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
by Lim Kit Siang
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
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:
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
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
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.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman