JOHOR BARU, Nov 8 — DAP Johor parliamentarian Teo Nie Ching issued a public apology on her official Facebook page this evening over a post with offensive wording that was intended to encourage Melaka voters to head to the ballot box on November 20.
Earlier today, the Kulai MP came under fire on social media for using a photo frame with the slang word “lahabau”, which, according to Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, is an expletive that originated in Melaka and means “useless”.
The offending photo frame on the 40-year-old former deputy education minister’s Facebook page was removed after it sparked heated criticism from the public who questioned her lack of understanding of the language’s context.
In a statement, Teo said the main reason for her mistake was due to Pakatan Harapan (PH) staff not getting enough rest as they raced against the clock to prepare campaign material for the Melaka state election.
“In the excitement of this social media campaign, many PH staff, especially from DAP, barely got enough sleep in their efforts to prepare the campaign materials.
“However, human beings are never free from mistakes, including myself. As a result, there was an embarrassing language error through social media,” she said on her Facebook page about an hour after she uploaded the much-criticised photo frame.
Teo apologised to all, especially those in Melaka, explaining that she had used a free photo frame found on Facebook without understanding the true meaning of the word “lahabau”.
“With this, I humbly apologise for the mistake of preparing and uploading campaign materials that have misused the language,” she said, adding that she will be more careful in the future.