Lawmaker’s ex-boyfriend to be questioned for her nude pictures

February 18th, 2009 - 1:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 18 (IANS) Malaysian Police Wednesday said they will question the former boyfriend of a woman lawmaker whose nude pictures have been circulated on the Internet.
Elizabeth Wong, executive councillor (minister) in Selangor state, has denied any wrongdoing saying that the pictures were taken and circulated without her knowledge and consent.

She offered to resign to ‘protect’ her party, Parti Kadilan Rakyat (PKR), Tuesday after the news got out.

However, opposition leader and former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim rejected the offer and urged her to reconsider it.

“Azizah (PKR chief Wan Azizah Wan Ismail) and I will meet up with her again to discuss and see what is best for her. I have asked her to rethink her options,” New Straits Times quoted him as saying Wednesday.

There was indignation in Dewan Rakyat (parliament) and human rights groups condemned the incident, demanding that the guilty be booked.

The suspect former boyfriend has not been named, but media reports Wednesday said he was Wong’s personal aide who moved out some months ago when their relationship broke down.

For PKR and the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat (PR), this is another blow after V. Arumugam, the only ethnic Indian legislator in Pahang state, resigned following a scandal around his suspected second marriage without divorcing his first wife.

Non-Muslims cannot have more than one wife in Muslim majority Malaysia.

Arumugam sent in his resignation without meeting the assembly speaker and left for Chennai, India.

The country’s health minister had to resign last year after a film showing him performing sex with an unknown woman was circulated.

The latest incident has triggered a media debate, even as two journalists of Malay Mail newspaper are cooperating with the police by surrendering Wong’s photographs that they found on the net.

“It is news and there is an obligation to report what transpires after that and how a public figure responds to an unfolding event of great stress to her and the reactions of those around her,” The Star said in a commentary.

“Despite everything we say about the right to privacy and our public position that Wong did no wrong, it will be hypocritical if those concerned still insist that she pay the price with her resignation.

“Let’s admit and acknowledge that for a wide section of the public - the vast majority of us normal human beings - there are boyfriends and girlfriends and intimate moments of great privacy.

“If a partner violates that privacy for any reason, the other party is not to blame - the blame lies with the person who broke that trust, not the person who gave it,” the newspaper said.

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