Ethnic Chinese party sacks its deputy in Malaysia

An ethnic Chinese party in Malaysia's ruling coalition has sacked its deputy president in a bitter leadership dispute.

Ethnic Chinese party sacks its deputy in Malaysia

An ethnic Chinese party in Malaysia's ruling coalition has sacked its deputy president in a bitter leadership dispute.

Chua Soi Lek, the 65-year-old deputy president of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) -- the second largest party in the National Front coalition -- was expelled on Wednesday over a 2007 sex-scandal throwing the party into turmoil.

The popular leader and vocal critic of MCA president Ong Tee Keat resigned as a cabinet minister after a video scandal that was secretly recorded in a hotel room and showed him having extramarital sex surfaced two years ago. He was nevertheless elected as MCA deputy president last year.

The National Front has ruled Malaysia uninterrupted for 51 years.

Chinese make up 25 percent of the Southeast Asian country's 27 million population and were among the minorities who abandoned the National Front in the 2008 elections.

The MCA took a beating for its acquiescence to the system, losing 16 parliamentary seats in the election. It now has only 15 out of the National Front's 137 seats, after the coalition recorded it worst-ever results in national and state elections.

Chua, a medical doctor and former health minister, said the circulation of the video was part of a political conspiracy against him.

"I hope that the party president can sleep well tonight... Since I became the deputy president, the party president had treated me as his enemy," he said.

Chua did not say what his next move might be.

Ong, the MCA president, said the decision was made in the best interest of the party.

Ong, who is Transport Minister, is also enmeshed in a battle with another influential ethnic Chinese political leader over a scandal-plagued free trade zone, which has drawn sharp criticism against him and the party.

Reuters
Last Mod: 27 Ağustos 2009, 16:43
Add Comment