Peerless Patriot & Prince
By Martin Jalleh
Umno’s “internal security” is being severely threatened. The Umno elite are scared stiff as their political survival is seriously at stake. Split into camps, they scramble to save themselves.
The PM and DPM put on a see-through smile together as they sit side-by-side – and struggle with the hidden question – who is going to sink or swim by the end of the “show”?
The sad and solitary-looking president of Umno is stunned and left speechless after the Umno supreme council made a decision to “smoothen” his early exit.
The bosses of the servile mainstream press continue to suck up to their political masters, giving stories a spin and a slant that suits, soothes and serves the Umno-dominated government.
As it slowly self-destructs, a desperate Umno begins yet another senseless season of intimidation with a slew of repressive laws to contain, cripple and crush legitimate dissent.
It is an open secret that since the days of Dr M, the ISA has been used as a weapon by the Umno elite to protect, perpetuate and preserve their own political power.
In fact Pak Lah had in the past slammed Dr M for using the ISA to “silence crtitics” and had solemnly added: “If we want to save Malaysia and Umno, Dr Mahathir must be removed…”
Now, Dr M wants Pak Lah removed. He shamelessly accuses and abuses the PM of the political gangrene that has set in – when he himself is guilty of gutter politics and digging Umno’s grave.
Thorn & Threat
No one has been such a thorn in Umno’s side as Raja Petra Kamarudin (RPK). Umno has been hell bent on shutting up Bolehland’s Bravest Blogger, who has told them to “go to hell”.
They tried to “shut down” Malaysia Today but Raja Petra was the least petrified. Then they realized they had made suckers of themselves and ordered access to the blog to be reinstated.
On specious and spurious claims the police detained RPK under section 73(1) of the ISA. RPK sought the help of the courts. But Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, whom no one takes seriously these days, had something more up his sleve.
On the night before RPK’s habeas corpus hearing in court, Syed Hamid slyly changed his detention order to section 8(1) of the ISA which supercedes the earlier section. RPK was sent to Kamunting for two years and the government did not have to explain why.
RPK’s lead lawyer Malik Imtiaz called the stealthy act “completely unacceptable”. Another lawyer said it was a "mean, dirty trick" that allows the government to “hide behind a veil of secrecy”.
RPK’s wife Marina Lee Abdullah, a woman of great courage, took it in her stride: "This is dirty foul play …but I was expecting this". Indeed, Umno has become synonymous with slimeballs, slickers and scumbags!
“There are strong grounds for him to be further detained for two years in Kamunting” Syed Hamid stammered, stuttered and strained to make some sense, satisfying no one but himself.
His “grounds” kept on shifting. On Sept. 12 they said he was “a threat to public order and national security”. Later Syed Hamid would say it is “due to Raja Petra’s articles that ridiculed Islam which could arouse anger among Muslims”.
Syed Hamid was silent on the detailed justification of the new detention order. He shied away from giving any “damning evidence” – there was none – though there was solid evidence of the Minister being too asinine to understand what RPK had written!
RPK has already been charged with sedition and defamation after linking the DPM and his wife to the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman. Silencing him under the ISA would seal his fate and of course, his mouth – so they thought!
The police warns us not to speculate on a government takeover. But they “speculate” on a person being a “national security threat”, arrest him/her first and only then carry out an investigation to justify the incarceration. It is easy to speculate on the reason for such blatant abuse by the police.
Suffice to say, far from insulting or ridiculing Islam, RPK has been an exemplary Muslim, who has earned the respect of many non-Muslims and have often saved the good name of Islam from the country’s shallow-narrow-minded “little mullah napoleons”.
Compared to some “Muslims” in Umno, RPK does not shortchange the poor Malay and put the blame on non-Malays; he does not sell his country and stash his money overseas. He does not suck or bleed the country dry or gamble away the country with a racial-religious card.
RPK is seen by many as a principled Muslim who walks the talk – who cannot be bought over, bargained with, bribed, or bullied into submission, nor does he need to brandish a keris. His main concern has been genuine spirituality and not superiority!
RPK is a fearless Muslim. The PM’s Islam Hadhari has failed. Religious polarisation is worsening. This has led him to challenge Muslims in the country to do some serious soul searching that ultimately leads to the truth that Muslims could be their very own worst enemy.
In his writings on religion, RPK has spent his energies on what the PM sees as the role of religious scholars and intellectuals – “combating ignorance and the perversion of religion” and “broadening public understanding of religion, and its role in promoting justice and peace”.
The PM said this when he opened the “International Conference on Religion in the Quest for Global Justice and Peace”, in July this year. But the ignorant and insecure cannot stomach RPK’s uncompromising honesty and his significant role.
We are told that RPK will have to undergo “religious rehabilitation” by the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) at Kamunting to enable his speedier release. Such an attempt would be like what he calls (in the title of an article) “spitting in the wind”.
In it he writes: “No, I am not a deviant or a blasphemous Muslim of the worst kind. It is those in government who are. And I will uphold the true Islam and oppose these deviants till my last breath and the last drop of my blood.” Rehabilitation of RPK? Jakim might be sorry for trying!
Free & fearless
RPK has never been a respecter of persons. No one has been spared. He has been a critic of even Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Abdul Hadi Awang, and the parties that make up Pakatan Rakyat.
He does not succumb to nor shiver at the ploys of the powerful or Umno’s scare tactics, saber-rattling tricks, silly threats and sinister theatrics. His “no holds barred” brand of journalism has struck fear in the self-serving sycophants surrounding the PM.
RPK has exposed the sordid details of financial and moral scandals, “exhumed” long-hidden skeletons in the cupboards of Umno, and successfully exhorted whistleblowers to spill the beans in a press statement or statutory declaration.
When Pak Lah tried to sway public support with his four economic corridors, RPK was busy writing about the somnolent PM and his cronies in the “Corridors of Power”, and “chronicling” the stark reality of how the Umno elite has become corrupt to the core.
Umno was frustrated because it was not able to label RPK or lump him or lampoon him as a self-seeking politician. RPK does not gain anything for being a “cyber-warrior” – no political power, position, privilege…and definitely not the premiership! So they arrested him under the ISA.
RPK knew that the “less-travelled” road that he had so boldly chosen would ultimately lead to Kamunting. He has been standing up against the powers that be and prompting the citizens of Bolehland to stand up and be counted – which many did in March this year.
He knew he had to be ready to pay the price for his convictions or be accused of displaying the same hype and hypocrisy of BN and Umno. He had to bear the risks involved in going against a hegemony capable of the most heinous.
He challenged the careful, cautious and calculative middle-class who are often contented in their comfort zones to be courageous and concerned for all races and religions. In an interview in a new book March 8: The Day Malaysia Woke Up he would ask: “How big are your balls?”
RPK may be behind bars but he has started a ripple effect. He has stirred within the average Malaysian an indomitable spirit ready to take on the seemingly insurmountable odds and intimidation by Umno. More bloggers are willing to put their head on the block.
“We are not scared of the government. The government should be scared of us,” RPK once wrote. To a great extent this has become a reality today. People are willing to sacrifice their candle-light dinners to take part in a candle-light procession and to call for an end to the ISA.
RPK has earned the respect of countless in Bolehland and all over the world. Their synergy and solidarity with him cannot be contained – they transcend the walls of the Kamunting Detention Centre.
Selamat Hari Raya Raja Petra !
30 Sept. 2008