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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

RPK case - the political cause and cost

Perception is everything in politics. Fresh from the heavy electoral defeats in five states, the public opinion against the BN can be politically costly. In fact, it can ill afford such sentiments at this point. RPK has the public on his side. . . . more

Sunday, May 18, 2008

It Is Wrong To Use Sedition Act To Charge Raja Petra

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Exclusive Interview With The Gerakan Adviser:

Gerakan Adviser Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik said he is not interested to become a blogger despite many politicians having done so like former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and other Umno leaders as he doesn't have enough time to do so.

However, he will post his views on his son's blog. He also suggested Gerakan should revamp its website.

“I have retired. My body doesn't allow me to sit in front of the computer for several hours. My physical strength is not as good as before.”

Lim said it is wrong to charge Raja Petra with Sedition Act. If the government thinks that his criticism is unreasonable, it should then charge him with defamation.

He explained that, after all, it is a defamation charge if someone criticise another person without any evidence. The use of Sedition Act gives an impression that the entire government is bullying a person.

Lim said that the BN may lose more votes in the next election if they continue on like this.Their action has caused the dissatisfaction of the people. It also showed that the government's attitude remains unchanged. (Sin Chew Daily)


Courtesy : Posted by Super Admin - malaysia-today

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What does sedition mean?

Friday, May 16, 2oo8

SEDITION! What does it mean? The word has been floating around for the past couple of weeks.

Raja Petra the (in) famous blogger of Malaysia Today is being charged with sedition and Karpal Singh the (in)famous MP is being threatened with the charge of sedition.

Raja Petra’s charge is based on an article he wrote about the Altantuya murder and Karpal was supposedly being seditious when he questioned the limits of the Sultan of Perak’s constitutional powers.

But were they being seditious? According to the dictionary definition of sedition, it means words or actions that cause people to rebel against their leaders.

It’s awfully vague, isn’t it? What does “rebel” mean, for instance? Well, looking back into my trusty dictionary, I find that it means to stop giving allegiance to an established government.

Gasp! By that definition, voting against the Government makes you a rebel. Being an Opposition member makes you a rebel. Criticising the Government makes you a rebel.

But wait. Reading on, there is the implication that rebellion means armed struggle. Phew! For a moment there, I thought we were living in a country where close to 50% of the electorate are awful rebels.

However, let’s go back to Raja Petra and Karpal Singh. Their so-called sedition is not dependent on the definition of the Oxford Paperback Dictionary. Instead, we must look to the Sedition Act 1948 (revised in 1969).

Well, 1948. That’s a long time ago. We were not independent then. The Brits were in control. So what we have here is a Brit-made law used initially to control the teeming masses of Malaya from rebelling against the colonial masters.

Gosh. I would have thought such a horrid reminder of the nasty British and their bullying ways would have been done away with as soon as we gained independence.

I guess the Government feels that it still has its uses. Like defending the honour of royalty (as in the Karpal case) or putting them in jail (if Raja Petra, a member of the Selangor royal family, is convicted). Oh, the sweet irony.

Anyway, the Act gives a much more detailed definition than my dictionary. It’s not much clearer, mind you, just more detailed. Since I am lazy, I’ll just paraphrase the relevant parts of the act here.

Sedition means:

(a) To make people hate or feel contempt or disaffection against any ruler or government;

(b) To excite people into changing any legally established matter other than by lawful means;

(c) To make people hate, feel contempt for or feel disaffection against the administration of justice in the country;

(d) To raise discontent or disaffection among the people of the country;

(e) To promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia; or

(f) To question the provisions in the Constitution regarding citizenship, Bahasa Malaysia as the national language, the special position of Malays and the sovereignty of the rulers.

However, your words and actions are not seditious if they were:

(a) Intended to show that a ruler has made a mistake;

(b) To constructively show that the government has made mistakes or is in some way defective in law-making and the administration of justice (with the exception of the listed matters in paragraph (f) above);

(c) To make changes in the country through lawful means (with the exception of the listed matters in paragraph (f) above) and to identify, with the intention of removing, any matter that will raise feeling of ill will between the various ethnic groups.

This is the law as it stands. It is not a verbatim reproduction of the Act because, believe me, if you think what I wrote is boring, the actual Act will drive you to tears.

Arguments will be made on both sides to determine if sedition has occurred, and if the case goes to court, then it is up to the wisdom of the judge to decide.

Meanwhile, since we are all intelligent citizens of a democratic country, I see no harm in examining the so-called seditious acts of these two fellows, and seeing if they fit into the definition provided for by this old colonial law.

While you are at it, you may want to see if anyone else has been uttering seditious words. It could be fun. For example, the next time someone questions your citizenship, you can always scream: “Sedition! Sedition!”

The law is very open-ended and perhaps it should be done away with. Just what sedition is appears to be in the eye of the beholder, and this is not a particularly ideal situation.

After all, one person’s sedition is another person’s practice of the democratic right of free speech.

Dr Azmi Sharom is a law teacher. The views expressed here are entirely his own.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

RPK the blogger gets another police report

Another police report was lodged against blogger Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin over an allegation he made in his weblog. The blogger is facing charges over what he wrote in his blog. . . . read more

read The Court Room Stomp

Monday, May 12, 2008

What is sedition? (Part 1)

Posted by Super Admin
Sunday, 11 May 2008


Sedition is a law that makes it an offence to criticise leaders considered SUPERIOR BEINGS who are exercising a DIVINE (God-given) mandate, who are, in short, BEYOND CRITICISM. Criticising what these leaders do implies either that they are equal to other men/women or that they are accountable for their acts, both equally offensive, and therefore considered a crime under the Sedition law.


THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Sedition

Sedition is a crime of creating a revolt, disturbance, or violence against lawful civil authority with the intent to cause its overthrow or destruction. Because it is limited to organising and encouraging opposition to government rather than directly participating in its overthrow, sedition is regarded as falling one step short of the more serious crime of treason. (Britannica Concise Encyclopaedia)


Seditious Libel

In English law, Seditious Libel is a misdemeanour involving the publishing of any words or document, with a seditious intention. "A seditious intention means an intention to bring into contempt or excite disaffection against the government or to promote feelings of ill-will between the classes. If the seditious statement is published, the publisher is guilty of a seditious libel." [Black, Constitutional Law 543 (2nd edition 1897)]. The law of seditious libel is now severely circumscribed in the United States by the First Amendment to the Constitution. (Law Dictionary)

Sedition in Common Law jurisdictions

Many jurists and scholars consider sedition properly to be an obsolete offence, one no longer valid in purpose or substance. Contemporary case law in common law jurisdictions has clearly established that only an intention to incite violent overthrow of lawfully constituted authority coupled with action(s) likely to achieve the prohibited result could constitute sedition, but even this narrowly defined offence has fallen into disuse.

Laurence W. Maher concludes from his study of sedition in Australia that, “there is almost complete agreement in the common law jurisdictions that sedition should be made obsolete.” Lord Denning is less qualified in his remarks about the offence of Seditious Libel: “The offence of Seditious Libel is now obsolescent. It used to be defined as words intended to stir up violence, that is, disorder, by promoting feelings, of ill-will or hostility between different classes of His Majesty’s subjects. But this definition was found to be too wide. It would restrict too much the full and free discussion of public affairs...So it has fallen into disuse for nearly 150 years. The only case in this century was R. v. Caunt...when a local paper published an article stirring up hatred against Jews. The jury found the editor Not Guilty.”

In a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada, Mr. Justice Rand commented that the crime of Seditious Libel was founded in legal and social beliefs no longer held: “The crime of Seditious Libel is well-known to the Common Law. Its history has been thoroughly examined and traced by Stephen, Holdsworth and other eminent legal scholars and they are in agreement both in what it originally consisted and in the social assumptions underlying it. Up to the end of the 18th century it was, in essence, a contempt in words of political authority or the actions of authority. If we conceive of the governors of society as superior beings, exercising a divine mandate, by whom laws institutions and administrations are given to men to be obeyed, who are, in short, beyond criticism, reflection or censure upon them or what they do implies either an equality with them or an accountability by them, both equally offensive.”

Although there are some differences amongst scholars as to the exact origins of the offence, all agree that this offence came into being during a period when the divine right of rulers was not only accepted but believed to be necessary, when the rulers who dispensed laws were largely above question and criticism, and when criticism of rulers was considered sinful as well as unlawful. Some date the genesis of sedition from the Statute of Westminster, 1275, 3 Edw. I, c. 34. (repealed in 1887). De Scandalis Magnatum created penalties for publishing ‘false’ news or other statements that could create discord between the Ruler and his subjects. The language was broad and unrestrained,“...that from henceforth none be so hardy to tell or publish any false news or Tales, whereby discord, or accession of discord or slander may grow between the King and his people, or the Great Men of the Realm.”

Others date the original offence of Seditious Libel from l606, when the Chief Justice of the Star Chamber laid down in De Libellis Famosis, some defining characteristics of this offence. The Court of Star Chamber was created by Henry VII in 1487 to combat the evils of feudal anarchy and was the chief institutional tool by which the Tudors restored the authority of the national courts and repressed baronial disorder. One of the tools of the Star Chamber was censorship, a particular concern with the advent of printing. When the Court of Star Chamber was abolished in 1641, Seditious Libel continued as an offence in the common law courts.

The language used in De Libellis Famosis is strikingly similar to Malaysia’s Sedition Act: intention was irrelevant as was absence of actual harm. Truth, according to Lord Coke, was not a defence because truth could be more injurious to the King or Ruler than fiction. In l606, Seditious Libel could be punished by imprisonment, fine, pillorying or loss of ears. These antecedents to the Sedition Act bestowed powers that were sweeping enough to be used arbitrarily by Rulers not accountable to ordinary citizens with none of the balancing of state powers and individual rights, nor the legal protections necessary to maintain that balance which have become cornerstones of modern democracy.


The fact that sedition has often been used as a political tool and not for a legitimate public purpose is another factor contributing to its repudiation by common law courts. Authors, Gitobu Imanyara and Kibe Mungai, when reviewing Kenya’s now repealed Sedition Act, observed: "Sedition was always a political, rather than a criminal, offence. Thus, there was no vigorous effort on the part of the government to prove the culpability of an accused in court.” In England, sedition survived only as a common law offence of Seditious Libel and prosecutions since the Reform Act of 1832 have been rare. The last conviction in England for Seditious Libel occurred in 1909. This was a prosecution of the printer of the Indian Socialist, a publication that advocated independence for India.

The last prosecution for Seditious Libel initiated by the English crown was in l947 and this prosecution ended in an acquittal. In l991, a private individual sought to compel a magistrate to issue a summons for Seditious Libel and blasphemy based on the book Satanic Verses, against both the author, Salman Rushdie, and the printer. The Queen’s Bench Division, on judicial review of the magistrate’s refusal to issue the summons, found as a fact that Satanic Verses contained passages that promoted hostility and ill-will amongst the Queen’s subjects and had caused the breakdown of diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran, but did not disclose an intention to incite violence against constituted authority. The Court of Queen’s Bench unanimously upheld the magistrate’s ruling that the prosecution for sedition could not proceed.

Lord Justice Watkins, giving judgment for the Court, relied on the statement of law contained in the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Boucher v. The King and stated that:“…the seditious intention upon which a prosecution for Seditious Libel must be founded is an intention to incite to violence or to create public disturbance or disorder against the sovereign or the institutions of Government. Proof of an intention to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different classes of subjects do not alone establish a seditious intention. Not only must there be proof of an incitement to violence in this connection, but it must be violence or resistance or defiance for the purpose of disturbing constituted authority, meaning some person or body holding public office or discharging some public function of the state.”

In Canada, no prosecutions for sedition have been initiated for over 50 years. The original Criminal Code sedition offence was based partly on the 1879 English Draft Code, itself a codification of the law of seditious libel prior to 1879. The last prosecution for sedition in Canada (Boucher v. The King) targeted a member of the Jehovah Witness religion, prosecuted for urging people to protest against the Quebec government’s ‘mob rule and Gestapo tactics’ by obedience to god. The Supreme Court of Canada set aside Mr. Boucher’s conviction and observed that the courts in all countries had rejected criminality based on the mere creation of ‘disaffection’, ‘discontent’, ‘ill-will’, or ‘hostility’.

(Lawyers' Right Watch Canada)


Saturday, May 10, 2008

RPK released, tells why he came out


Posted by kasee
Saturday, 10 May 2008

By Debra Chong, The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA,Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin of the news portal Malaysia Today is finally out of jail on bail.

Raja Petra is hugged by his wife Marina Lee Abdullah soon after his release this morning Raja Petra is all smiles on his release

Raja Petra, who was remanded at the Sungai Buloh Prison after being charged with publishing an allegedly seditious article, “Let's send the Altantuya murderers to hell”, was released at the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court at 9.35am today.

Like the day he was charged, the courthouse compound was crowded with dozens of his supporters, which included fellow blogger Tony Pua, who is also PJ Utara MP. They had gathered there as early as 8.30am. Many wore bright yellow T-shirts bearing Raja Petra's face and the words, “Justice for All...tantuya”.

Unlike Tuesday, the day he was charged, however, which saw a long-drawn out process of finding-the-courthouse that lasted 3 hours, Raja Petra's release today was quick. It was over in 10 minutes.

He arrived at the courthouse in a Black Maria at 9.25am. By 9.35am, he was released from remand after signing some papers at the bail counter. And by 9.45am, the 58-year-old did a Road Runner out of the court compound on the trail for food. He had not eaten anything since dinner at La Bodega in Bangsar on Monday, the night before he was remanded.

Raja Petra with his supporters all in yellow T-shirts.

He had changed out of the pale yellow shirt he'd worn since being charged and into a black tee and over it donned a bright yellow “Justice” T-shirt given by a supporter. Looking visibly weakened, Raja Petra denied he had gone on a hunger strike as reported.

“I was not on a hunger strike but I refused to eat the prison food. Why should I eat? The prison food is paid for by the rakyat's money. I'm not going to eat the rakyat's money,” he reasoned.

Despite entreaties from his wife and supporters who had run a “Walk With RPK” campaign to collect funds to post his RM5,000 bail, Raja Petra had resolved to remain under custody until his trial in October.

His resolve included an adamant refusal to drink even a sip of water, to meet with anyone until his trial and to post the RM5,000 bail, which is the maximum that can be imposed for a crime punishable with a fine of RM5,000 or 3 years’ imprisonment or both.

Contacted over the phone later, Raja Petra, who had just breakfasted with his wife at the PJ Hilton, explained his about-turn over refusing bail.

He had refused to post bail because he believed he had done nothing wrong and therefore did not deserve to be detained.

“If you read my article and understand English, you will see that I asked questions, not made allegations.”

Selangor Exco member Ronnie Liu puts a yellow T-shirt

on Raja Petra.

Recounting the events from last Friday (May 2), he said he had not been issued a warrant of arrest or a summons before being charged with an offence he steadily denies committing.

He was therefore willing to go the distance to prove his innocence according to the process of the law and wait it out inside prison. However, prison officials were worried for his safety while in their custody.

“The prison (warden) said I'm a security risk if I remain inside. They had received some reports about attempts on my life. So they assigned 2 special forces officers — sort of like the SWAT team — to guard me.

“But they said, 'Because of you, the prison is on high security alert'. They said they've 5,000-over prisoners to take care of inside and 600-over personnel but anyone could be bought over. A small packet of tobacco could buy my life with some prisoners. They said they didn't know who this Azilah and Sirul may have bought off,” he added.

When he was taken into Sungai Buloh, he had landed in the same prison block as Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar, the 2 policemen who have been charged with Abdul Razak Baginda for the murder of Altantuya Shaaribuu. He heard some people shouting “Watch your back” but did not recognise them.

The prison guard who accompanied him informed him that they were Azilah and Sirul and had apparently reported the incident to his supervisors.

“The prison officers were very nice. (They performed) above and beyond their scope of work like calling my wife and speaking to her to convince me to go out. I could see they were genuinely worried for me. I could see they had a job to do. I could see the prison officials were not the enemy.

"I was not worried inside. But the prison guys pleaded with me, 'Please go',” said Raja Petra, adding that one of the senior prison officers, whom he did not want to name, had also told him that he (the officer) had read his articles and sympathised.

Bloggers and supporters of Raja Petra milling

outside the courthouse this morning.

“He told me, 'Please go home and write. I would like to read more',” recounted Raja Petra. He claimed that some of his fellow prisoners had also approached him to ask for his autograph. He was pleased that what he wrote had reached deep inside such places and is one of the many factors that motivate him to do what he does.

He elaborated that he had put himself on the line not for any politically-driven agenda but because he had had personally met Altantuya's father, Shaaribuu Setev, and empathised with man's anguish.

“I looked at his face, I looked into his eyes. He has been very patient. I have 2 lovely daughters myself. If someone had shot them and blown them up, I don't think I could have been as patient. I'd probably have done something suicidal,” he remarked.


Thank you so much and sorry for letting you down - Sounds Scarry

Posted by Super Admin
Friday, 09 May 2008
My wife is very touched with the support shown and the solidarity demonstrated by friends, bloggers and readers of Malaysia Today. In such a situation words can never really explain how one feels. To all Malaysians, on behalf of my wife and my entire family, I would like to express our most sincere gratitude. And this comes from the bottom of our hearts.


NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

When the police came to my home last Friday to confiscate my computers, I was not at all shocked or perturbed. I had half-expected that to happen considering the response to my 25 April 2008 article in this same column, Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell (read the article here). And the response I am talking about is the public statement by the wife of the Deputy Prime Minister plus the letter from the Deputy Prime Minister’s Press Secretary (read the letter here).

As the police left my house, they issued me a Section 111 order to report to the Cyber Crime Division of Bukit Aman at 11.00am the following morning for my statement to be recorded. However, at 3.15pm that same day, they phoned me and asked whether I could go there at 4.00pm instead, that means in 45 minutes time, rather than the following day at 11.00am as originally ordered.

I phoned Sam, my lawyer, and he told me I need not comply to this ‘request’ as the Section 111 order had stipulated 11.00am, Saturday, 3 May 2008 and not 4.00pm, Friday, 2 May 2008. Since the order said 11.00am Saturday, then that is the date and time I should report to Bukit Aman and I can legally refuse to their request to come in a day earlier.

Nevertheless, I decided to consent to this request although I had legal grounds to refuse to do so. The police then told me that a police report had been made against me on the article mentioned above so they have to take my statement. I asked to see a copy of the police report plus the statement from the person who had lodged the report but they admitted they did not have it nor has the police officer who was to take my statement seen it yet. For all intents and purposes it did not exist. (Read the full story here: Towering Malays and the ‘hush’ on Peace Hill)

On Monday, at about 9.15pm, I received a phone call from the same police officer who raided my house three days earlier and he wanted to know if I could go to the Jalan Duta magistrates court at 9.30am the following morning, Tuesday, 6 May 2008. He asked me to look for DSP Mahfuz and said that they will be charging me. I asked what they were charging me for and he replied that he does not know. I then said if he knows that I am supposed to report to the Jalan Duta magistrates court and what time and day I am supposed to report there, surely he must know what I am going to be charged for. He replied maybe it is for sedition but he is not sure.

I called the police officer back five minutes later and he confirmed that it will be for sedition after all. But there are so many courts in Jalan Duta. Which court am I supposed to go to? He did not know. He said just hang around the lobby and they will come find me and escort me to the correct court.

I arrived in Jalan Duta at 8.45am, 45 minutes ahead of schedule. By 10.15am I was still hanging around and no DSP Mahfuz came to see me. One of my lawyers then went upstairs to try to find out which court my case was going to be held in and he came back to inform me that there is no case registered yet in the Jalan Duta magistrates court.

At 10.30am, I received a phone call from DSP Mahfuz asking me to go to the PJ sessions court. We all rushed to PJ and arrived there at 11.00am as instructed only to find out that there is no case registered there as well. In fact, the magistrate was on medical leave. Furthermore, no charges against me had been prepared yet.

I was asked to sit down and wait while they phone the magistrate to come back to work. They also needed to prepare the charge and register my case. It appears like they had decided to charge me first and then prepared the charge and decided which court to charge me in as an afterthought.

Under the Sedition Act they need to arrest me or at the very least issue me a summons. A summons under the Sedition Act is bailable but not compoundable like in a traffic summons. The maximum fine is RM5,000 or a jail term of three years or both. In my case, they had not served any summons, nor had they served a warrant of arrest, and my case was not even registered nor the charges prepared. For all intents and purposes, I was in court on my own free will and I need not have gone there if I did not want to.

