January 1, 2008 / 11:07 AM / 12 years ago

Malaysian minister says in sex video

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A Malaysian minister admitted on Tuesday he was featured in a widely circulated sex video, triggering a fresh scandal that could deeply embarrass the government ahead of snap elections.

Malaysia's Health Minister Chua Soi Lek speaks during a news conference at the end of the Kuala Lumpur Organization of Islamic Conference's Health Ministerial Conference, June 15, 2007. Chua admitted on Tuesday he was featured in a widely circulated sex video, triggering a fresh scandal that could deeply embarrass the government ahead of snap elections. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad

Health Minister Chua Soi Lek said he has apologized to the prime minister and other party leaders over the scandal, but added that he would not resign from the cabinet.

“I am the man in the tape. The girl is a personal friend,” the 60-year-old Chua said in a statement released at a news conference in his home state of Johor bordering Singapore.

His admission came hours after the local Star newspaper said two DVDs, showing a man resembling a senior politician and a woman engaging in various sexual acts, were being widely distributed in the state.

Chua, who is married, said he did not make the DVDs, which the Star said were closed-circuit recordings in a hotel room. One DVD lasted 56 minutes and the other 44 minutes.

“I would like to emphasize I did not make the tape myself,” he said. “Who have done this is not important. What is most important is that my family, wife and children have accepted my apology.”

Chua, a leader of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), part of the ruling coalition, said he had met the prime minister over the incident.

“I have seen Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Deputy PM Najib (Razak) and MCA president Ong Ka Ting and I have personally apologized to them.”

“I appeal to the press to give me and my family some space during this difficult time.”

Abdullah’s four-year-old administration has been saddled with major political problems lately, a sign he may be forced to delay elections beyond March, when many had expected them to take place.

In late November, more than 10,000 ethnic Indians took to the streets in an unprecedented protest to complain of racial discrimination.

Reporting by Jalil Hamid

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