Chua Soi Lek

Tan Sri Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek (simplified Chinese: 蔡细历; traditional Chinese: 蔡細歷; pinyin: Cài Xìlì; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Chhòa Sòe-le̍k); born 2 January 1947, also known as Chua Kin Seng, is a Chinese Malaysian politician from the state of Johor. He is the 9th President of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), a major component party in Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition from 2010 until 2013. He held the post of Minister of Health from 2004 until 2008.[1] He has also been a one-term Member of Parliament (MP) for Labis (2004-2008) and a 4-term Member of the Johor State Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Penggaram from 1986 to 2004.

Chua Soi Lek
Minister of Health
In office
27 March 2004  2 January 2008
Mizan Zainal Abidin
Prime MinisterAbdullah Ahmad Badawi
DeputyAbdul Latiff Ahmad
Preceded byChua Jui Meng
Succeeded byOng Ka Ting (Acting)
9th President of Malaysian Chinese Association
In office
28 March 2010  21 December 2013
Preceded byOng Tee Keat
Succeeded byLiow Tiong Lai
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Labis
In office
28 March 2004  2 January 2008
Preceded byLing Liong Sik (MCA - BN)
Succeeded byChua Tee Yong (MCA - BN)
Majority10,729 (2004)
Member of the Johor State Legislative Assembly
for Penggaram
In office
3 August 1986  21 March 2004
Preceded byTan Peng Khoon (MCA - BN)
Succeeded byKoh Chee Chai (MCA - BN)
Majority3,990 (1986)
4,108 (1990)
14,037 (1995)
13,460 (1999)
Personal details
Chua Soi Lek

(1947-01-02) 2 January 1947
Batu Pahat, Johor, Malayan Union (now Malaysia)
Political partyMalaysian Chinese Association (MCA)
Other political
Barisan Nasional (BN)
Perikatan Nasional (PN)
SpouseWong Sek Hin (黄薛卿)
ChildrenChua Tee Yong
Alma materUniversity of Malaya
Chua Soi Lek on Facebook
Chua Soi Lek on Parliament of Malaysia

Early life

He was born in Batu Pahat, Johor. Chua received his early education at Sekolah Kebangsaan Lim Poon, then Batu Pahat High School and Muar High School. He was educated in medicine (SSB) at the University of Malaya in 1968–1973.

He was trained in psychology and practised psychiatry before entering politics. Chua set up his medical practice in 1977 after serving as a medical officer at the Batu Pahat Hospital. He sold the clinic in 1990 to pursue a full-time career in politics with MCA.

Political career

He was first elected as a state assemblyman for Penggaram, Johor on MCA's ticket in 1986. He continued to serve Penggaram for 18 years through four consecutive state elections. Later, he became a Johor state government executive councillor. In the 2004 general election, he contested for the Labis parliamentary seat under the Barisan Nasional coalition and claimed victory. The then Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appointed Chua into the Malaysian cabinet as the Minister of Health following that victory.

He held several prominent posts throughout his later career. He was the MP for Labis, a MCA vice-president, Johor MCA state liaison committee chairman as well as Batu Pahat MCA division chairman until he resigned from all public and political offices on 2 January 2008 due to the eruption of a sensational sex scandal.[2]

MCA deputy presidency

In the 2008 general elections, MCA won only 15 parliamentary seats out of 40 they contested. Some grassroots leaders and former top leaders including Dr Chua, demanded the President, Ong Ka Ting, step down to take responsibility.

He returned to active politics in the second half of 2008 and won the Batu Pahat Division chairman post uncontested. Then he contested the MCA deputy presidency, defeating Ong Ka Chuan, Donald Lim and Lee Hak Teik in a four-cornered fight.[3]

Despite that, Dr Chua was only appointed chairman of the Government Policy Monitoring bureau and left out of the MCA leadership in Johor by party president, Ong Tee Keat. This was seen as a move to isolate Dr Chua politically.[4] Eventually, Chua was expelled from the party in August 2009 by the MCA Disciplinary Committee for his past sex scandal.[5]

2009 Extraordinary General Meeting

In 2009, Chua's supporters sparked an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to challenge Ong Tee Keat's presidency and to reinstate Dr Chua back as a MCA member and deputy president.

The EGM was held on 10 October, where a number of resolutions were made challenging Chua's removal from MCA and his sacking as deputy president of MCA.[6] A vote of no confidence against Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat passed by 14 votes.[7] In the other resolution, Dr Chua's expulsion was overturned.[8] Ong and Chua both refused to resign, and united under a "greater unity plan," putting their differences aside temporarily. However, some central committee members, led by Liow Tiong Lai, previously aligned with Ong, demanded fresh elections.

