Selangor Exco to discuss Elizabeth Wong's nude pictures

DEWAN RAKYAT, Feb 16, 2009:

Selangor will convene a state executive meeting on tomorrow to discuss an incident involving one of its executive councillors, whose nude photographs are currently being circulated in public.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim said he was aware of a police report lodged by exco Elizabeth Wong on the matter.

"I am waiting for the police report. We will be discussing this incident at the state exco meeting tomorrow," he said at the parliament lobby today after attending the opening of the new parliament session in his capacity as the Bandar Tun Razak MP.

He said PKR will also be having a meeting on the matter.

"I think it will be unfair to make any decision at this time without proper information as it could be misconstrued as someone is trying to frame the victim.
"The best we can do is to urge the police to investigate the matter properly," he said.

It was reported that the naked photographs were taken while Wong, who is also the tourism, consumer affairs and environment exco, was sleeping and without her consent.

The Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman had since lodged a police report.
Wong's plight had received support and sympathies from her party colleagues and MPs from both sides of the divide.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said she has yet to obtain full details of the incident.

"This is sad. It showed a consistent pattern of attacking our assemblypersons. We will look into the matter and we will handle it," she said.

Vice-president R. Sivarasa said the matter is a gross invasion of privacy.
"This is a non-issue because it is something personal. Unfortunately, the pictures had fallen to the hands of unscrupulous people, who are using it to attack her personal life. The timing quite clearly politically-motivated."

Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh) said Wong does not need to resign from all her political posts as this is clearly a private matter.

"It is not like she is with another man or someone else's husband. But if the pictures were leaked by a former boyfriend, then I believe not only is it a betrayal of her trust, but politically-motivated as well," she said.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Nazri Aziz (BN-Padang Rengas) said such incident should not have taken place at all.

"It is not a good to use such tactics to sabotage her work," he said, and adviced Wong to stay strong.

Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai (BN-Bentong) said: These kind of things, like infringing on someone’s privacy shouldn’t have had happened. I don’t know what is their motive or aim.”

PKR information chief Tian Chua (PKR-Batu): "I don’t rule out that they will go after one another, to divert from the problems that the government is facing.

"Following a police report lodged by Wong today, the police should investigate and give protection to people like these, not exposing them. The media should also be ethical and not invade their privacy."

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of the Public Complaints Bureau T.Murugiah: "The disclosure and distribution of these pictures is uncalled for and should be condemned. This is a culture that people must avoid and it also disrespectful to women. How would we feel if anyone were to do this to our daughters, wives, sisters or mothers?

"In view of an increase in such incidences I would also like to warn ladies especially to be more careful in future and be cautious of whom they entertain.

"There are many possibilities here and in this case it seems like an
attempt to tarnish her image as an assemblywoman to bring her down. I hope the police will conduct thorough investigations and bring the culprits to book. It is of concern when a person’s personal life is made into an issue."

Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob (BN-Bera): "If it (the pictures are) true, then she should resign. But if she thinks she was victimized, then lodge a police report and let the police investigate."

Asked to comment on allegations that it was the work of Umno, out to tarnish the name of Pakatan Rakyat representatives, he said, "We have a lot of work, and it’s not our kind of work to take pictures of people in nude."

Elizabeth Wong nude Skandal - 'I am a victim of malice'

SHAH ALAM: "I am a victim. I appeal for some breathing space to be given to my family and me in this trying time."

State executive councillor and Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman Elizabeth Wong issued this plea yesterday.

She learned of the circulation of nude photographs of her when journalists from an English tabloid said they have them in their possession.

"I was told that some people were trying to distribute the photos or videos showing me asleep in partial nudity and also in intimate positions."

She said their distribution and publication was a malicious attack on her and constituted a gross outrage of her modesty.
"It was also an invasion of my privacy and it was done by unscrupulous persons to embarrass and discredit me."

Wong, who lives in Bukit Gasing, Petaling Jaya, said she would not speculate about who was responsible for this.

"I have received a lot of support from my supporters, friends, colleagues and constituents.

"My family members are standing by me and I will continue to carry out my task of serving the people of Selangor."

Wong has not cancelled any of her scheduled programmes but one of her aides said she had cleared her diary.

