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“This is defamation, I have never made such an utterance” -Christina Liew

KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Christina Liew has categorically denied the allegation that she has said the State Government has begun to take measures to address the problem of stateless children, particularly from the Filipino refugees who fled to Malaysia in the 1970s due to the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) conflict in the Southern Philippines.

She stressed that this is totally untrue and tantamount to smearing of her reputation as a minister and politician.

A copy of the graphic that has been circulating in social media now has been stamped with the word “FITNAH” (Defamation). SNT Pix/Credit Ministry of Tourism

“I have never made such an utterance. Do refrain from putting words into my mouth. It is ‘fitnah’ (defamation) of the highest degree. I will not hesitate to take legal action against the news portal responsible for churning out this baseless report (which has gone viral).

“Let me warn them that it does not pay to indulge in gutter journalism. Whoever has distorted facts to create this unfounded story is most mischievous, unethical and irresponsible, and may have to pay a heavy price for slandering me,” she said in a statement, Tuesday.

Liew, who is also Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, was commenting on a posting on social media during the recent Sandakan Parliamentary by-election that she had suggested giving citizenship status with priority to Filipino refugees’ stateless children.

“That’s absolute nonsense,” she pointed out.

Meanwhile, the Minister attributed DAP candidate Vivian Wong’s landslide victory in the just-concluded Sandakan Parliamentary by-election to the efforts of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Pakatan Harapan (PH).

“It has been widely acknowledged that Datuk Seri Shafie is instrumental in ensuring Vivian’s maiden electoral victory insofar as garnering of support from the Muslim Bumiputera electorate in Sandakan is concerned,” Liew said.-SabahNewsToday