KOTA KINABALU: Candidates for the Likas seat here have banded together against smear campaign tactics during the state elections.
Veteran politician and independent candidate Melanie Chia and Daniel Isaac Hoong from Usno appeared at the Karamunsing police station in support of Parti Cinta Sabah’s Jeff Lu Siau Wee, who earlier filed a police report over a “sex video” implicating him.
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“We have already decided since from the start on nomination day, that there will be no slander, no cyberbullying or keyboard warriors, that is why we have the WhatsApp group among us seven candidates of Likas seat.
“It was to keep watch of each other so we would be fair and square in competing and let the best (candidate) win. But over the past two weeks, on and off there were some smear campaigns, ” said Chia, who is a former SAPP deputy president.
Hoong was among the first to experience this, since the day after nomination, where caricatures depicting him in the company of girls, drugs and alcohol began circulating on social media.
“I was advised to make a police report but mine I still can accept, so in a video, I dared them to make more comics and evidence. Then the thing stopped, ” he said.
However, Hoong said the smear tactic involving Lu was a serious one.
Lu, who was accompanied by wife Andrea Oo Yong to the police station, said he learned about the video - combining his pictures and snippets possibly taken from a porn site - from a friend who got it from a group chat.
“I always thought politics can be dirty but who knew it can be this bad, ” said Andrea who said she knew it wasn't him just a few seconds after watching the video.
She said since the culprits could not offer him money or “buy him” as he is financially stable, the only thing they can threaten him is by ruining his family’s relationship.
“I believe this is not how we want to do politics. The most important people in my life are my family.
“If my family can trust me, I believe the public also can trust me, ” Lu said, adding that the rest of the candidates were informed via their "Clean Likas" group chat but were unable to attend as they have prior campaign programmes arrangements.
Other than Chia, Hoong and Lu, the Likas seat is also being contested by Barisan Nasional’s Dr Chang Kee Ying, incumbent Tan Lee Fatt (DAP - Warisan Plus), Chong Chee Vui (PPRS) and Sim Fui (LDP) in a seven-cornered fight.
Earlier this week on Tuesday (Sept 22), Dr Chang had also lodged a police report after being a victim of fake nude pictures circulated on social media.
“There is no need for such tactics in Sabah elections.
“Sabahans do not need to resort to hate politics, which is not our culture, ” added Chia who recalled going through a similar smear campaign in the 2013 elections.
Lu said they plan to get to the bottom of this and follow up on investigations after the police report.
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