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Friday, May 4, 2018

SAPP takes legal action over slanders and lies

KOTA KINABALU - Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) has initiated legal action and lodged police reports against individuals who have allegedly defamed and spread lies about its president, Datuk Yong Teck Lee and other SAPP candidates.

Yong, who is contesting for the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary seat, said his lawyers had so far issued letters of demand to two individuals who had levelled false accusations against him.

"I will defend my reputation with my life.

“So to those who are resorting to dirty tactics and smear campaigns, they better be prepared to defend themselves.”

The first letter of demand is to a man who accused Yong on Facebook of implementing the 15 per cent state sales tax on the sale of lottery tickets.

Yong said the tax was implemented by the Sabah government in 1999, a year after
he had stepped down as Chief Minister.

Another letter of demand has been issued to another man who claimed that 'Yong Teck Lee was sitting comfortably in the backyard of (Tan Sri) Musa Aman’s house
before the 13th general election’.

"This is a repeat of a blatant lie. Such as liar cannot go unpunished,” Yong said in a press conference here yesterday.

He said the letters of demand were to compel both individuals to issue a public apology in nationwide newspapers and on Facebook, and an undertaking of not repeating such postings and a ‘reasonable compensation’.

Asked if the issuance of the letters of demand would seem heavy-handed, Yong said the party was actually giving the individuals a way out by retracting their statements, apologize, make a promise not to do so again and compensate for damage to his

“For people like them, I am not asking for millions,” he said.

Yong said the lawyers were also preparing similar letters of demand to three more individuals, including a Facebook user who had alleged a near punch up between
him and Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) Kota Kinabalu parliamentary seat candidate, Chan Foong Hin, during the Gaya Street walkabout when in fact both
of them had a cordial chat.

He said this was a serious allegation as it could cause heightened tension in the election contest and lead to unnecessary consequences.

He said a letter of demand was also prepared for another Facebook user who allegedly edited a Facebook posting of SAPP member Mary Siah.

Yong claimed that the Facebook user had altered and reposted Mary’s original post ‘Yong Teck Lee: Kemenangan dalam tangan’ to ‘Yong Teck Lee: Poket poket selamat', which translated to 'pocket full of money' in English.

He said another individual who would be getting a letter of demand had shared in the
WhatsApp groups defamatory statements and lies that SAPP’s Luyang candidate Gee Tien Siong and other candidates of the party had been paid by Barisan Nasional (BN).

Siah and Gee have both lodged police reports on the matters.
Yong believed that the concerted onslaught of smear campaigns against SAPP and its candidates was to kill off the idea of Sabah rights and Sabah autonomy.

“But the idea of Sabah rights and Sabah autonomy is very powerful. They cannot kill it. So they try to discredit the people and kill the people behind the idea politically. ”

He added that 80 per cent of the Facebook users who attacked SAPP came from West Malaysia, specifically Kuala Lumpur, Johor, Perak, Penang and some from

If this continues, he said the party might consider suing Facebook as the publisher of such statements.

Yong said the dirty campaigns against SAPP began two weeks before nomination day with a smear video in which a clip featuring himself giving speech was dubbed with a man speaking in foul language.

He claimed that the video originated from certain WhatsApp groups in Tawau.

"We have received information that the culprit for this smear video has since run away from Sabah.”

Yong said election was about people making decisions on where to vote and how to vote based on the truth.

“If they hear the wrong thing and vote according to the wrong thing, the outcome will be wrong.

“ We want to put a stop to all this nonsense.

"Let the rakyat know what parties, which candidates,what they stand for and vote
accordingly,” he stressed.

He said the party had underestimated the impact of such smear tactics on social media in the 2013 general election and the consequence was obvious in the outcome of the election.

“Never again will we allow this to happen because such lies and untruths can wreck the democratic choice of voters.

“We will fight lies with truth. Truth is our weapon of choice.”

From left, Richard Chong, Yong, Gee and Siah at the press conference.

3/05/2018 The Borneo Post By Chok Sim Yee

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