Man linked to online harassment apologises

A political dispute over the poor condition of the Likas quarantine centre led to a police report about sexual harassment.

KOTA KINABALU: A man who had allegedly harassed a woman on social media for seeking an explanation from a Sabah DAP leader over the poor condition of a quarantine centre here has come forward and apologised to her.

The 55-year-old said he was troubled by financial difficulties following the Covid-19 partial lockdown and regretted his actions.

“I would like to extend my deepest regret and apologies. My behaviour was uncalled for and completely unacceptable.

“While I know that it is not an excuse, I am going through a very difficult time and I hope you can forgive me,” he said in an open letter sighted by FMT today.

The man, who identified himself, told FMT he was neither a DAP member nor associated with any other party. State DAP leaders have also denied any involvement with him.

Describing himself as a freelance educator, the man said his behaviour was inappropriate and immature and he should have been respectful to the woman and her family.

Nicole Ava had claimed that she had been sexually harassed by the man over a political dispute involving the Likas quarantine centre posted on the Facebook page of DAP Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin.

Her father made a police report on the incident at the Kota Kinabalu police station as Ava had demanded an explanation from several Sabah DAP leaders over the incident.

Ava had lodged an official complaint to the health department on May 16 on the conditions at the quarantine centre, but no action had been taken.

She said she had wanted to raise her complaints with Chan and responded to his posting on Facebook. She said the online abuse began after that.

When contacted, Ava said she did not accept the man’s apology, adding that there was no guarantee such an incident would not be repeated.

“His apology does not protect defenceless people like us when such an incident happens again.

“The flaw in our sexual harassment Act makes it hard for victims to get deserving justice,” she said.

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