Wed, 03 Jun 2020

Chinese-Australian MP Makes History in Australia

Voice of America
11 Jun 2019, 04:06 GMT+10

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - The first ever Chinese-Australian female federal MP is being accused of using dirty tactics, including misleading campaign material, in the May 18 poll. Gladys Liu, who won the crucial multicultural seat of Chisholm in Victoria for the center-right government, denies any wrongdoing.

Liu said her election victory would bring greater diversity to Australian politics. She's the first Chinese-Australian woman to become a member of federal parliament's lower chamber, the House of Representatives.

However, she could face a by-election against her Chinese-Australian rival, Jennifer Yang, from the opposition Labor party.

It is understood her opponents will argue that Liu's campaign posters were designed to confuse voters into voting for her.

But she says she has done nothing wrong.

"There were many, many attempts to bring me down through the media including ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp.), including many other media channels. Yes, I feel that there were a lot of nitty gritty, some minor things or even non-issues and some lies as well. So the good thing is it has trained me, got me to stay focused."

Liu, a former speech pathologist, was born in Hong Kong, and migrated to Australia 30 years ago. Her parents were manual workers in China, who moved to Hong Kong in the early 1960s. Liu's Melbourne constituency is one of Australia's most marginal; she won by 1,100 votes.

She has courted controversy in the past. In a newspaper interview she said many Chinese-Australians "believe same-sex marriage is against normal practice."

In December, Pierre Yang, a Chinese-born Labor lawmaker in the Western Australian state parliament, was forced to tearfully deny press reports that suggested he had links to China's Communist Party.

Australia's most high-profile politician with Chinese ancestry is the Labor Senator Penny Wong. She was born in Malaysia to an Australian mother and a Malaysian father of Chinese origin. She moved to Adelaide in South Australia when she was eight.

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