Tuesday 24 July 2007

In Defence of Raja Petra Kamarudin and Malaysia-Today

A Dedication to Raja Petra Kamarudin ("The Lion Prince") et. al
From Haris Ibrahim ('People's Parliament'): Read

"This post is dedicated to Raja Petra Kamarudin and every Malaysian who will step forward and be counted in the struggle for justice and equality for all.
This is my pledge to you." - Haris Ibrahim

The road is long, with many a winding turn
That lead us to who knows where, who knows where?
But I’m strong, strong enough to carry you
You ain’t heavy - you’re my brother

So on we go, your welfare is my concern
no burden are you to bear, we’ll get there
For I know you would not encumber me
You ain’t heavy - you’re my brother

If I’m leaving at all, I’m leaving with sadness
that everyone’s heart isn’t filled with the gladness
of love for one another.

It’s a long, long road, from which there is no return
While we’re on the way to there, why not share?
And the load doesn’t way me down at all
You ain’t heavy - you’re my brother

(from "Long and Winding Road " by Lennon-McCartney)

UPDATE: 25th July
: Read

Raja Petra 'Thanked' UMNO: Read here for more on Malaysiakini

Raja Petra Kamarudin has expressed his ‘thanks’ to Umno for the millions of hits that his website Malaysia Today has received over the past two days.

“Thanks should also be given to Umno the ruling party [...] my meagre 2.2 to 2.4 million hits are now 5 million because of the police report.If it’s not the most popular website then, it certainly is now today by virtue of Umno’s contribution.” he told the BBC correspondent in Kuala Lumpur.

The webmaster made this cheeky comment this morning outside the Dang Wangi district police station, when he reported for questioning over the police report.

Raja Petra also said he would be giving the police officers “a hell of a tough time” in responding to questions at the police station, where he has been since 11am today.
“I don’t know how much experience this ASP has in interrogating people, but I assure you that he’s gonna get a whole new experience with me today,” he asserted.

Asked what he might have done to make the government angry, he said he has been revealing abuses by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and corruption involving cabinet ministers.

“I’ve produced hard evidence by way of documents, agreements and letters and so on and all this [...] has never been rebutted, never been denied. They’ve never made a police report on the documents on any of those reports I’ve made or any of the documents I’ve revealed. And the only thing they want to do now is spin me on some flimsy allegation that I’ve insulted the King,” he remarked.

He stressed that as much as the documents are under the Official Secrets Act, these ministers do not dare to “take him to task thereby proving (the documents) correct”.
(Raja Petra) pointed out the irony of going to the police station that is located opposite Stadium Merdeka, purpose-built for the ceremony to declare the nation's independence in 1957.

I am going to walk across the road from here to probably to lose my independence in a few minutes from now,” he quipped.

Raja Petra Summoned by the Police

Raja Petra Kamarudin has been summoned to the Dang Wangi Police Station, Jalan Staduim, at 11.00am today (25 July 2007) for his statement to be recorded with regards to the police report made by the Umno Information Chief.

It is believed a second police report has also been made with regards to the article Raja Petra wrote called ‘See you in hell Muhamad son of Muhamad’.

UMNO Minister Threatens Bloggers in Parliament (Read here for more)

"..Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the government would not hesitate to use the Internal Security Act (ISA), the Sedition Act 1948 and Section 121b of the Penal Code against these bloggers.

He said the government had exercised restraint in the matter for a long time and the time had come for it to act according to those laws.

"I want to issue a warning that the time has come for us to take action against them (bloggers who make disparaging statements). We have the right and we will do it. We have been very patient," he said when winding up debate on the Electronic Government Activities Bill 2007 in the Dewan Negara here.

Ahirudin Attan says (Read here for more):

"...Najib should tell (Muhammad Muhammad Taib) Mike Tyson to withdraw the police report against RPK and tell Nazri to shut up.

These kucing kuraps (Bakri Musa's words, not mine) - not this lion of a prince, RPK (again, the surgeon's words) - are giving all of us a bad name. [here].

--end of update -

From Bakri Musa's Blog: Read Here and Here and Here from Malaysiakini

  • From Dr. M. Bakri Musa

    I join Dr. Lim Teck Ghee and others in condemning this police report lodged by UMNO.

