The Sabah politician accused of molesting a beauty contestant is under police custody.
Phillip Among from the STAR political party was picked up by the police at around 1pm yesterday after he held a press conference with his lawyer Marcel Jude, denying accusations he sexually assaulted the unnamed contestant of the Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan beauty pageant. Sabah police commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said today that Among was being investigated for using criminal force to outrage the modesty of a person, which carries maximum penalties that include 10 years’ imprisonment, fine, and caning.
At yesterday’s press briefing, Among said he planned to sue his accusers and others who published those allegations.
“I have instructed my lawyers to initiate court proceedings against the two individuals together with certain publishers,” he was quoted as saying, adding: “I will also be filing further suits against those who published these malicious stories on the internet, including on WhatsApp.”
The beauty contestant reported Among to the police on May 21, two days after he allegedly groped several parts of her body after taking her to his office. The contestant, who competed in the pageant on May 31, shared the police report online. Separately, an officer from the People’s Volunteer Corps, or RELA, filed a police report against Among on Wednesday for verbal abuse after he allegedly shouted at the officer who was telling him to wear a mask and name tag.
Among described the accusations as “a fabrication intended to hurt and damage me, my family and my personal and public reputation” and that they were “part of a political conspiracy.”
The police picked Among up at his office after the press conference took place. STAR has since removed him as Putatan parliamentary coordinator.