Thursday, 10 January 2008

Sex and the Politician: In Defense of Chua Soi Lek

From Bakri Musa's Blog

Read here original article by Dr. Bakri Musa


Dr. Bakri Musa

I commend Chua for coming clean so quickly and for maintaining his poise in his press conference. He even displayed a fine sense of humor in inviting the reporters (presumably the females only) to view the tapes with him! However, be careful what you ask for!

Incendiary Racial Component

This being Malaysia, the racial element is never far. Already there are ugly racial stereotype comments and videos posted in blogs and on Youtube. Those would have been pardonable if they were funny; but they were not even that; they were simply crude.

Speculations were that Chua was set up by his many rivals within his party jealous or fearful of his trajectory rise. I wish for the sake of Malaysia that that were true.

If this seems a perversion, consider the alternative, that is, this is the scheming of others within the Barisan coalition, specifically UMNO, fearful of his forceful defense of Chinese causes.

If this were so, then I would say that those UMNO operatives were not very smart in releasing the tapes. I would have kept the video absolutely secret, and then would support him on his leadership drive. When he reaches the top you would have full control of him. To put it in the vernacular, “you have him by the balls.”

This is not far fetched, or a case of my imagination running wild. One of the inflammatory accusations leveled at Tunku (Abdul Rahman) was that he was “too pro Chinese.” He was immune to sexual scandals, so the prevailing thinking then was that the rich Chinese were providing him the necessary cash for him to indulge his expensive hobbies.

Sue the Hotel

Chua should do more. Chua should hire the most skillful and vicious lawyer to sue the hotel for invasion of his privacy and breach of contract. When you rent a hotel room there is an implied contract that you are entitled to its private use.

As those cameras were not portable, the managers should have known they were being installed and thus be liable. I am of course assuming that Chua paid for the room. If the room and its “services” were free (meaning, paid for by someone else) then you get what you pay for.

Even if Chua does not prevail at least he would have the satisfaction of forcing the management to spend money on its legal defense. It might also encourage others who where guests at the hotel, specifically those who had stayed in the same room, to join in the lawsuit.

Chua could not possibly be further damaged by more revelations no matter how kinky. When you have some mud on you, that would be dirt; when you are totally covered, that would be a mud bath, and could be therapeutic. Then it would be those who touched you who would be dirtied.

A vigorous offense is often the best defense.

By suing, Chua could hopefully discourage future voyeuristic hotel operators from indulging their fantasies. That could only be good for our tourist industry. Who knows it might even discourage the government, especially its religious authorities, from snooping around.

Intrusion of Privacy

In a country where an intrusive government could as a law enforcement exercise barge into people’s bedrooms (consider the many khalwat raids), (the following) points bear pondering.
  1. One, what if she had not been a “personal friend” (presumably Chua also has “non-personal friends”) but a foreign intelligence agent, and he, somebody important like a Minister of Defense?
    Rest assured then that she would be very smooth and sophisticated; she would not let herself be blown to pieces or let the tape be released. It would be more valuable kept secret than exposed.
  2. Two, what if my wife and I had stayed in that same room a few days immediately before, when those “technicians” were having their “practice” runs, or a few days later, when their voyeuristic lust is not yet fully satisfied?

    Those peeping toms could not blackmail us of course, but we would have felt violated nonetheless. The hotel would be liable, legally and morally, for the damages suffered by us just as surely as if the management had handed to known thugs duplicate keys to our room.
  3. Last is the sense of perspective. In this escapade two people had great fun, with one subsequently paying dearly with his career. No one was killed, or potentially killed, assuming they engaged in “safe sex.” Yet the police expended considerable resources on the case.
    Meanwhile the recent brutal sex slaying of young Nurin Jazlin remains unsolved and forgotten.

An Old Reliable Tool Used by Governments

The use of pretty girls (and boys too!) to bring down the powerful is nothing new or particularly ingenious. Only the scene, theme actors (and actresses) vary. When such acts are exposed, the end results are equally predictable. Not always, however, much depends on the prevailing norms and the personalities.

The CIA and Soekarno: The American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had secret tapes of Sukarno cavorting with pretty blonds (yes, more than one at a time!) secretly taped presumably on one of his many trips to Washington, DC. In the 1960s when he was lurching far to the left, the CIA discretely let loose those tapes in the cinema halls of Jakarta.

The hope was that those pious Indonesians would be so repulsed as to start a revolution to topple him. Imagine the horror of the embassy folks when the crowd instead cheered their local stud. As one wag put it, “At least one of us got to screw them back, they have been doing it to us for centuries!”

President Kennedy: President Kennedy’s fondness for pretty dames was well known and equally well tolerated if not catered to. Only when he strayed too far and shared his toys with the Mafia bosses were there dismays in the intelligence community.

The Real Threat to National Security

To me the greatest threat to national security is not those sexual scandals that were exposed rather those that are still secret. They would then be a much more formidable weapon.

When Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman signed that defense treaty with Britain following Malaysia’s independence, was that his considered choice or one that was imposed upon him? As it turned out it was a fortuitous decision. It spared the nation from spending heavily on the military and instead used the funds on education.

It would however, been easy for Britain to impose that defense treaty. During his student days there, the Tunku acquired a widely acknowledged taste for fine scotch. Presumably he also acquired the taste for some other fine “things” the British had to offer.

