Forward    Feedback    

Chua’s “biggest mistake” – not to be a laggard like other MCA Ministers and being serious about a new “healthy political culture” like Ministerial responsibility whether over his sex video or the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout scandal

Media Statement          
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Friday): Today’s New Straits Times carried two intriguing and controversial front-page headlines in the aftermath of the Chua Soi Lek sex video scandal: “LET THIS BE A LESSON” and My biggest mistake’”.

The “LET THIS BE A LESSON” headline and NST report (p 6) elicited the common reaction from most readers - “Is Najib the right person to give such a warning?”

The report quoted the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak telling Barisan Nasional leaders and members “to learn a lesson from the resignation of Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek”.

Najib told Barisan Nasional leaders “to behave themselves so as not to embarrass the party”. He said party members must exercise discipline and abide by the code of conduct of the party.

Had Najib set exemplary standards in his political career as to qualify him to issue warning or is he akin to Father Crab teaching Baby Crab to walk straight?

Or was Najib saying that the real lesson to be learnt was not to be caught with the pants down?

The second NST headline “‘My biggest mistake’” – also front page headline of Star “My mistake – Chua blames downfall on hard work” and the Sun “Chua’s biggest mistake” - is equally thought-provoking.

Chua attributed his political downfall to his being too conscientious and hard-working as Health Minister and MCA vice president, to the extent that he gave this unsolicited advice to future Health Ministers – “Please go slow. If you go too fast, you will also be subject to speculation. This is political reality, so I agree with some people that it is the Ministry of Hell, not because of the ministry’s work but because of the political system that we have.”

A heart-felt advice by Chua to his successors to be Health Ministers of mediocrity instead of excellence and distinction?

A very perceptive observation and comment was left on my blog as an off-topic on a thread on January 1, 2008 at 8.47.26 am (more than six hours before Chua’s admission in Labis) raising very pertinent questions not only about the real power-equation in Barisan Nasional but also about the mainstream media, viz:

Scandal of V. K. Lingam video clip - immediate Media Blackout for 2 days when Internet Blogs and Online Bulletins buzzed with its news.

When it involves digital video disc involving a bedroom romp of a person resembling “a senior MCA politician from Johor” being distributed in several places, including Muar and Batu Pahat, this looming sex scandal received immediate mainstream papers’ attention. No Media Blackout ordered pending investigations.

Is the MCA marginalised? Do its office bearer and image deserve less protection judging from no immediate restraint imposed on mainstream media on this scandal as compared to treatment of VK Lingam video?

No wonder Chua said yesterday that he was also “killed” by the press.

On 1st January 2008, New Straits Times carried the front-page headline “Minister in sex-video poser – DVDs being distributed in Johor. State police chiefs warn against possessing or making copies. MCA party chiefs decline to comment…” with a Page 4 lead story “‘MCA minister’s sexual escapade’ caught on tape”. The Star on the same day carried a report “Sex DVDs of ‘politician’ out in Johor” in p 16.

Would the mainstream media reported with equal alacrity the sex DVD scandal if the personality involved had been a key UMNO leader?

To Chua, his “biggest mistake” was not to be a laggard like other MCA Ministers and secondly, being serious about a new “healthy political culture” likes Ministerial responsibility whether over his sex video or the RM4.6 billion PKFZ bailout scandal.

Is the MCA Central Committee meeting next Tuesday capable of proving Chua wrong that the highest decision-making body of the MCA sets high benchmarks for the party’s goal of a new “healthy political culture” and will discuss not only the implications and consequences of Chua’s resignation, but also the biggest financial scandal linked to any MCA Minister in party and nation’s history – the RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) bailout scandal of the MCA Deputy President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy?

Or is the MCA Central Committee of the view that Chan’s RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal is much less serious than Chua’s sex video scandal and can therefore be ignored altogether?

The MCA had ushered in the new year with the general election expected to be held within 80 days with a RM10 million government 'bonus' to Chinese schools nationwide, which was announced by the MCA President Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting at a ceremony at MCA headquarters last week giving out RM6.32 million to 33 primary and secondary Chinese schools.

What is the paltry RM10 million compared to the RM4.6 billion squandered away in the PKFZ bailout scandal – as without the PKFZ scandal, the bulk of the RM4.6 billion which could be disbursed to Chinese primary and secondary schools for their development to make up for the decades of government neglect and discrimination suffered by Chinese schools!

Let all Malaysians await the outcome of the MCA Central Committee on Tuesday as to whether it is prepared to take a stand on the RM4.6 billion PKFZ scandal, such as asking Chan to set up a public inquiry to establish his innocence of any abuse of power, misuse of public funds or any Ministerial wrongdoing, failing which Chan should be instructed to tender his resignation as Transport Minister and from all government and party posts.

It has been reported that the police in Muar and Batu Pahat would launch a massive operation to nab those involved in distribution and in possession of Chua’s sex DVDs.

Muar Police Chief Asst Comm Mohammad Nasir Ramli said the operation would include door-to-door searches of residents suspected to be in possession of the banned material.

The police must be forewarned that it should lay off any door-to-door searches purportedly to nab those in possession of the sex DVDs. By all means, go all out to bring to book those responsible for the crime of invasion of privacy and for distributing the sex DVDs – but the police would be turning the populace against the government for any trespass to private property in a house-to-house search for the sex DVD as this would be a gross abuse and misuse of police powers, transforming the country into a police state.

I call on the Prime Minister and Internal Security Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to issue a clear instruction forbidding any house-to-house search by the police. All MCA Cabinet Minister should also speak up to oppose any such house-to-house police search operation. I am sure Chua would not agree to any such house-to-house trespass by the police purportedly to search for his sex DVDs.


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

Your e-mail:

Your name: 

Your friend's e-mail: 

Your friend's name: