Malaysian Health Minister Resigns After Sex DVD Surfaces

Tod Hunter
SEGAMAT, Malaysia — Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek has resigned after a sex DVD showing him and a woman who is not his wife was circulated in Johor province. Chua, a former physician and once one of Malaysia's fastest rising political stars, was the vice-president of the Malaysian Chinese Association political party (MCA) and a member of Parliament.

Chua said he did not record the video clip, and said the woman in the tape was a "personal friend" but refused to elaborate.

In a press conference before his resignation was announced, Chua said, “Who did it and why is obvious – but it is not important now. What is most important is that my family, wife and children have personally accepted my apology.”

His wife said later in a statement that she and the family would stand by him.

“I have seen Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting and I have personally apologized to them,” he said at the press conference, reading from a one-page statement in which he also apologized to Malaysians, his supporters and colleagues.

After Chua's resignation, MCA President Ong Ka Ting called for an emergency party meeting Wednesday to discuss the scandal, which was seized on by opposition groups that have been known to raise allegations of government immorality and misconduct.

"A key politician has confessed to committing a dirty and disgusting act, but he still continues his work and his allies support him without guilt," a youth wing division of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party said in a statement.

The MCA presidential council strongly condemned those responsible for filming and distributing the DVDs as a blatant intrusion of privacy of a citizen.

“We urge the police to take firm action against the perpetrators and to ensure that those liable are punished,” party president Ong Ka Ting said at a press conference.

Chua said that although so far no police report had been lodged, the Inspector General of Police has personally initiated investigations.

“Of course, as a responsible citizen I will assist in the police investigations. It is a crime to intrude into people’s privacy or into a person’s room,” Chua said.

Asked how his family was coping, Chua asked the press to give him and his family space during this difficult time.