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MP’s glaring blunder in heated radio debate

During a heated clash on 2GB radio, the Liberal MP – who is fighting to retain the seat of Reid – suggested her opponent had tried to run in the Western Sydney seat of Fowler but was pipped at the post.In fact, the woman who was touted as an alternative candidate to Labor frontbencher Kristina Keneally in Fowler was Tu Le, a former Labor staffer and lawyer of Vietnamese heritage.Ms Sitou is Australian born and of Chinese heritage and is not Vietnamese.“You found an opportunity and you couldn’t run in Fowler,’’ Ms Martin told 2GB radio.“Kristina Keneally kicked you out of Fowler too.”At this point in the interview, Ms Sitou shakes her head and accuses the Liberal MP of “making stuff up”.“Now she’s just making things up. I mean, that’s how ridiculous this debate has gotten,’’ Ms Sitou said.“And I’m really sorry that your listeners have had to listen to that. My son goes to the local school. I’m on the P&C. He plays in a local football team. It’s a community that we love. And we are proud to be raising a family there.“People are trying to smear me and question my loyalty to this country. I am an Australian citizen. I grew up on a diet of Home And Away and Neighbours.”She confirmed after the interview she had never stood as a candidate for Fowler.There was another tense moment in the interview where Ms Martin demanded that Ms Sitou explain “where she grew up” after she said she was born and raised in Australia.“Where did you grow up Sally? Where did you grow up?’’ Ms Martin said.Ms Sitou confirmed she grew up in Cabramatta and she “was very proud of that”.In a statement to news.com.au, Ms Sitou called on Ms Martin to apologise.“Earlier today in a candidates’ debate, my opponent Fiona Martin accused me of having previously contested preselection in Fowler,’’ she said.“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 here in Reid.“My opponent either has me confused for a different Asian-Australian, or she is deliberately misleading people.“Either way, she should apologise.”However, Ms Martin told news.com.authat she was not confused.“Sally is a failed Labor candidate for Cabramatta, which is where she grew up,” she said.“That is a fact which she does not dispute.”Ms Sitou was touted in the media as a potential candidate for the NSW state seat of Cabramatta four years ago in 2018 but never ran for the seat.She also never stood for preselection in the seat.Ms Sitou was announced as the candidate for Reid in October 2021.Ms Keneally was confirmed as the candidate for Fowler in September 2021.At the time, retiring long serving member Chris Hayes had been pushing for lawyer Tu Le to replace him, arguing Labor should be doing more to expand cultural diversity.Mr Hayes confirmed tonews.com.au that Ms Sitou had never been considered as a candidate for his seat of Fowler.

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