Tearful Wong quits over nude pictures

Tearful Wong quits over nude pix

Elizabeth Wong comforting tearful supporters after announcing her resignation today.

By Neville Spykerman

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 17 – Selangor executive councillor and Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman Elizabeth Wong broke down in tears as she announced her resignation from both posts today following the circulation of her nude photographs.

“I have received overwhelming support from family and my constituents but in the interest of my party, I have decided to offer my resignation as exco member and State Assemblyman for Bukit Lanjan,” she said while trying to contained her tears.

She said the event of the last two days have shown an insidious and underhanded attempt by certain quarters to smear her reputation.

“My personal life and privacy has been violated.”

However, Wong who was speaking at the PKR Headquarters in Tropicana here said that while the smear campaign was directed towards her, she was aware that the real objective was to discredit her party.

“I wish to state that I am not ashamed of my sexuality as a woman and as a single person. I have broken no law. I stand by the fundamental principle in a democracy that everyone has a right to privacy”

She said PKR stands for “New Politics” that holds justice and human rights as core values which transcends gender, ethnicity and class.

“New politics also means we rise above gutter politics.” she said

Wong said she believed the attacks will continue with greater intensity and did not have any doubt that UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) will continue to manipulate the situation.

Wong said she will arrange a proper handover of her responsibilities to Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim whom she thanked for his unwavering support.

Dozens of her supporters who attended the press conference carried banners, cards and flowers, urging her to reconsider.

Her fellow executive council members Teresa Kok and Xavier Jeyakumar also called on her not to resign during the press conference.

Kok said each council member has had to face this sort of personal attacks and this was Wong’s turn. “This can happen to anyone of us.”

PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah said the move to discredit Wong was politically motivated and called on Malaysians to reject what he described as gutter politics.

He said he hopes the police will bring the culprits to task.

PKR Wanita chief Zuraidah Kamaruddin said the party will not let the matter rest and will pursue the culprits.

Meanwhile party sources told The Malaysian Insider that Wong fate is still being decided by the party leadership, who are considering whether to accept her resignation.

The human rights activist and environmentalist will be the third politician in recent history to quit posts due to such photographs or video. The first was then deputy speaker of parliament D.P. Vijandran in 1989 who quit after pornographic tapes featuring him surfaced. Last year, Health Minister Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek resigned on New Year’s Day under similar circumstances.

If her resignation is accepted, it will lead to a by-election in Bukit Lanjan.

The Election Commission has already fixed April 7 for by-elections in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat in Perak and Bukit Selambau state seat in Kedah. The nomination day for both is March 29.

NUDE PICTURES: I am a victim, says Elizabeth Wong

NUDE PICTURES: I am a victim, says Elizabeth Wong

PETALING JAYA (Feb 16, 2009) : Facing the most embarrassing episode of her life with pictures of her in partial nudity and intimate positions being circulated, Selangor state executive councillor and Bukit Lanjan Assemblywoman Elizabeth Wong said today she will help police in their probe and refused to speculate on who is responsible for this "gross invasion of my privacy".

Elizabeth Wong

Describing herself as a "victim" in this incident, she said in a statement released this afternoon that this is being done by unscrupulous persons to embarrass and discredit her.

"The distribution and publication of these photos or video is a malicious attack on my personality," said Wong, who is also state Tourism, Environment and Consumer Affairs committee chairman.

She said she had received a lot of support from her supporters, friends and colleagues and members of her constituency and thanked them for their concern, support and encouragement.

She appealed to the media to give her and her family members some "breathing space" to allow her go through this trying time.

She said she was informed on Friday by The Malay Mail reporters that they have intimate photographs of her and that some people were trying to distribute photos/videos showing her asleep in partial nudity and in intimate positions which she said, constitutes a "gross outrage on my modesty and the sanctity of my personal life".

Wong, 37, who is with Parti Keadilan Rakyat and had been active in human rights advocacy work all her life, said she lodged a police report on this yesterday.

She said she will continue to carry out her task in serving the people of Selangor faithfully despite what has happened.

Both theSun and The Malay Mail had front-paged the report today.

ACP Arjunaidi Mohamed

Petaling Jaya police chief ACP Arjunaidi Mohamed confirmed the assemblywoman (whom he did not name) had lodged the report at 11pm at the Damansara police station on Sunday, adding that police will investigate the nature of the complaint before deciding on the next course of action.

"We have yet to see the photos and we will only be able to classify the case after finding out how the photos were circulated. We will call all parties who know of these photos," said Arjunaidi, adding that if the photos were posted on the Internet, it will come under the Multimedia Crimes Act and will be handled by the Commercial Crimes Investigations Department (CCID).

It is learnt that police will record a statement from the journalists of the two dailies and the assemblywoman's ex-boyfriend.

When asked what were the possible offences committed, Arjunaidi said one is the distribution of nude photos, an offence under Section 292 of the Penal Code which carries a fine and imprisonment of up to three years or both.

He said if such photos are taken consensually, it is not an offence if kept for private viewing.

Ivy Josiah

He said pictures captured without the consent of a person is also an offence and action can be taken against the person who took them.

Meanwhile, the news of Wong's privacy invaded, had caused immediate reactions from various parties including politicians and NGOs.

Womens Aid Organisation president Ivy Josiah hit out at this act as "vile, despicable and irrelevant".

"If whoever behind this thinks that they have succeeded in humiliating Elizabeth Wong, they're wrong!" she told theSun in a telephone interview today.

"They have humiliated themselves through this vile, despicable and irrelevant act."

Ivy stressed that actions like this should be seriously condemned and that the public is not interested in this kind of revelation.

"I think the public should constantly and strongly reject this kind of deliberate attempts to tarnish a person's reputation," she said, adding that very often women are the victims and that it is not the first time.

She also stressed that people should look at Wong's work and commitment in serving Malaysians, and not be misled by the visuals or reports about the matters.

Spurned lover behind Wong's nude photos?

KUALA LUMPUR: Was it the work of a spurned lover?

This is one of the leads in the investigation into the "kiss and tell" episode involving PKR Bukit Lanjan state assemblywoman Elizabeth Wong (right) which surfaced on Sunday.

Photographs of Wong, who is also Tourism, Consumer Affairs and Environment executive councillor, are being circulated and those with knowledge of the incident are pointing fingers at her former lover. The two allegedly broke up recently and he was said to have moved to another country.

Wong has refused to speculate, although several reports quoted her as saying that it was her in the photographs and that the pictures were taken in her bedroom.

Wong, who lodged a police report after being told of the photographs, apparently taken with a camera phone, called the entire episode an "intrusion of privacy".

Photographs made available to the New Straits Times showed Wong asleep with her glasses on and another of her in bed with her eyes closed. She was partially covered with a sarung.

The incident sparked an outcry from politicians from both sides of the political divide with most alleging that it was a clear-cut case of "intrusion of Wong's privacy".

Selangor opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, however, contended that Wong must resign from all her positions.

Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said the state executive council meeting on Wednesday would discuss the incident.

"I am waiting for the police report. We will be discussing this incident at the state exco meeting on Wednesday," he said at the Parliament lobby yesterday after attending the opening of the new Parliament session in his capacity as the Bandar Tun Razak MP.

"I think it would be unfair to make any decision at this time without proper information as it could be misconstrued as someone trying to frame the victim.

"The best we can do is to urge the police to investigate the matter properly," he said.

Elizabeth Wong quits, waiting for official announcement

Wong ... "I have done nothing wrong; I wish to state that I am not ashamed of my sexuality as a woman and as a single person."

PETALING JAYA: Selangor executive council member and Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong, whose nude photographs were being circulated, has quit both positions, paving the way for a third by-election within the next two months.

She said she will discuss with Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to arrange for the proper handover of her responsibilities.

Her resignation would be subject to Khalid's approval. The party is expected to accept her resignation.

PKR adviser and de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is expected to call a press conference on the issue Tuesday afternoon.

Khalid confirmed that he had received Wong’s resignation letter and said he would get the Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah’s views on Wong’s decision to quit all posts.

“I shall be seeking an audience with his His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor to brief him on the issue and seek his guidance,” he said, adding that he has asked Wong to take leave and “have a deserved rest.”

