Apparently all Asian Australians “looalike” in Australia. For the longest time different Asian Australians have been mistaken for others. Recently, Independent candidate for Fowler and Deputy Mayor for Fairfield in Sydney’s south west Dai Le was mistaken for Tu Le, who was the Labor hopeful for Fowler before Kristina Keneally was parachuted into the seat. And now, Labor candidate for Reid Sally Sitou has been mistaken for Tu Le again, by incumbent MP Fiona Martin.
This all happened yesterday in a debate between the two candidates on 2GB Radio. Martin made the accusation, which came out of nowhere that “Kristina Keneally kicked you out of Fowler too”, which was in reference to the situation of Keneally getting parachuted into the seat of Fowler over local rank and file favourite Tu Le. Shocked by the comments, Sitou was very composed and questioned Martin over this bogus and sensationalist comment. Martin then doubled down again and started to question Sitou as to where she grew up etc.
Sitou grew up in Cabramatta and is now raising her own family in Reid, and said this:
“Didn’t want to raise this but I chose to live in this electorate because I love the community”.
Here is more of the exchange:
“I grew up in Reid,” Martin said. “I went to school at Five Dock and Strathfield.”
Sitou then asked “Where do you live?”, with Martin saying she lives “very close by” and trying to validate her own existence by saying she has “deep roots” in Reid. Martin in actual fact rents in Ryde which sits in the electorate of Bennelong, so it ain’t Reid.
Martin then continued down the dark deep tunnel and said that Sitou:
“Found an opportunity” and “couldn’t run in Fowler”. “Kristina Keneally kicked you out of Fowler too.”
Sitou pretty much with class stated that everything Martin said is “ridiculous” and later tweeted that she “never sought to run in Fowler”, and said:
“My opponent either has me confused for a different Asian-Australian, or she is deliberately misleading people.”
Till today, Martin has not apologised but did issue some comments to the Guardian:
“Sally grew up in Fowler. Keneally reportedly declined Reid and went for Fowler. I think it makes sense to want to represent the area you grew up in or where you have a long association. Sally’s association with Reid is less than three years total.”
Martin, just fess up and apologise!
Additional images via 2GB