However using 'errand boy' Chua to discredit Lim and woo the Chinese voters in Penang is not a viable move.
MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek is going all out to stay in the good books of his âbossâ, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, so much so that this doctor-turned-politician has forgotten how to âthinkâ.
In his latest antics, Chua has taken to pestering Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng about the latter’s alleged affair with his former staff.
Both Lim and his wife Betty Chew have vehemently denied the allegation, with Chew, who is the Kota Laksamana state rep, describing MCA as resorting to gutter politics.
Chua seems hell-bent on wanting Lim to openly deny the alleged affair; just what is Chua, a former health minister, up to, challenging the DAP secetary-general to own up to the so-called affair?
Is the motive here to character-assassinate Lim and declare him unfit to serve the people of Penang? Or is the aim here to shame DAP vis-Ă -vis Lim and halt any support coming the party’s way, especially in view of the coming general election?
Najib, who is also Barisan Nasional head, has made no secret of wanting to snatch Penang back from DAP come the 13th general election and it seems that the âLim affairâ marks a hopelessly desperate attempt by BN to do so.
Using âerrand boyâ Chua to woo the Chinese voters in Penang is not a viable move. The Penangites, with the exception of the pro-BN and hardcore Umno loyalists, are pleased with how Lim has been administering the city.
Does the fact that the people of Penang prefer Lim instead of the BN politicians to remain as their chief minister scare the federal government, giving it sleepless nights wondering what best âstrategyâ to despatch in ending DAP’s hold over Penang?
Chua long sold to BN
It is somehow both amusing and annoying to put up with Chua’s âholier-than-thouâ attitude in taking on the BN âassignmentâ of âkill Lim, kill DAPâ.
It was not very long ago that in 2008, Chua, a father of three, admitted to an extramarital affair after he was literally caught with his pants down, getting intimate with a much younger woman whom he later described as a “personal friend”.
Then responsible for the health ministry portfolio, Chua refused to resign as minister after his sexual tyrst went viral. It was only after he was âadvisedâ by BN that Chua very reluctantly tendered his resignations as minister, as the MP for Labis and also as vice-president of MCA.
But then the lure of power was too strong and this 65-year-old returned to active politics in the later part of 2008, outnumbering the then MCA chief Ong Tee Keat in 2010 to take over as party president.
It is the misfortune of this nation that politicians like Chua never learnt their lesson and keep on doing what they know best â barking rhetorics. Chua is adamant that Lim comes clean about the alleged affair; in hindsight, did Chua do so when the DVDs of his sex scandal first made their rounds?
Besides, does Chua have nothing worthwhile to do apart from partaking in smear campaigns against Lim? Or is this one task the BN or maybe Umno has âentrustedâ him with?
Where was Chua when in April 2008 his former colleague, the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Jamaludin Jarjis was reported to have outraged the modesty of a promoter in a lounge at a five-star hotel?
There was not even a murmur when Umno’s âfavouriteâ lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah allegedly succeeded in getting the girl to withdraw her statutory declaration over the episode, making her appear as the guilty one.
Did it make Chua’s blood boil when a former chief minister had allegedly raped a minor and denied any wrongdoing, shifting all blame on the girl instead.
Well, it made Lim’s blood boil so much so that he decided to go all out and help the girl after the child’s grandmother turned to Lim, then the MP for Kota Laksamana for assistance.
Lim’s criticism on how the government handled the alleged statutory rape landed him in jail in 1994. While the Attorney-General found no reason to press charges against the alleged perpetrator, it however found every excuse in the book to charge Lim under Section 4(1) (b) of the Sedition Act 1948 for causing âdisaffection with the administration of justice in Malaysiaâ.
Lim was also charged under Section 8A (1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 with âmaliciously printingâ a pamphlet containing allegedly âfalse informationâ , describing the alleged rape survivor as an âimprisoned victimâ because she was initially detained by police without parental consent for 10 days.
For his effort in trying to seek justice for the girl, Lim ended up doing 12-months of jail time and finally saw the light of the day on Aug 25, 1999. His incarceration barred him fom standing for election to public office for five years, making Lim ineligible to contest in the 2004 general election.
Would Chua have dared stick his neck out to save a woman’s honour?
Chua can challenge Lim to as many debates as he wants, hoping he will emerge victorious in shaming and defeating Lim, son of DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang, before the rakyat of Malaysia in general and Penangites in particular.
The debates, be they on sex scandals or DAP so-called inefficiency in managing Penang, will remain just that â debates if the rakyat is wise enough in detecting the BN-MCA hidden agenda behind such altercations.
Instead of wasting time and resources trying to run down the opposition through debates, it would serve the country so much better if the BN pact gave more thought on producing caring leaders, in the true sense of the word.
Jeswan Kaur is a freelance writer and a FMT columnist.