Friday, January 4, 2008

HE CAME HOME TO ROOST

Hantu Laut

Although I have already formed an opinion on the road the Health Minister, Dr Chua Soi Lek should take, I didn't jump on the bandwagon earlier, as I expected the Malaysian blogosphere would be buzzing with lurid tales of his sex scandal and unsolicited opinions on whether he should have stayed in office, resigned or be fired by the prime minister. As usual, the prime minister needed priming before he could make a statement on this scandal, the result of clandestine entrapment by Chua's enemies in the fold.Some elements in MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association) seemed to have special skills in this kind of investigative work, much better than our pathetic police force, where many murders go unsolved.

In spite of his indiscretion, his family including his demure wife stood by him.One very interesting letter from a person named Jeffery posted in Malaysiakini was of the opinion that Chua's sex life is none of our business. He surmised that getting caught inflagrante is a case between him and his wife and family and society have no business to condemn him as long as he has not defaulted in his competence in his ministerial capacity.In most civil society, a public figure is looked upon as a model of moral decency, both in private and public life.

Does a person holding public office become public property ? To a certain degree, yes.If your are married and you have an illicit affair or sexual escapade than your integrity become questionable.Cheating, in whatever form, is not good credential to have while holding public office. If your are not married, it's no body's business, as in the case of Nicholas Sarkozy, the French President.If you are private citizen, your private life is no body's business and if you happen to be married, your indiscretion, is between you, your spouse and your family.

The bold step taken by Chua to come clean and confessed to his infraction has taken a treacherous course, a complete obliteration of his political career. His honesty and his hope of supplication, which he contemplates, would bring him relief from the burden of guilt and some form of forgiveness from the people, has taken the wrong turn, it has, instead, brought him more public ridicule, contempt and demise of his public office. He overestimated the benevolence
of his peers in the party and the ever listening ears of the PM.The opposition leader, Lim Kit Siang theorised that Chua could have been a victim of double betrayal.Was he lured to make the public apology to finally seal the lid on his coffin ? Whoever the mastermind was, he had made a darned good job of dealing a death blow to Chua's political career.

In relinquishing all his party and cabinet posts, he said he didn't expect the overwhelming negative response from the people and for some Malaysians to behave "holier than thou". However, he was proud that he owned up without any hesitation.Overwhelming negative response supplied by Astro and China Press? How accurate was the assessment is anybody's guess.I wonder how and on what basis the opinion poll was conducted?

As far as my memory can take me I can't recalled of any other Malaysian politician that had the guts to own up for his or her misdemeanour. Many have gone unpunished for much bigger crime.We don't seem to have a standard in dealing with errant politicians holding public office, it's kind of different strokes for different folks, the less influential and less needed, would be sacrificed.The case of a Chief Minister having sexual liaison with an underage girl was one case that didn't shook the government or prompted it to investigate, instead it sent a member of the opposition to jail for bringing the case into public domain.The then Prime Minister refused to delve any further into the case, which could have ended in statutory rape, if it was proven true.If I remember well, it was the girl that was taken to court, and sent for rehabilitation.

What Chua did was wrong from moral point of view, but it didn't bring any physical harm or injustice to the general population as much as corruption and abuse of power would have.The only person emotionally hurt would be his wife. She has, for being a devoted husband and good provider, forgiven him.

My premise on this case would not be a pleonasm of disagreement with the sentences agreed upon by his comrades in MCA and the Prime Minister.I think the man was given too many lashes, more than he deserves. The penalty was bigger than the crime.He should just have to resign his ministerial position and be allowed to keep his party position and the elected seat.

Now that Chua's political career is over, would the prime minister leave no stone unturned to get the culprits who illegally made and distributed the video?

It is obvious that in this country 'honesty is not the best policy'.Hypocrisy can save you but honesty will definitely kill you.

4 comments:

Jed Yoong said...

Hi,

Good write-up.

Agree that cheating is frowned upon in society.

Apart from morality, did Chua cheat on his wife? Perhaps his wife has ok-ed it?

Tks.

:)

Hantu Laut said...

Jed Yoong,
Cheating,in whatever form, is not good.Infidelity is common weakness of men and is not a criminal act.

The more despicable crime here is the action of the perpetrators.Knowing the way our police work, high probability they wouldn't find the real culprits.

Zawi said...

HL,
Another great piece from you. Keep up the great work.

Hantu Laut said...

Zawi,
Thanks.See you around.