After a lot of last minute preparing the charge, registering my case, and the magistrate on sick leave finally coming back to work, etc., they charged me, to which I pleaded not guilty. They then set the maximum bail of RM5,000.

This RM5,000 bail was absolutely unnecessary. I need not even have gone to court. There was no legal obligation on my part to do so. They just phoned me to ask whether I could go to court and I agreed to do so. I did so willingly, demonstrating full cooperation, and without forcing them to follow proper procedures. After all, how do I know who was on the other line? How do I know that this was a legitimate and not a crank call? They produced no evidence that I was to be charged and they did ask whether I could come to court -- and a question like that is open to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. They did not say I must go to court. They asked whether I could go to court.

So, when they imposed the maximum RM5,000 bail I refused to pay it and instead chose to be remanded until the day of the hearing in October 2008. When they asked me why, I replied that they could have posed bail on personal bond seeing how I was very cooperative and did not offer any resistance. I did not even insist they follow proper procedures but was quite willing to respond to mere phone calls.

When I arrived in Sungai Buloh Prison, something happened that put the entire prison on full alert. Sirul and Azilah, who were in the same block as me, Blok Damai, shouted for me to watch my back and that they will get me. I was quickly whisked out of the block. It seems they were angry that the Altantuya murder trial, which had disappeared from the radar screens, has now, again, been given the spotlight. Why should that upset them? Why the need for the Altantuya murder trial to disappear from the radar screens?

I was then assigned to my own cell, cell 8, and was not allowed to come into contact with any of the other prisoners. My cell door was permanently locked and whenever I had to leave my cell they would assign two or three Special Forces personnel, UPK, as my bodyguards. As further precautions, I refused to touch any drink or food as I remembered very well the arsenic poisoning that Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim suffered when he too was in the same prison.


So, from the time I entered prison until the time I walked out four days later, I did not eat or drink, which of course the prison interpreted as a hunger strike. They told me that a hunger strike is a serious crime and they could charge me for that. But that was the least of my worries at that point of time.

I met no less than five or six senior officers at different points of time who all insisted that I agree to meet my wife and lawyers so that they could arrange bail for me. I made it very clear that I refuse to see anyone because I do not want them to start crying and begging me to agree to bail as that would weaken me. If I shut myself out from the rest of the world that would make it easier to stand firm.

The head of the Special Forces and someone from the Intelligence Unit also met me to explain that they will try their best to keep me safe. Nevertheless, they can’t watch over me 100% of the time so my continued presence in prison is a great burden to the entire staff. We are on full alert and we have to report to the ministry every hour on the hour. No one can sleep because of you, they said, so please agree to bail and leave.

One of the Special Forces chaps told me to never trust anyone. Don’t even trust the men in uniform, not even if they wear this same uniform, he tugged on his shirt to emphasis the point. Your life here is worth a packet of tobacco. Prisoners will kill just for that. And Sirul (or was it Azilah?) is very intelligent, he added. He knows which prisoners can be bought and he has many on his payroll. He can always get someone to do his job for him.

Whenever I was brought out they made sure that Sirul and Azilah, and the other 18 or so police officers that are in their same block, were locked up. Once, when they brought me out, and someone in the walktie-talkie said that the two were in the hospital, they quickly locked me up and only brought me out again after the two were safely locked up. I could see that they were not merely trying to frighten me but were genuinely worried.

Look, they told me, we have only 600 men against more than 5,000 inmates. And not all 600 are on shift at the same time. This prison was built for only 2,500 inmates so we are grossly overcapacity. If anything does happen, our personnel are grossly outnumbered. And with you here the potential for something happening is very great. Please, they appealed, consider your stand of not agreeing to bail. If not for your sake at least for ours. Whether you wish to live or die is your decision. But whatever happens to you will affect all our careers as well.

Anyway, to cut a long story even longer, I finally agreed to meet my wife and agreed to my wife’s appeal that she be allowed to pay the bail. After all, a knife in my stomach would not exactly be what the doctor would recommend.


I made many friends in my very short stay in the Sungai Buloh Prison: the Indian chap who was on trial for kidnapping who kept peeping into my cell to ask whether I needed everything, the Indonesian transvestite across from my cell who kept calling me ‘sayang’ and offered to massage my aching back, the Chinese man on trial for money laundering who asked for my autograph, the air force pilot who searched all over prison for reading glasses so that I could read my books, and all the guards and Special Forces chaps who smiled and gave me the thumbs-up when I greeted them with ‘Makkal Sakhti’. And they all wanted just one thing. They wanted me home so that I can continue to write and so that they can continue to find out the truth as to what is happening in this country.

Yes, I was touched. I was touched that alleged kidnappers and murderers and those we would normally consider the scum of the earth, and all those who are guarding them in prison, know about Makkal Sakhti and want the message of Makkal Sakhti to continue through Malaysia Today. To those who are on the outside looking in, these people are the forgotten people. These people no longer exist. You do not have names in prison. You are just a number and a statistic. But when you are amongst them, you can see that they have chosen a life different from yours -- theirs is a life of crime -- but their aspirations and ideals are the same as we on the outside looking in. They too want justice, equality, democracy, freedom of speech and a better Malaysia for all.

