02 January, 2008

Disgraced Health Minister quits !

Malaysia's health minister has resigned after being caught on videotape having sex with a female friend.

A day earlier, Health Minister Chua Soi Lek,the married father of three,acknowledged that he was the man in a widely-circulated DVD that showed a couple engaged in sex in a hotel room.

This is the latest in a series of problems for PM Abdullah Badawi, who is expected to call an election in the coming weeks.

Malaysia enters what is widely expected to be an election year with its ruling coalition looking its frailest in recent times. Economic grievances, inter-religious disputes and unfulfilled pledges have spawned growing disillusionment with the administration of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi that could erode popular support for the ruling coalition.

Economic pains for the working class after heightened expectations have spawned a season of discontent. A series of small protests along with a couple of huge demonstrations over the last two months have called for greater social justice and accountability and revealed just how much the political landscape has changed.

The disillusionment has also been fuelled by a series of allegations of corruption and abuse of power in the main institutions of government including the judiciary, the Anti-Corruption Agency and the police force. A major scandal involved the land and construction costs of the Port Klang Free Zone.

Abdullah has also been seen as weak on freedom of religion issues, disappointing those who once saw him as a ''moderate'' leader. A string of inter-religious disputes has surfaced and been allowed to simmer. These disputes include range from competing civil-Shariah jurisdictions to a controversy over the construction of a 36 metre-high Chinese "Goddess of the Sea" statute in the north Borneo state of Sabah.

The proliferation of independent websites and blogs such as Malaysia Today and Malaysiakini means the ruling coalition's propaganda machinery now faces agile and resourceful opponents in cyberspace.

Controversial or embarrassing incident that once could be swept under the carpet are now being posted on YouTube, blogs and websites.

Now,Malaysia has a sex scandal of Monica Lewinsky proportions on their hands !!

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