Thursday, January 3, 2008

Minister resigns over sex tape scandal - AFP

From correspondents in Kuala Lumpur

MALAYSIA'S former health minister accused his political "enemies" of orchestrating the release of a video showing him having sex with an unidentified woman in a hotel room.

The scandal engulfing Chua Soi Lek, 61, who resigned Wednesday, is the latest in a series of problems facing Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's government ahead of elections which he is expected to call this year.

State news agency Bernama reported that Mr Chua - the most senior minister to leave the government so far - said the media's role in highlighting his work had led certain groups to target him, but he did not name any specific organisations.

"The press helped to kill me, to be honest," Mr Chua, who is married with three children, told an impromptu press conference after clearing out his office.

Mr Chua was also vice president of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), a key part of Mr Abdullah's coalition government, before the scandal over the widely circulated tape sparked his resignation.

"The press will always say Dr Chua is one who may be mounting a challenge against the (MCA) deputy president, against the (MCA) president," he said.

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