MALAYSIA: 3 jailed over Malaysian sex-scandal video

Health minister's scandal video ranked among highest in Internet searches

The Straits Times
Tuesday, January 8, 2008

By Chow Kum Hor

KUALA LUMPUR --- Three Malaysians were jailed and two others arrested yesterday for possessing and making copies of a video that featured the former health minister in sex acts with a female companion in a hotel room.

The trio were the first to be charged and sentenced for possession of the video, which is much sought-after in Malaysia and among the Internet community.

The three Johor residents were charged under a section of the Penal Code for possession of obscene objects.

Beauty saloon worker Tay Bee Bee, 29, was sentenced to five days in jail and fined RM10,000 (S$4,400) for possessing three DVDs featuring former minister Chua Soi Lek, The Star daily reported on its website yesterday.

Tay's colleague, See Tooh Choy Yoke, 26, and farmer Lim Poi Keong, 51, were sentenced to four days in jail and fined RM15,000 each for duplicating the DVDs.

Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, 61, stepped down from his ministerial post last week after owning up to being the man in the steamy scenes, secretly taped using four hidden cameras in a hotel in Batu Pahat, Johor.

Police have warned the public not to watch or distribute the clips, which surfaced after the videos were placed in various locations in Muar and Batu Pahat.

Six people have been arrested in the case, including the three who were sentenced by the Johor court yesterday after they pleaded guilty to making copies of the video.

The two arrested yesterday had in their possession 12 DVDs of the video, The Star reported. The sixth person, Tan Kim Chong, 48, denied a charge of having the DVDs in his possession at a Johor food court last Friday and claimed trial.

Meanwhile, the sex-tape scandal jumped to the top of most searched items on a leading blog search engine, beating inquiries about the US presidential race, troubled pop star Britney Spears or the iPhone.

At one point last week, it was the top query on Technorati, a blog search engine, wrote one blogger who carried a screen shot of the rankings in his posting.

About 10pm on Sunday night, 'vcd lucah chua soi lek', Malay for 'Chua Soi Lek's pornography VCD' was ranked fourth, while 'chua soi lek' was at No. 11 in Technorati's top 15 search lists.

'On Jan 3, it was the top search on Technorati. That was around 11pm. That caught me by surprise,' a Malaysian blogger identified only as Mr Woo told The Straits Times. He blogs on Live mylifeonline.com.

Second on the list then was 'iPhone'. Other popular topics include 'webcam' and 'Benazir Bhutto'.

The surge showed that while police gave many warnings against being caught with the video, many went online to view the taped scenes.

About 10am yesterday, the sex video was more popular than queries on Britney Spears and Mr Ron Paul, a tech-savvy US presidential hopeful.

The California-based Technorati indexes over 112 million blogs, according to online encyclopaedia Wikipedia.

Many people have also turned to YouTube to view scenes from the video.

The clips are not the steamy ones and are heavily edited. Some were apparently uploaded from TV news.