MP in Asian-Australian candidate mix-up refuses to apologise


The Liberal MP who appeared to mistake her Labor opponent for a completely different Asian-Australian woman has refused to apologise.

Yesterday Fiona Martin accused her opponent Sally Sitou of running in the seat of Reid because she hadn’t been pre-selected in Fowler.

“You found an opportunity and you couldn’t run in Fowler. Kristina Keneally kicked you out of Fowler too,” Martin said.

Reid MP Fiona Martin was involved in a heated debate with her Labor rival, Sally Sitou where she has been accused of confusing the Labor candidate with another Asian-Australian woman.
Reid MP Fiona Martin was involved in a heated debate with her Labor rival, Sally Sitou where she has been accused of confusing the Labor candidate with another Asian-Australian woman. (2GB)

Sitou never sought pre-selection in Fowler, but another high-profile Asian-Australian woman, Tu Le, did.

Reid is one of the Liberal Party’s most marginal seats and is one of the most Asian in the country.

“I have never sought to run for Fowler. I live in Reid, my son goes to school in Reid, and I am excited by the opportunity to represent my community,” Sitou tweeted yesterday.

“My opponent either has me confused for a different Asian-Australian, or she is deliberately misleading people.

 “Either way, she should apologise.”

In a Facebook post made today, Martin invoked her heritage as the granddaughter of Greek migrants.

“My record makes clear I would never direct a racial slur at anyone. There is no place for racism in Australia and it should be called out.

“I won’t be distracted by desperate political games played by the Labor Party and its seat-shopping candidates.”

Sally Sitou is running in Reid, which includes some of the most Asian suburbs in Sydney.
Sally Sitou is running in Reid, which includes some of the most Asian suburbs in Sydney. (Flavio Brancaleone)

After the gaffe, Martin said she was referring to Sitou being considered a candidate for the state seat of Cabramatta in 2018.

While Sitou did not run for Cabramatta, her name was mentioned as a possibility by Labor insiders.

Kristina Keneally, who Martin referenced, was never in consideration for the state seat of Cabramatta.

Fiona Martin has refused to apologise to Sally Sitou.
Fiona Martin has refused to apologise to Sally Sitou. (Kate Geraghty)

Questioned earlier today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison came to Martin’s defence.

“Dr Martin has already made statements on that issue today, and no, that wasn’t the case,” he told reporters.

“She made that statement clear.”

Reid is one of the Liberal Party’s most marginal seats and has one of the highest number of Asian-Australian voters in the country.

Fiona Martin is running for re-election in one of the most marginal seats in the country.
Fiona Martin is running for re-election in one of the most marginal seats in the country. (Brook Mitchell)

“I have never sought to run for Fowler. I live in Reid, my son goes to school in Reid, and I am excited by the opportunity to represent my community,” Sitou tweeted yesterday.

“My opponent either has me confused for a different Asian-Australian, or she is deliberately misleading people.

 “Either way, she should apologise.”

Reid is located in Sydney’s inner-west, taking in suburbs like Ashfield, Auburn, Five Dock, Homebush and North Strathfield.

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The division of Fowler, located further west in Sydney, takes in suburbs like Cabramatta, Fairfield, Guildford and Liverpool.

Read the full article at: 9news.com.au


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