    Just as I thought we had breached the depth of stupidity with Najib Razak’s utterance of Malaysia being an Islamic state, out comes this news of (former) UMNO Vice-President lodging the police report.

    Without being unduly Pollyannaish, I see some good coming out of this bizarre police report. I always knew this double Muhammad to be utterly corrupted but I did not know that he breached his scholarship bonds or that his divorce settlement to his wife, the Sultan of Selangor’s daughter, was a cool $12 million ringgit. Thanks to Raja Petra, now we know.

    This is the Muhammad who was acquitted on a criminal charge of trying to smuggle a couple of millions in cold cash on the technical grounds that he could not understand the customs declaration forms! This begs the question, if this graduate of a local university could not understand English (no surprise there), how could he follow Raja Petra’s exposes that are written in English?

    That soiled characters like this double Muhammad could rise so high in UMNO reflects more on the nature of UMNO. UMNO in turn reflects more on our Malay culture and norms. That is the tragic part.

    I am glad and not at all surprised that Raja Petra, far from being cowered by this latest challenge, is being emboldened. The kucing kurap of UMNO cannot rustle this lion of a prince.

    Thank Allah that Malaysia is blessed with such individuals as Raja Petra.
  • From Dr. Lim Teck Ghee
  • I am writing in defense of Raja Petra (Kamarudin) and his commentaries in his website, Malaysia-Today.net.

    This website contains some of the finest and most incisive political analyses and commentaries on the problems and ills that beset our nation. Malaysia-Today.net is simply without peer – whether as a whistle blowing or expose revealing resource or as a barometer of the pessimism and cynicism that many Malaysians feel when given freedom to express their views.

    Whilst some of the comments that are contributed by the website’s considerable following – especially on racial and religious issues – may appear over-exuberant, they are no more than the honest - if sometimes – passionate views and sentiments of our own citizens who write in precisely because they love the country and want it to be a better place.

    Raja Petra’s own writings have not only been consistently factual, balanced and temperate. In his investigation of the many follies in our nation, he is providing that model of fearless, patriotic and ethical journalism that can help bring about higher standards of governance and behavior, especially from our leaders.

    A fair-minded government should not for one moment entertain - let alone pursue - the false charges that have been leveled against him by UMNO.

    I hope good sense will prevail - and Raja Petra and Malaysia Today can be allowed to continue unhindered in their good work aimed at achieving a better Malaysia.

  • From Dr. Helmy Haja Mydin: Read here on Malaysiakini
  • Although the man himself saw it coming, I was flabbergasted to read the report about the police report filed against Raja Petra, for the alleged crime of insulting Islam and the King.

    The only insulting comments that I've come across were left by bloggers commenting on the site, not the editor himself.

    Is this another case of the powers-that-be being unaware of the mechanisms of a blog (ala Nat Tan's case) or are they just being indifferent to the fact in order to haul a thorn in their sides into court?

    Articles on the website were by and large written in a logical, matter-of-fact manner.

    I fail to see how one man's opinion online is deemed an offence under Malaysian laws. Is the PDRM bent on policing the Internet now, when there are so many unresolved criminal cases lying about?

    Are we taking China's route now; tearing apart the deals of the MSC (Multimedia Super Corridor) so that the minds of the citizens are subjected to official viewpoints as it happens with government-controlled newspapers?

    As a supporter of the original principles of Umno, I would hope that Umno Youth be more concerned about the lies that are being spread; perhaps it would be more appropriate for them to bring up the various issues of corruption that have been highlighted by Raja Petra.

    I am sure Muhammad Muhammad Taib, who led the lodging of the report, would want to publicise the issue and clear his name as Raja Petra can't possibly have evidence to back up his rhetoric, can he?

    If the issues were brought to an open, impartial court and the man be given the opportunity to present his evidence (or lack thereof) then we would have justice.

    To deny justice, after all, is the ultimate insult to Islam.

    At the end of the day, this just appears to me to be yet another attempt of shouting 'bodoh' at individuals who bring up issues of national importance rather than addressing those issues.

    One can only sweep so much under the carpet before the bulge is noticeable.

