t the main target this time does not mean that they won’t be coming for us or any other group. And no group in this country should be subject to any racial vilification, discrimination.”