Thus whether the Tunku’s avowedly pro Western stance was the result of his personal conviction or otherwise, we will never know.

A friend of mine was a fast rising political star in a neighboring country. On a visit to France, he suddenly discovered the exquisite taste for French wine and other equally “fine” offerings of Paris. His country’s leader quickly became aware of the potential danger and brusquely put an end to the young man’s political career.

The mark of a wise leader is how well he or she recognizes and thus avoids such a trap.

In not demanding Chua’s immediate resignation, the Prime Minister failed to grasp the threat to the nation of Chua’s extracurricular adventures.

Lee Kuan Yew in his memoir wrote contemptuously of the many joget parties hosted by the Tunku where apparently hookers were readily available. I do not know whether Lee’s indignation arose out of his moral conviction or the fear that he and his boys could be put in potentially compromising situations. Anyway, he was wise to be wary.

Leaders like Sukarno and Kennedy were apparently immune to sexual scandals because everyone knew their weaknesses. When you see a gun enthusiast openly carrying a rifle, you know he is going to the shooting range for some target practice, and nobody would blink an eye.

When you see a seemingly straitlaced guy like an Imam carrying a weapon, everyone’s eyebrows would be raised. You know he would be up to no good, perhaps looking to shoot some wild fowls, or worse, a chicken in a farmer’s barn.

Related Article

From Nadeswaran. Read here for more by "Citizen Nades"

".... For the FIRST time, someone in position and authority owned up for his mistake or folly (whichever way you want to look at it) and took responsibility for it, and quit.

For the FIRST time, a minister resigned alluding to public reaction that his position is no longer tenable.

He openly admitted his wrongdoing and openly sought forgiveness before deciding to do the right thing – quit all positions in the party and the government.

Chua’s resignation must send a strong message not only to our politicians but others holding public office that indiscretion of such nature is not acceptable in our society.

While it is perfectly okay for the French President to spend a dirty weekend with his model-girlfriend in Egypt, the Malaysian public is unlikely to accept the fact that a cabinet minister, an army general or a judge are having a fling with his secretary or if any of them is involved in a gay relationship.

I don’t know Chua personally. I don’t appreciate what he has done to his family.

And a leader with suspect moral values has no place in public office.

But judging from his actions following the revelations of his trysts, I do know that he is a man with conviction, a rare trait in our political ranks.

In this hour of need, his family is with him, and if he needs, there will be thousands of strangers whom he can count on as friends for the bold and noble thing he did.

Let’s give Chua due credit for the highest standards he has set.

But what about all the others before him?

Wastage of public funds and breaking the law are as bad as being caught in bed with a woman other than your wife.

What about the Selangor Economic Development Corporation (PKNS) which admitted in open court that it cut hills and destroyed greenery with impunity? It paid a fine of RM330,000 but what about the directors and the general manager?

They are all sitting on their high horses pretending that nothing had ever happened. Its chairman, despite all the complaints and the rebuke by the Prime Minister, had the audacity to tell Malaysians: “Semuanya Ok!”

What about Datuk Zakaria Md Deros? Let’s not fault the Datin for applying for the land to build the palace in Port Klang. Anyone can apply for state land, but what about the members of the State Executive Council who approved the alienation of the land way below market prices?

What about the president of the Klang Municipal Council who did nothing as the structure came up without approval? Did anyone have any honour or morals or for that matter, decency, to stand up and say: Yes, I erred. I apologise and I resign?

No. They all played the game of passing the buck, which has become the national pastime of our politicians. To them, it is not their fault but someone else’s fault.

What about Zakaria himself? His answer: The people still support me. How did he come to that conclusion? Did he enlist the services of Gallup or AC Nielsen? No. He happens to be the uncrowned king of Klang and he’s untouchable as far as Mr Semuanya Ok is concerned. No shame. No morals, no ethics. Period.

Going by Chua’s standards, the General Manager of the Port Klang Authority would have been an ex-civil servant six months ago.

From Day One, the plan to build a free trade zone a’la Jebel Ali in Dubai was a disaster. Even the purchase of the land was nothing less than scandalous. Today, Malaysian taxpayers have to pay for the cost of the inefficiency, lack of foresight and the manner in which contracts were entered into. It’s not small change or rojak money as one former finance minister described his foray into the stock market. We are talking big bucks – RM4.6 billion and yet, no one has come forward to explain, let alone take responsibility for this colossal loss and do the most honourable thing. Instead, they are all running helter-skelter looking for spin doctors to do damage control.

Similarly, those responsible for the diversion of Telekom Malaysia shares meant for Maika Holdings to private companies are still around, pretending nothing has happened. One is happily domiciled in Australia, popping into Malaysia on and off. At least two others are sitting in Parliament and another is a municipal councillor. But where’s their conscience and can they sleep soundly? No one talked about resignation, no one talked about accountability. They will continue to rule the roost while the rakyat – some clueless and apathetic – continue to suffer.

The list of spineless and unethical people in public office is endless.
They don’t care.

They are not bothered by public opinion. Neither are they bothered by their own conscience.

All they are interested in is themselves.

But Chua’s actions should jolt them and drive some common sense into them. If you fail the people’s trust, you should no longer hold office.

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