A Kadir Jasin
[Anonymous comments SHALL NOT BE POSTED. Please use your real name or a suitable pseudonym. Please avoid seditious, defamatory and libelous statements. And, if possible, don’t call anybody bodoh (stupid). Unrelated comments will not be given priority.]
[UPDATE, Jan. 4
Who killed Dr Chua’s political career? In the latest twist, Bernama reported him as blaming his political enemies and the Press.
The National News Agency, in part, reported: "So a lot of people were highly suspicious of my movements, why is this man working so hard meeting members...so he must have a political agenda. He must be ambitious.
"This is made worse by the press. The press will always say Dr Chua is one who may be mounting a challenge against the deputy president, against the president.
"The press helped to kill me, to be honest...so the truth is that the pen is mightier than the sword."
Chua contended that his nationwide travel as Health Minister had prompted his “enemies” to suspect that he was campaigning for a higher post.
But who killed Chua's political career -- the Press or his indiscretion?
Did the Press lied? They did not. They reported fact and had proof.
Had the Press not published the report, would there be the confession and the resignation?
The pen would not be any mightier than the sword had the latter been used responsibly.]
[UPDATE, Reuters and The Star SMS news services reported that Chua Soi Lek has announced his resignation as Health Minister and MCA vice-president.]
TWO “interesting” pieces of news were featured in The Star newspaper on the (Christian) New Year day.
(I deliberately used the term “Christian New Year” because in Malaysia we celebrate several new years each year. On Jan. 10 we will celebrate the Awal Muharam Muslim New Year and Feb. 7 the Chinese Lunar New Year.)
The first interesting news was an un-sourced banner headline entitled “Mega projects and new plans to improve lives of people.”
In appears from the front-page report that the MCA-owned newspaper has taken upon itself to come up with “the good news.”
In the normal circumstances, the mainstream newspapers would be front-paging the Prime Minister’s New Year message. The Star opted to report on Abdullah Ahmad Badawi calling on the people to deny extremists the room to influence or dictate the country's agenda in one of its inside pages.
According to The Star, “The new year will usher in plenty of changes, both in development of infrastructure and in the improvements in people's lives.
Among the significant things taking place are:-
· The Iskandar Development Region in Johor will see 12 mega projects worth at least RM7bil kicking off,
· Amendments to the Youth Associations and Youth Development Act, effective today, will ensure only young people head youth associations, thereby nurturing young leadership,
· Kuala Terengganu will be declared a city today, the first in the East Coast, and
· Proton will be launching a new model. Other changes that will take place include:
· All school students will get free text books,
· The Employee's Provident Fund will allow monthly withdrawals for house loan repayments.
· Single tier income tax regime for companies.”
(I thought the use of the term “mega projects” is a taboo as the present government is not into mega projects, which were supposed to be the mistakes and wastefulness of the Mahathir era.)
Then there was the admission by the Health Minister, Dr Chua Soi Lek, that he was the man – or shall we call it “the actor”? – in a sex DVD now making the rounds in Johor.
According to an update in the online edition of The Star, the MCA Minister told a press conference in Labis, Johor on Tuesday that the girl in the video is his “personal friend”.
He apologised to the Malaysian public, his supporters and colleagues, but adamant that he would not resign and, curiously, leave the decision to the Prime Minister.
That’s nice. He was caught on video doing what a moral man who holds a very important post should not the caught doing. After having been caught and exposed publicly, he conveniently left his fate to the PM to decide.
In a more moral environment, where integrity and propriety matter, a politician in Chua’s situation would have resigned.
The older people and the younger ones who are interested in history may remember the 1963 Prufumo Affair when Lord John Profumo, who was then the British Secretary of State for War, was caught having a brief relationship with a showgirl named Christine Keeler, who was also the mistress of a known Russian spy.
Not only was Prufomo forced to resign, he was also sent to jail. Even the Prime Minister, Harold McMillan, was forced to resign a few months later.
But Chua had not resigned. Instead at the press conference he vowed to continue carrying out his duties as a minister, MP and party leader.
Personally, I don’t think it’s appropriate for Chua to burden the Prime Minister with his problem unless Abdullah has been privy to his waywardness.
I am sure that the Prime Minister was neither involved in Chua’s amorous activities nor in videotaping them.
And let’s also watch the reactions of the Deputy Prime Minister, Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, and the MCA president, Ong Ka Ting, to whom, Chua said, he had extended his personal apology.
According to The Star, the existence of the DVD was first reported by the Chinese language dailies on Sunday and a Bahasa Malaysia daily the following day.