“This turn of events is unfortunate as ... Wong has been an exemplary exco member,” Khalid said in a statement.

“It is most unfortunate that certain elements have resorted to such despicable acts to smear her (Wong’s) name and integrity.

“I am sure Malaysians and the people of Selangor will reject the use of such shameful tactics and join me in condemning the people responsible,” he added.

Meanwhile, Wong said that she would continue to serve the people and "fight for justice for Malaysia.”

She said that although the smear campaign directed against her has caused a lot of anguish, she is aware that the real objective is to discredit PKR.

“I have done nothing wrong; I wish to state that I am not ashamed of my sexuality as a woman and as a single person," Wong said at a press conference outside the PKR headquarters here Tuesday morning.

Also present were PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah and her fellow exco members Teresa Kok and Xavier Jeyakumar.

“I have broken no law; I stand by the fundamenal principles of a democracy that everyone has a right to privacy,” Wong said, breaking down in tears.

She said that she believed that the attacks would continue in greater intensity and PKR’s political rivals would continue to “manipulate the situation.”

“Accordingly, I have decided to make a stand in the interest of the party and its struggle for the people,” Wong said.

Many supporters who had gathered called for her to withdraw her offer to resign.

Wong was also the state exco member in charge of Tourism, Consumer Affairs and the Environment, and the information chief of the Women’s wing of PKR and of her division Petaling Jaya Utara.

The Election Commission has fixed April 7 for by-elections in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat in Perak and the Bukit Selambau state seat in Kedah.

Bukit Gantang Member of Parliament Roslan Shaharum of PAS died of a heart attack on Feb 9, while the Bukit Selambau assemblyman V. Arumugam of PKR quit the day before over a marriage scandal.

Wong earlier said that she was informed last Friday by journalists from a daily that they were in possession of intimate photographs of her and that the daily was about to publish a story about them.

She described the distribution and publication of the materials a malicious attack on her personality, a gross outrage of her modesty and a gross invasion of her privacy.

OCPD Asst Comm Arjunaidi Mohamed confirmed that Wong had lodged a police report Sunday night and said that police were investigating.

He said that Wong had heard about the photographs being circulated from friends and journalists.

“We will be calling everyone involved to give their statements as soon as possible,” he said.

ACP Arjunaidi warned that action would be taken against anyone found distributing the pictures.

“You may face a jail term of up to three years, a fine, or both, under Section 292 of the Penal Code for distributing and having in possession material containing pornographic elements,” he said.

There is talk that the pictures, allegedly snapped without her consent or knowledge, might have been taken and circulated by an ex-boyfriend.

The distribution of her photographs has incensed women’s groups and leaders from both sides of the political divide.

MCA Wanita chief Datin Chew Mei Fun condemned the person or persons responsible, saying:

“We are outraged by such shameful acts of using women as sexual objects. It is an outright invasion of the privacy of women as well as an exploitation of women.”

Chew said taking photographs of bodily parts without consent or knowledge is against the law and punishable under the Penal Code (Act 574) and publishing such pornographic materials in the public domain also constituted to a violation of the same Act.

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG) expressed shock over the unauthorised circulation of the pictures, saying that Wong was being victimised as a single woman, in a tactic meant to deliberately cast moral aspersions and indirectly question her ability to carry out her duties as a politician.

The group – comprising Awam, Empower, WAO and WCC – said it hoped to hear strong statements from both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat condemning the circulation of sexually intimate photos and videos as a means of practising politics.

Wong, in a personal message on her blog, thanked everyone for messages of support.

“I am grateful for your support and kind words of encouragement, especially from my constituents, my party and Pakatan members, exco members and old friends. This means the world to me.

“I also wish to thank some fellow politicians from the other opposite end of the political divide for their encouragement too,” she said.

Wong won the Bukit Lanjan seat with a majority of over 5,000, the second largest majority won by a PKR state assembly candidate in Selangor, in the general election on March 8 last year.

On Monday, Khalid had said that the scandal would not affect Wong’s ability to serve as assemblyman and exco member.

“I have full confidence that she will continue to carry out her duties efficiently,” he said in a statement, adding that in her 11 months in office, she had proven that she could carry out her duties as assemblyman and exco member diligently and intelligently.