KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) appears to be once again a target of dirty tactics as campaigning for the upcoming polls enters its third day, said its deputy president, Melanie Chia.
A statement quoted Chia as saying a video clip taken inside a community hall here during the April 28 nomination day was another example of how certain groups were resorting to smear tactics against the local opposition party.
According to her, the clip shows SAPP president Yong Teck Lee protesting against Election Commission (EC) officials allowing amendments in the nomination forms for PKR’s Api Api incumbent Christina Liew at 12.30pm.
Yong had argued that such action was unlawful as it violated the conduct of election laws.
“However, the clip that has gone viral on social media came with the caption: ‘Yong Teck Lee and his gang bullying Josephine (Hadhikusumo), the daughter of Christina Liew, who was submitting the nomination papers for her mum who was in Tawau for her MP seat’,” said Chia.
Chia said she was in the hall as the proposer for SAPP’s Luyang candidate Gee Tien Siong and that Yong had protested to the EC assistant returning officer upon seeing the wrongful action.
Chia said she was shocked when Josephine then called Yong “samseng” (thug).
“I was utterly dismayed by Josephine’s behaviour who, despite being trained as a lawyer, can call a fellow lawyer ‘samseng’,” she said, adding that as a matter of courtesy, lawyers refrained from name-calling their counterparts.
Chia said Josephine’s words reflected a lack of control of her thoughts and emotions.
It is also a reflection of her guilty conscience, knowing that she had wrongly filled her mother’s nomination form, Chia said.
To make matters worse for her, Chia said Josephine was caught red-handed writing her name as the witness in the nomination form two and a half hours after the deadline for submission.
“We hope the public will see the entire picture of what had transpired and the real thugs are those spreading lies and false messages,” Chia said.
“We just want a fair and level playing field in this election. After all, we are all fighting for a fair, just and civil society. Stop the dirty tactics.”
Chia said Yong was not attacking Liew’s candidacy but merely wanted to see the election laws and regulations followed.
In the 2013 elections, SAPP was a victim of slander with allegations that the party was a BN agent and that Yong was the recipient of RM80 million, Chia recalled.
The then-DAP candidate for Likas, Junz Wong, made a public apology to Yong after the polls for the allegation.
“By that time, Junz had won the seat against Yong, who had also contested the Likas seat. We want to stop these smear tactics now,” Chia said.