Cops arrest Sabah politician accused of sexual misconduct by Unduk Ngadau pageant contestant

Philip Among (left) with lawyer Marcel Jude Joseph. — Picture  by Julia Chan
Philip Among (left) with lawyer Marcel Jude Joseph. — Picture by Julia Chan

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KOTA KINABALU, June 3 — A politician who was accused of sexual assault by a contestant in a pageant that he organised was arrested by the police today.

The police came to pick up Sabah Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku’s former Putatan parliamentary coordinator Philip Among midway through a press conference that he was giving at about 12.30pm.

They spoke to him for about half an hour at the location before taking him to the police station for further questioning.

Police commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali confirmed the arrest, saying that it was “normal procedure” for such investigations.

Among, who said he would voluntarily go with the police, was in the middle of telling reporters that he was innocent of all allegations and would sue the two people — the pageant contestant and a Rela officer — who lodged reports against him.

“I strongly deny claims of sexual harassment, that is why I am filing this suit. Also, against the Rela security. We were prevented from going into KDCA on the night of the event and he twisted the story to turn himself into the victim. That is why I am filing two suits and all those who are making these allegations go viral,” he said.

Among, who was technical leader in the Unduk Ngadau pageant, said that he was the victim of a political conspiracy, for being a politician and for his involvement with a popular beauty pageant. 

“Since my appointment (in the party) I have tried to do much good to the community. As a result, I have received a lot of support. But also a lot of people are jealous and willing to resort to gutter politics to harm and destroy me. There is an enemy outside,” he said. 

“The report on sexual molestation is utterly untrue,” he said, claiming that the contestant’s decision to make the report two days after the alleged incident was “clearly an afterthought”. 

“Why make the false report two days later? I am very disappointed and sad that she has resorted to this kind of unlawful action,” he said. 

“I am a victim of slander and fake news. I think this is due to me being a politician and an organiser of one of the grandest pageants around, so certain people are not happy about it,” he added. 

Among said that he was filing the suits to protect his name from being further dragged through the mud. 

He said he could not divulge many details as the case was under investigation. He, however, spoke at length about the report against him by the security officer, claiming he was only doing his job to protect the interests of the event. 

Yesterday, Among was stripped of his position in the party pending investigations. The firestorm began after a police report surfaced on social media where a contestant claimed he had taken her to his car and groped her back, neck, thighs and hands. 

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