Yes, they might be criminals. And they may be criminals out of choice. But life never really gave them too many choices. Some turn to crime out of greed. But many turn to crime out of sheer need and desperation. And these are the faces I saw in prison, faces of people whom life offered not many choices. But then one of these faces may be the last face I see. One of these faces may be that of the one sent to do the evil deed of those who feel I have brought the spotlight back onto a murder trial that was almost buried and forgotten if not for the article I had written.

My wife knows I can be very stubborn and I seldom back down once I have made my resolution. She also knows that I can marah nyamuk and bakar kelambu, which can be considered irrational to most. But the support from all and sundry kept her strong and allowed her the will to fight. She is very touched with the support shown and the solidarity demonstrated by friends, bloggers and readers of Malaysia Today. In such a situation words can never really explain how one feels. To all Malaysians, on behalf of my wife and my entire family, I would like to express our most sincere gratitude. And this comes from the bottom of our hearts.

And to all Malaysians, I also want to say that I am sorry for allowing myself to be persuaded in agreeing to accept bail. I feel like I have let you down after earlier rejecting bail and instead choosing to stay in jail until my hearing in October. Under the circumstances, why should I allow my adversaries to finish me off like a cornered rat? At least if one has to go down let it be one goes down fighting.

On the money collected thus far, if all you donors can agree to it, I am going to propose that the surplus be put into a BLOGGERS DEFENCE FUND so that any blogger who may in future suffer persecution from the powers-that-be will have financial support to stand and fight. The bail is of course refundable and can be put back into the fund for future use. And the fund can also be used for legal costs whenever we can’t find lawyers who will defend bloggers on a pro bono basis.

That is all for today. I am still slightly disoriented and my aching back is not allowing me to focus that well -- so sorry if my piece today is slightly below par.


Friday, May 9, 2008

Penahanan Raja Petra ancaman kepada blogger penyokong Pakatan Rakyat

Tarmizi Mohd Jam
Fri | May 09, 08 | 9:19:53 am MYT

Apakah penahanan blogger Raja Petra merupakan sebahagian dari serang balas Barisan Nasional (BN) terhadap usaha "membunuh" pengaruh Pakatan Rakyat?

Ketika penulis diundang berceramah bersama Ahli Parlimen Batu, Tian Chua dan Naib Presiden PAS, Mohamad Sabu di Sentul pada malam Raja Petra menjadi tetamu Rancangan BLOG RTM, terdapat satu maklumat yang boleh dikongsi bersama.

Tian Chua membangkit tentang terdapatnya usaha dari dalam Umno untuk "memanaskan" pertandingan dalam parti yang kian nazak itu pada Disember depan.

Pertempuran antara kumpulan anak Badawi + Najib dengan kumpulan Ku Li dijangka akan "meletup" dan "memburai" dengan kempen-kempen yang di luar kawalan.

Sudah tentulah Ku Li akan bekerja kuat untuk menumpaskan anak Badawi dan anak Badawi juga akan bekerja keras untuk mempertahankan serambi kuasanya.

Antara Ku Li dan anak Badawi, maka kecenderungan anak Badawi untuk berbuat apa sahaja lebih berpotensi dengan segala kemudahan, modal dan penasihat rakus di sekelilingnya.

Kata Tian Chua dan kemudian disokong oleh Mohamad Sabu dalam ceramah berikutnya; apabila bahang kempen dalam Umno menjadi panas, Umno akan dikelam-kabutkan, media ligat tonjolkan isu ketidakstabilan politik yang ketara. "Negara dalam bahaya", begitulah adanya!

Macam yang dibuat MMMM di Johor itu. Membakar perkauman Melayu dengan harapan yang satu, mereka bangkit. Bangkit untuk apa? Ini kena dijawab oleh Umno! "Melayu dalam bahaya", begitulah adanya juga!

Apabila bahang panas membakar rentung hati dan perasaan perwakilan dan ahli-ahli Umno akar umbi, maka ketika ini, ada strategi licik yang dikatakan akan diatur untuk menangkap pemimpin-pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat dengan perangkap Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) dan menyumbat mereka di Kem Tahanan Kamunting, selama yang mungkin.

Apa yang menimpa Raja Petra boleh dilihat sebahagian dari taktik licik untuk memulihkan Umno dan BN pasca PRU Ke 12.

Taktik licik ini bukan sahaja menyiarkan siaran langsung sidang parlimen dan mengundang blogger ke Angkasapuri untuk berdebat dalam Rancangan BLOG, tetapi jauh lebih licik asalkan matlamatnya memulihkan Umno yang sudah mati pucuk itu berjaya bertenaga semula.

Penahanan Raja Petra saya lihat sebagai usaha "memutihkan" mana-mana blogger yang berani membongkar kepincangan BN dan juaknya, dari terus menjadi "hantu" Pakatan Rakyat.

Malah ada yang meramalkan, selepas ini lebih banyak tangkapan akan dibuat atas apa jua sebab yang boleh disabit dengan kesalahan mengikut akta-akta yang begitu banyak boleh digunakan.

Jika kebimbangan Tian Chua dan Mohd Sabu diambil kira, sudah pasti tiada apa halangan untuk anak Badawi berbuat strategi demikian bagi mengekalkan kuasa.

Ku Li barangkali hanya menjadi faktor sampingan yang diperelokkan bagi menjayakan strategi ini.

