KOTA KINABALU: DAP today slammed Umno vice-president Khaled Nordin over a social media post and said it was an attempt to bring race and religious-based politics into Sabah ahead of the Sandakan by-election.
Khaled had apparently posted a photo of DAP candidate Vivian Wong’s Ramadan greeting to the Muslim community in which Vivian was “clad in a tudung”.
The post was accompanied by the caption: “What can be said of DAP other than already becoming a desperado and in panic. Will it be worn forever? If not, it will only be an act!”
Sabah DAP publicity secretary Phoong Jin Zhe said the post had since been removed but a party member in Johor managed to capture a screenshot of the alleged posting.
He said DAP’s publicity team did upload a Ramadan greeting on Monday but Vivian was not wearing a tudung, He said the original post was well received, garnering about 1,000 likes.
“This morning, Khaled uploaded a totally different photo where (Vivian) was in a tudung … clearly, it was photoshopped.
“What are his intentions? To play racial and religious-based politics? This should not happen. I urge the people in Sandakan to reject such politics.
“This (by-election) is a referendum for us to reject the Umno-PAS pact, which regularly stirs up radical and extreme issues among the people,” Phoong told reporters in Sandakan today.
Vivian said she was unconvinced when she saw the post, adding the ones who fabricated the photo must “really improve on their photoshop skills”.
She said, nonetheless, such politics had no place in moderate Sabah.
“I think the former Johor menteri besar is trying to bring very toxic politics to Sabah. I hope Sabahans will not be influenced by such unsavoury tactics.
“I will not stoop to that level — we don’t use such ways to attack our opponent. I hope Khaled will issue an apology but I’m not so sure if he will. (But) he should verify the photo first before posting it,” she said.
Meanwhile, in a last-minute effort to rally support before polling this Saturday, Vivian urged Sandakan voters working elsewhere to come home to vote.
“From what we know, only about 60% of them will come back to vote. So I am appealing to voters to return and cast their votes,” she said.
Vivian is up against PBS’ Linda Tsen and independent candidates Hamzah Abdullah, Chia Siew Yung and Sulaiman Abdul Samat