A couple of hours ago, the MCA Presidential Council sacked party deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek from all party positions and as member of the party.
The Council which met for five hours on Wednesday night, accepted the recommendations of the party's disciplinary board. The board recommended that Dr Chua be expelled "for bringing disrepute to the party" as a result of a sex DVD involving him.
On Aug 4, the MCA discipinary board had met following a complaint by Simpang Renggam MCA division chairman Eng Cheng Guan over the sex DVD involving Dr Chua.
The board went on with the inquiry despite Eng withdrawing the complaint.
To me, it looks like a double jeopardy for Dr Chua.
On Jan 1, 2008, Dr Chua admitted that he was the man featured in the sex DVD and that the lady involved was a personal friend. He took pains to resign from all government and party posts.
MCA was then led by Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting. Under Ka Ting's leadership, MCA found Dr Chua's resignation as Health Minister and party vice-president as sufficient. No punishment was meted out.
However, the matter re-surfaced when Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat took over as party president in October last year. Despite the fact that Eng withdrew his complaint, the Presidential council adopted it.
It doesn't seem right to me. Granted that Dr Chua's tryst is unbecoming of a national leader, but he came out in the open and admitted his mistake. And he was gentleman enough to resign from the Cabinet and as vice-president of the party. This is not something many politicians in Malaysia will do even if they are caught with their pants down (no pun intended).
Dr Chua did not wait for others to punish him. He punished himself. After he had served his "sentence", the party finds it fit to punish him all over again. If this is not double jeopardy, I don't know what is.
The Presidential Council and the disciplinary board may comprise senior members of the party, but they do not represent the voice of the majority. A good number of MCA members do support Dr Chua and have forgiven him for his sins. It was this support that enabled Dr Chua to win the Deputy Presidency in the recent MCA elections. Dr Chua's supporters should never be taken for granted.
"Tarnishing the party's image is a very serious crime. I'm lucky they didn't sentence me to death. Gantung (sampai) mati," Dr Chua was heard telling reporters as he left the meeting of the presidential council, midway.
My name is Mohd Ashraf Abdullah. I was born and raised in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. I am a journalist at heart. I served the New Straits Times as a journalist for 17 years, beginning as a cadet reporter in 1988. I was trained to be a political writer. I served the NST in various capacities including as Staff Correspondent of the Kuantan Bureau and London Correspondent. I resigned as News Editor in 2004 to join Golden Hope Plantations Berhad as Deputy General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. Two years later I was made General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. When Golden Hope and Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad were merged with Sime Darby Berhad in November 2007, I chose not to accept the offer of employment by the merged entity. I was a scholar of the British Government and possess a Masters Degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I am also a Jefferson's Fellow of the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.