Friday, 4 January 2008

A Minister's Indiscretion

The latest sex scandal involving the Minister of Health, Dr Chua Soi Lek must have set tongues a-wagging, coffee-shops a-buzzing, and lascivious hunters a-searching for copies of the dvds featuring the sexual indiscretion of the honourable minister. Police have started to conduct a blitz on legitimate and illegal video vendors and warned of a house-to-house search. Someone made an interesting observation that it would have been more fruitful if the police had focused on the higher echelon of the MCA leadership.

The minister has been quick to admit his indiscretion to the public, and thus prevented further feverish speculations over who the transgressor is. His confession was admirable.

However, he was initially reluctant to resign voluntarily, explaining that the decision was in the hands of the government, the party and the people. But after having received feedback from the public, he pointedly said, he had decided to relinquish his ministerial post as well as all posts he held in the MCA (the Malaysian Chinese Association, a component part of the ruling coalition government). His resignation must have brought sighs of relief to the government as well as the MCA as it would contain the political fallout that would have resulted from the scandal.

Resigning from his post is a foregone conclusion whether the public forgave him or not. He was visibly disappointed with the 'holier than thou' posture adopted, presumably by some leaders and the general unforgiving reactions of the Malaysian society, but he should have expected it. While some may argue that he has been an effective and a no-nonsense minister and his private life is his own, he is no ordinary citizen and his private life is subject to public scrutiny whether he likes it or not. While ordinary citizens may be forgiven for their sexual transgressions, a minister and for that matter, those who are in public office must be seen to be morally upright. Leaders who violate this unwritten law in a moment of weakness will be punished severely. That is the price they have to pay.

Now that he is a private citizen, how he conducts his private life is of no concern to the public.

Dr. Chua was visibly bitter in a press conference after his 'entrapment' by his political rivals. Should he have said all those things? Read here for more.

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