Besieged Liberal MP Gladys Liu earlier this week “could not recall” her now-confirmed links to various Chinese groups, but it’s not the first time the Victorian politician’s memory has failed her.
The Victorian federal MP, who was elected in May, is under fire after media reports claimed she had formerly belonged to groups with links to China’s foreign influence operations.
On Wednesday, she admitted she had been a member of several of the groups, less than 24 hours after she said she could not recall that fact in a bizarre interview.
“I can tell you that I cannot recall if, as is reported, that from 2003-2015 – 12 years long – that if I can’t recall, I can’t be an active member of that council, can I?” she told Sky News.
“I can tell you that I have never been a member of this council and, yeah, it can happen. They can put your name there without your knowledge.”
Liu made the admission the next day and said she could’ve “chosen her words better” but it was “offensive” to suggest she was disloyal to Australia.
“I am a proud Australian, passionately committed to serving the people of [my electorate], and any suggestion contrary to this is deeply offensive,” she said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison backed Liu on Thursday and said the scrutiny of the MP had a “grubby undertone”.
“Gladys is a Chinese-born Australian. Does that make her in cahoots with the Chinese Government? Of course not,” Morrison said.
Gladys Liu said Chinese people believe homosexuality will ‘destroy the next generation’
Five months ago, Gladys Liu also caused confusion during the 2019 election campaign with comments characterising LGBTIQ issues as “ridiculous rubbish”.
Speaking to the Guardian in 2016, Liu said “Chinese believe same-sex marriage is against normal practice”.
“The Chinese people come to Australia because they want good education for their children, good environment,” she said.
“They want good things for their next generation, not to be destroyed – they use the word destroyed – by these sort of concepts of same-sex, transgender, intergender, crossgender and all this rubbish.
“To them they are just ridiculous rubbish.”
When the comments surfaced during the election campaign, Liu called the story was “fake” and “wrong”. But the Guardian published audio of the exchange, forcing the candidate to backtrack.
She said she was only conveying the views of Chinese-Australians and not her own, adding she “firmly supports equality across our community.”
Liberal MP Gladys Liu campaigned against Safe Schools program
In 2016, Liu campaigned against Victoria’s Safe Schools anti-bullying program as head of the Liberal Party’s Victorian community engagement committee.
Liu backed a petition that year to “stop Safe Schools programs teaching our children homosexual ideas and practice” and “stealing our children from our own culture”.
She told The Age in 2016 that the anti-bullying program “will change society and the moral standard [of] the culture”.
“It’s not only directly affecting students, but will affect the makeup and future of our society,” she said.
Liu was reportedly involved in the 2013 election campaign.
The Guardian reported she ran a social media campaign on Chinese platform WeChat opposing same-sex marriage and the Safe Schools program.
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