Sama seperti Umno mengeksploitasikan isu serangan Karpal Singh terhadap istana Perak dalam cerita penukaran 24 jam Pengarah JAIP oleh Menteri Besarnya, Nizar Jamaluddin.

Semua pihak dalam Umno berkokok dan menjerit mempertahankan institusi Sultan. Walhal, mereka jugalah yang menikus dan menikam institusi itu.

Paling dekat, dalam perlantikan Menteri Besar Perlis, Dr Mohd Isa Sabu. Istana dengan jelas menolak kemahuan anak Badawi (Umno) mengekalkan Shahidan Kassim.

Apa yang Shahidan buat? Penyokongnya bertindak macam mana di Perlis? Sekalipun berakhir dengan "patah hati".

Tragedi yang sama juga tercetus di Terengganu. Idris Jusoh terpelanting "ditendang" oleh istana sekalipun watikah Perdana Menteri dijadikan sandaran sokongan kerajaan BN ke atas beliau.

Slogan "Kami Nak Deris, Natang!" jauh lebih teruk sifat penghinaan dan penderhakaan oleh penyokong Idris Jusoh ketika menentang penolakan Istana Terengganu terhadap mantan MB itu berbanding Karpal yang hanya mengulas berdasarkan fakta dan undang-undang.

Nampaknya, serangan diatur rapi dalam usaha menjatuhkan Karpal Singh yang sudah tentu bertujuan untuk "membunuh" imej Pakatan Rakyat.

Kini media prmitif kuasaan mereka menggambarkan semua pemimpin PKR, PAS dan DAP tidak sensitif dengan isu-isu membabitkan kesultanan Melayu. Esok lusa, tulat tonggeng, pastinya ia terus dimainkan.

Harapan mereka, isu ini akan membangkitkan rasa kebangsaan Melayu di kalangan rakyat untuk menyokong Umno kembali.

Namun, tafsiran dan ramalan mereka kian meleset.

Jika pendedahan Tian Chua itu jadi kenyataan, maka amatlah malang bagi demokrasi di Malaysia. Rakyat harus menghalang dari perkara ini terjadi.

Namun kebimbangan Tian Chua bertempat. Logiknya ada. Relevannyapun kuat. Tiada apa sekatan untuk anak Badawi melancarkan strategi ini, selagi kuasa ada ditangan.

Strategi ini pernah dibuktikan berjaya dalam Operasi Lallang sekitar tahun 1987 oleh Dr Mahathir yang sedang "nyawa-nyawa ikan" pada waktu itu.

Niat asalnya untuk menahan ISA para pemimpin PAS dan DAP yang lantang. Namun, beberapa pemimpin Umno juga turut ditahan sebagai "wayang pacak" bagi menunjukkan tangkapan itu tidak berat sebelah.

Isu Melayu dimainkan. Poster diedar mengundang orang-orang Melayu berhimpun di Stadium TPCA, Kg. Baru. Bawa sekecil-kecil; senjata mancis api. Antara orang kuatnya ketika itu Ibrahim Ali, Tajuddin Abdul Rahman dan ramai lagi.

Beberapa akhbar termasuk The Star dan Watan, digantung permit penerbitannya. Ia kelihatan betul-betul gawat dan membahayakan.

Ketika itu bahang panas dari pertarungan Ku Li + Mahathir berebut kerusi Presiden Umno. Hingga membawa kepada pengharaman parti berpengaruh (Umno) itu dan sokongan terhadap Mahathir dinilai dengan kelebihan hanya 43 undi.

Itupun dengan beberapa taktik kotor dijalankan oleh Mahathir untuk menongkat kuasa. Taktik kotor itulah yang mnejadi punca Umno diharamkan dan akibatnya Tun Salleh Abbas, Ketua Hakim Negara dan beberapa hakim lain dipecat.

Semua penyokong Pakatan Rakyat harus memainkan peranan positif bagi menjaga keamanan dan sekaligus menyekat sebarang "niat" jahat pemimpin Umno untuk mengISAkan pemimpin terpilih dari Pakatan Rakyat ini. - mr



Testimonial From Tok Guru Nik Aziz

Contohi perjuangan Nabi Yusuf - Warkah Nik Aziz kepada Raja Petra

8hb Mei 2008/ 2 Jamadil Awwal 1429

YM. Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin

Warkah Simpati dan Pengiktirafan

Saya menerima berita mengenai nasib tuan yang dituduh dibawah Akta Hasutan 1948 dan kini ditahan reman dalam penjara Sg. Buloh sehingga kes disebut di mahkamah pada 6 Oktober 2008 dengan penuh kesedihan.

Bagaimanapun, jauh di hati saya, saya masih terasa kagum kerana di sana masih ada seorang sehebat tuan yang cekal mempertahankan apa yang difikirkan benar.

Prinsip ini cukup selaras dengan dasar anutan Agama Islam kita yang sentiasa bertunjangkan amar makruf nahi mungkar.

Ia kebetulan disebut juga oleh demokrasi dan turut diperuntukkan di dalam perlembagaan kita di bawah perkara kebebasan bersuara dan menyatakan pendapat.

Soal bersalah atau sebaliknya; maka terlanjur tuan telah dituduh di bawah Akta Hasutan, maka ia terpulanglah kepada proses keadilan di mahkamah yang selanjutnya.

