PBS puts up new banner on billboard but with same message

PBS Youth chief Christopher Mandut (left) and supreme council member Goon Thien Shang show the new banner on the billboard in Sandakan today.

KOTA KINABALU: An election billboard in Sandakan put up by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), which caused controversy and had to be taken down, has been replaced by a smaller banner carrying a similar message.

The Election Commission (EC) ordered the wooden billboard at Batu 3 on Jalan Utara to be dismantled yesterday after DAP lodged a report with EC and the police claiming it implied that its secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, had threatened the voters.

It featured a screenshot reproduced from Astro’s Mandarin Edition AEC Evening News showing Lim and DAP candidate Vivian Wong and the words: “Insufficient parking lots in Sandakan hospital … Lim: If we win, then find me, if we lose, then there’s nothing I can do.”

Underneath the screenshot were bigger characters, in Hakka, roughly meaning “In big trouble again?” referring to the voters.

The billboard that was torn down.

DAP complained that Lim’s words had been taken out of context.

PBS deputy president Yee Moh Chai said he was perplexed by the removal of the billboard since the EC returning officer had acknowledged that there was no breach of election rules.

Sandakan police chief Mohd Azhar Hamin, meanwhile, denied that police had ordered the billboard to be taken down, saying they had only advised EC to do so since an investigation paper had been opened after the police report and the billboard was considered as evidence.

Today, PBS Youth chief Christopher Mandut and supreme council member Goon Thien Shang were at the site where workers put up a similar banner, minus the screenshot of Lim and Wong.

“We printed a banner with the same message and put it up without any background.

“We let the people form their own conclusion,” Mandut said.