    And one can only hold off the nausea for so long.

  • From "Urban Malay": Read here in Malaysiakini
  • Since the general election is around the corner, the ruling parties - which practically control all of the media in the country - must make sure that articles written in cyberspace which expose the misdeeds of the ruling elite do not reach the masses.

    ‘Malaysia Today’ editor, Raja Petra Kamarudin, who pulls no punches when writing his articles, must have seen it coming and time will tell whether he will face the music for being outspoken about his views about what is going wrong in this country.

    As they say, the truth hurts and the ruling BN, which is not able to respond intelligently to all the ‘dirty linen’ about them has to use government apparatus (the police) to silence their critics.

    With all the media which are beholden to the government to renew their annual printing licences, it baffles the minds of the thinking public why a top gun of Umno who was full of controversies during his reign as the MB of Selangor had to make a police report against ‘Malaysia Today’ for alleged seditious articles disparaging the King and Islam.

    Rest assured folks, BN with all their big talk of winning big in the next general elections are actually scared stiff that in the age of Internet, all their scandals and misuse of power cannot be hidden anymore.

    As the Malay saying goes ‘bangkai gajah mana boleh disembunyi dengan daun’ (the carcass of an elephant can’t be hidden with a leaf).

    The younger generations with a better education level than their forefathers and the growing middle class which are made up of various races can think for themselves about what is wrong in this country.

    The BN parties cannot bulldoze their way through like before and if they think by shutting down a news blog which is critical of the government policies they can shut up the opposition, they must be dreaming.

    Using the law or the ISA to silence your critics will not do in this modern times. Instead of using brute force to stop the people from talking and writing about governmental misdeeds, it is better for the government to engage them in a helpful public discourse on how to improve our nation as we celebrate our coming 50th anniversary.

    Only weak governments like Zimbabwe or North Korea and other Third World nations will use brute force to silence their critics but look at them now. Endemic corruption is rife and their economies are in shambles causing the poor and downtrodden to go hungry while the small elite live like there is no tomorrow.

    A lot of silent Malaysians are praying for your safety, Raja Petra.

    May your voice not be muzzled by the authorities in the coming days. You represent the unsung hero who speaks for the ordinary man and woman on the streets who have a hard time eking out a living in these trying times.

    May Allah bless you in your time of need

  • From "Angry Citizen": Read here for more in Malaysiakini
  • "...I am a Chinese Malaysian almost as old as the country. I have voted for BN all my life though I am not happy with some of its concepts.

    Having said that, I am thinking I may NOT vote for BN if certain things occur because it will be the last straw.

    I can accept that the national religion is not of mine. But if the government CANNOT prove itself to be transparent and fair and be willing to accept criticism and attempts to bring justice, then it should NOT be running this country.

    I have followed the case of Umno making a police report against Raja Petra and his website, ‘Malaysia Today’. It is a clear sign that those in power are getting increasingly worried about the way so much of the 'behind the scenes' affairs are being revealed.

    I never bothered about ‘Malaysia Today’ at all but in recent weeks, I have read through many of the articles and I would say they are written in a balanced fashion.

    They are fascinating and I commend those who have had the courage to share information with Raja Petra. These are people who must be totally frustrated with the way things are going in the government and in political parties. These are true citizens who simply want the Malaysian government to be run ethically and cleanly, and they are seeing that it is actually becoming worse.

    The charges that articles in the website ‘incite hate between the various races and could affect unity and national security’ and that ‘the reports contain criminal elements which could incite anyone and cause fear’ are rubbish!

    The only thing that is causing me fear is to read about the police going after the 'messenger' or the 'whistleblower' rather than using the time and money to investigate and give a full explanation to the public. It only makes me more suspicious. If allegations are false, prove it rather than just arresting the person who brought it up in the first place. This is the nasty culture in this country, even in the corporate world.

    If Raja Petra is really thrown into jail, then the government will have to be prepared for the fact that a lot of people will lose respect for it (the government).

    It is not to say that ‘Malaysia Today’ is so influential that it can make enough people change their minds about supporting BN.

    But, if it is interfered with, it will make people think more seriously when they go to vote..."

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