MCA presidency

In early March 2010, Chua and his supporters in the central committee (CC), joined other CCs led by Liow Tiong Lai, in resigning. With the resignation of two-thirds of the central committee, fresh elections were to be held as per the party constitution. Chua contested the presidency against incumbent Ong Tee Keat and former president Ong Ka Ting. In the three-cornered fight, Chua emerged victorious while incumbent Tee Keat finished in third place.[9][10] After becoming president, Chua focused on rebuilding the appearance of unity within MCA after a year of public infighting.[11]

Political debates

In February 2012, Chua broke from Malaysian political norms by having a public debate with Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang. The first debate continued with another public debate, labelled as Debate 2.0, that was held on 8 July 2012. Both debates generated tremendous public and media interest.[12][13]

MCA poor performance in 13th general election

In the 2013 Malaysian general election MCA only won 7 of the 37 federal seats and 11 of the 90 state seats it contested. In the general election in 2008, it won 15 parliamentary and 32 state seats. Chua said MCA remained adamant in not accepting any government post at both state and federal level, following its dismal performance in the just-concluded 13th General Election.[14][15] The poor performance in the election led to calls for Chua's resignation.[16] Chua did not enter the following party poll for president, and in December 2013, Liow Tiong Lai was elected the President of MCA.[17][18]


Sex scandal

On 1 January 2008, Chua Soi Lek admitted that he was the person featured in a sensational sex DVD that was widely being circulated in Johor. The two DVDs were distributed anonymously in Muar and other towns in Johor show Chua having scandal with a young woman, described by him as a "personal friend." The DVDs are believed to be wireless hidden camera recordings in a hotel suite.[19]

He claimed no involvement in the filming or production of the DVD in question.[20] On 2 January 2008, he formally announced his resignation from all posts including Member of Parliament for Labis, vice presidency of MCA, and Minister of Health at a press conference.[21]

Chua later remarked his downfall was due to his dedication to his work as Health Minister and MCA Vice-President, which caused his political rivals to grow suspicious of him.[22]

Personal life

Chua is married to Puan Sri Wong Sek Hin and the couple have three children. One of their sons, Chua Tee Yong had replaced him as Labis MP.


Honours of Malaysia

Election results

Johor State Legislative Assembly:[28]
Year Constituency Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1986 N21 Penggaram, P125 Batu Pahat Chua Soi Lek (MCA) 11,633 49.07% Gan Ah Leong
7,643 32.24% 23,708 3,990 72.10%
Mohamed bin Salleh (PAS) 1,449 6.11%
Tan Lem Huat
532 2.24%
1990 Chua Soi Lek (MCA) 15,161 54.66% Lee Hwah Beng
11,053 39.85% 27,737 4,108 74.82%
1995 N23 Penggaram, P135 Batu Pahat Chua Soi Lek (MCA) 20,174 72.30% Gan Peck Cheng (DAP) 6,137 21.99% 27,905 14,037 73.97%
1999 Chua Soi Lek (MCA) 20,809 70.41% Gan Peck Cheng (DAP) 7,349 24.87% 29,552 13,460 74.95%
Parliament of Malaysia:[28]
Year Constituency Government Votes Pct Opposition Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2004 P142 Labis, Johor Chua Soi Lek (MCA) 16,469 71.38% Tee Gey Yan (DAP) 5,740 24.88% 23,073 10,729 70.95%


  1. "It's A Ministerial Jinx For MCA". The Sun. MALAYSIA TODAY. 3 January 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  2. "Chua – highly experienced". 1 January 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
  3. Chua Soi Lek Elected As The Deputy President Of The MCA Warkah. 19 October 2008
  4. Pakatan Rakyat courts Chua Soi Lek The Nut Graph. 30 April 2009
  5. Soi Lek expelled Malaysiakini. 26 August 2009
  6. "MCA EGM: Delegates make dramatic decisions (Update 8)". TheStar Online. 10 October 2008. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  7. "Losers all". New Straits Times. 10 October 2008. Archived from the original on 11 October 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  8. "Suspended Chua Soi Lek back as member of MCA". AsiaOne. 10 October 2008. Archived from the original on 13 October 2009. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  9. "Chua's the No.1". New Straits Times/asiaone. 29 March 2010. Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
  10. "Dr Chua Soi Lek Pulls Off double Impossible". Bernama. 28 March 2010.
  11. Soi Lek names appointees, urges members to unite 7 April 2010
  12. "Chua and Lim lock horns in second public debate on party policies - Nation | The Star Online". Archived from the original on 11 July 2012.
  13. "Chua loses on flaccid excuses in rematch". 9 July 2012.
  14. MCA adamant in declining government posts – Soi Lek Archived 29 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  15. MCA presidential council meets over party's performance in GE13
  16. Boo Su-Lyn (10 May 2013). "MCA elders call for Soi Lek's head to roll". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  17. Lester Kong (21 December 2013). "Malaysia's former health minister Liow Tiong Lai is new MCA president". The Straits Times.
  18. Leven Woon (13 December 2013). "How will Chua Soi Lek be remembered?". Free Malaysia Today. Archived from the original on 12 October 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  19. "Videos killed the political stars". Malaysian Insider. 17 February 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2012. Retrieved 17 February 2009.
  20. "I am the one in the sex DVD, says Chua". 1 January 2008. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
  21. "Chua resigns after sex scandal". 2 January 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
  22. "Chua blames downfall on hard work". 4 January 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2008.
  23. "IGP leads King's honours list". The Star. 7 June 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  24. "Chua gets Datukship in Johor Honours List", New Straits Times, 8 April 1997.
  25. "Sultan of Johor to honour 520 with awards", New Straits Times, 8 April 1999.
  26. "Three ministers head Malacca honours list". The Star. 14 October 2006. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  27. "Chua receives Sabah state award". The Star. 22 December 2006. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  28. "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 14 April 2010. Percentage figures based on total turnout, including votes for third parties. Results before 1986 election unavailable.
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