KUALA LUMPUR, July 4 — Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek praised himself today for having what he claimed was the courage to quit all political posts in 2008 after he was secretly filmed having sex with his lover, hours after DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng deflected allegations of sexual impropriety from his Barisan Nasional (BN) rivals by pointing out that “Lim Guan Eng is not Chua Soi Lek.”
“It is indeed that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is not like me because I have the courage and political moral (sic) to be responsible and bear the consequences,” Dr Chua, the MCA president, said in a statement.
He also challenged his DAP political rival to quit politics just as he had.
The former health minister was forced to resign from his government and political positions ahead of Election 2008 after video recordings of his trysts were leaked.
“Will Lim Guan Eng have the courage like me to admit fault, apologise and resign from my ministerial post as well as all my positions in the party?” he asked.
Dr Chua, who is seeking to contest in the 13th general elections, suggested that Lim was “hiding” the truth.
“If Lim Guan Eng has nothing to hide, why was he so paranoid and agitated when asked to comment about an alleged relationship between him and his former Chief Minister Office staff?
“It is obvious that the Chief Minister has no courage to face the issue when he refused to answer to the allegation and threatened to sue whichever media that reports about it,” he said.
Lim, the Penang chief minister, had answered an allegation brought up by an MCA man in the Malacca state assembly on Monday, by denying that he was having a secret affair with a former aide, saying he was not like political rival Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.
The Penang chief minister also challenged today an MCA Malacca state lawmaker to relinquish his immunity and repeat openly the allegations against him and his wife, which Lim denounced as the ruling BN’s smear campaign against him ahead of national polls due within a year.
“I have no close or secret relationship with my former staff. My wife has never assaulted me or anyone in her life.
Will Lim Guan Eng have the courage like me to admit fault, apologise and resign from my ministerial post as well as all my positions in the party? — Chua Soi Lek
“Let MCA repeat their allegations publicly so that my wife and [I] can prove in court that, ‘Lim Guan Eng is not Chua Soi Lek!’,” he said in a statement.
The allegations had surfaced on a blog believed to be sponsored by MCA supporters.
The blog was set up last year and primarily contains attacks against the DAP and other opposition parties. It is anonymously written.
On Monday, Malacca MCA chief Datuk Gan Tian Loo had accused Lim of having an affair with an aide and demanded the DAP secretary-general’s wife and Malacca assemblyman, Betty Chew, address allegations that she had beaten up the woman, resulting in the latter’s transfer from the Penang CM’s office.
Today, Lim said Gan had abused his assemblyman privileges by making the remarks inside the state assembly, which affords him legal immunity for claims made within.
“I want Gan to repeat his allegations outside (the assembly) so that my wife and [I] can file a legal suit against him for defamation for making such ‘kurang ajar’ or uncouth remarks.
“If Gan fails to do so, then he has shown himself to be a coward who is unfit to be a leader, an exco member and a wakil rakyat (assemblyman),” he said.
Dr Chua stepped down as health minister and MCA vice-president in 2008 after admitting he was the man in a secretly recorded video which showed him having sex with his lover.
But he made a political comeback later to win the party’s deputy presidency after the MCA’s top two leaders resigned due to its poor showing in Election 2008. The party won just 15 of 40 federal and 31 of 90 state seats it contested.
The party subsequently sacked Dr Chua in August 2009 over the sex scandal, sparking an extraordinary general meeting where a vote of no confidence in Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat was passed.
Dr Chua became MCA president in March 2010 in fresh elections where he saw off Ong and former president Tan Sri Ong Ka Ting.
His sex scandal continues to hound him, however, with many in MCA still embarrassed by his affair and his predecessor Ong pointing out last year that he is not fit to stand for election.