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Chan Kong Choy should learn from Chua Soi Lek by taking responsibility for the RM 4.6 billion Port Klang Free Trade Zone scandal


Press Statement

by Lim Guan Eng



(Petaling Jaya, Thursday): Datuk Dr Chua Soi Lek’s resignation from all his political posts, MP for Labis and Minister for Health to take full responsibility for his role in the DVD sex scandal has attracted some public sympathy and recognition. Dr Chua said that, “Because my character is that I dare to fight, I dare to say and I dare to bear responsibility to the people.”

Owning up to one’s own mistake has been rare and an elusive event amongst BN politicians. Dr Chua has gained back some respect for his readiness to give up his political career without having to put both his family, party and the BN government into prolonged crisis and painful trauma should he stubbornly hang on. As Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth, “Nothing in his life became him like his leaving it”.

However the manner of the secret recording of Datuk Dr Chua’s sexual escapade only indicates the internal power struggle within MCA. Dr Chua refused to entertain any speculations of who set him up with the secret recording beyond saying that such tactics are not part of the oft-repeated “healthy political culture” of MCA President Datuk Ong Ka Ting.

Chua’s supporters were not so reticent. Johor MCA Deputy Chair and Labis MCA Division Chair Tan Kok Hong complained that Chua was “stabbed from behind by certain parties who want to destroy Chua politically” and pointedly urged MCA (not the police) to act against those involved in the production and distribution of the DVDs.

BN Ministers should take heed of Dr Chua’s parting words, “However, I hope my resignation is based on a moral issue and becomes a lesson to party leaders whether in MCA or other Barisan Nasional components. And I think whoever makes mistakes, or has weaknesses, that he as a leader should be responsible.”

Transport Minister Datuk Chan Kong Choy should learn from Chua’s example by taking full responsibility for the RM 4.6 billion Port Klang Free Trade Zone (PKFTZ) scandal. Chan had exceeded his Ministerial powers in signing financial undertakings giving government guarantees to the contractor in the RM 4.6 billion Port Klang Free Trade Zone scandals. By signing such guarantees he should not have signed, the public had to fork out questionable cost-overruns increasing the cost of the project to RM 4.63 billion from the original estimate of RM 1.1 billion.

Chua Soi Lek’s moral indiscretion has hurt his reputation and his family. But he has not caused any financial losses or damage to the country’s legal institution or rule of law. On the other hand Chan’s unlawful actions have caused severe loss of public funds, betrayed public trust and exposed Malaysia to higher risk exposure. And yet no action was taken by Chan or Chan required bearing full responsibility and accounting for his performance. Are there double-standards where a moral indiscretion of a sexual nature that causes no loss of public funds is unforgivable whereas it does not matter if there is corruption involving public funds?


* Lim Guan Eng, Secretary-General of DAP

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