Sewaktu Nabi Allah Yusuf 'alaihissalam dikurung oleh pihak berkuasa di zamannya kerana fitnah, Yusuf berkata, "wahai Tuhanku, penjara lebih aku sukai daripada memenuhi ajakan mereka kepadaku. Dan jika tidak Engkau hindarkan daripadaku tipu daya mereka, tentu aku akan cenderung untuk (memenuhi keinginan mereka) dan tentulah aku termasuk orang-orang yang bodoh."

Lantaran istiqomah Nabi Yusuf itu, Allah maqbulkan doa baginda lalu "menghindar Yusuf dari tipu daya mereka. Sesungguhnya, Dialah Yang Maha Mendengar lagi Maha Mengetahui." (Petikan dari Surah Yusuf Ayat 33 dan 34).

Selaras dengan perkembangan ini, izinkan saya turut bersama mendoakan tuan agar sentiasa dipelihara kesihatan dan keselamatan oleh Allah SWT.

Semoga yang benar itu akan terserlah jua walaupun harganya adalah pengorbanan. Selagi tuan benar dan kita semua benar di sisi Allah SWT, tuan dan kita pada amnya tidak perlu merasa khuatir.

Mari kita terus tabah, bersama dengan perjuangan demi menegakkan yang hak dan menolak kebatilan.

Salam perjuangan. Wassalam.

NIK ABDUL AZIZ BIN NIK MAT
Menteri Besar Kelantan
Merangkap Mursyidul Am PAS - mr

(excerpt from harakahdaily.net)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

News From Sg. Buloh : RPK Agreed To Post Bail

Posted by Erin
Thursday, 08 May 2008

1100 : Puan Marina meet RPK.

1220 : I call Puan Marina, she just 5 minutes away from PJ Session Court. She said RPK agreed to post bail, he started to take some food and drink water.

1225 : Puan Marina reach PJ Sessions Court to post bail.

...waiting updates from Puan Marina on the exact time RPK will be released. Let's WALK WITH RPK!


Something to Ponder?

Well, in a country where we did not know the whereabout of our former dismissed DPM until he reappears, with a blackened eye and the many theories advanced from men and women politicians from his former Political Party, on how he did it to himself, only to be proven wrong by a Royal Commission. The culprit was none other than the then IGP himself. NOW, more gravely than that crime, which utilized C4, available only to the military to kill and "silence" a foreign woman, involving special tasks squad. Should one not expect the worst to happen, then!


Benarkah Raja Petra enggan ditemui sesiapa? - Mat Sabu
Abdul Halim Mohd Rashid
Wed | May 07, 08 | 3:25:59 pm MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, 7 Mei (Hrkh) - Naib Presiden PAS, Mohamad Sabu mempersoalkan sejauh manakah kebenaran dakwaan pegawai penjara Sungai Buloh kononnya Editor Malaysia Today, Raja Petra Kamarudin enggan ditemui oleh sesiapa termasuk isterinya.

"Selagi saya tidak mendengar Marina (isteri Raja Petra) memberitahu bahawa beliau dimaklumkan tentang perkara itu oleh suaminya sendiri, saya sukar mempercayainya.

"Saya juga mahu mendengar Marina sendiri memberitahu tentang keadaan fizikal suaminya, masih seperti sebelum beliau diheret ke penjara atau bagaimana? Selagi saya tidak mendengar Marina sendiri yang melihat keadaan Raja Petra, susah saya nak percaya," tegas beliau.

Malaysiakini melaporkan, ketika dihubungi pagi ini, Marina Lee Abdullah berkata, beliau pergi ke penjara Sungai Buloh untuk menemui Raja Petra dan untuk bertanya sama ada suaminya mahu ikatjamin dibayar hari ini.

"Pegawai di kaunter pendaftaran memberitahu saya bahawa suami saya enggan menemui sesiapapun termasuk saya," katanya kepada Malaysiakini.

Marina berkata, beliau berkeras mahu menemui timbalan warden untuk mendapatkan maklumat lanjut dan kini masih menunggu ketika Malaysiakini melaporkan perkara itu.

Mohamad Sabu membangkitkan perkara itu kerana Raja Petra sebelum ini mendedahkan banyak perkara, bukan sahaja berkaitan para pemimpin Barisan Nasional (BN) malah mengenai pihak polis sendiri, termasuk apa yang beliau dakwa sebagai tindakan Ketua Polis Negara, Tan Sri Musa Hassan menaungi sindiket jenayah.

"Saya tidak tuduh apa-apa. Saya bimbang dan hanya penjelasan Marina, anak-anak atau peguam Raja Petra sahaja yang saya percayai," kata beliau lagi.

Beliau menyeru rakyat Malaysia supaya melihat penganiayaan yang ditimpakan ke atas Raja Petra sebagai penganiayaan ke atas mereka sendiri.

"Saya telah sebut berkali-kali dan saya ingin nyatakan lagi bahawa pada masa ini, kalau pencuri menceroboh rumah kita dan kita pergi buat laporan polis, silap-silap pencuri tak kena tangkap, kita yang masuk lokap," kata Mohamad Sabu.

Raja Petra, kata Mohamad Sabu lagi, mendedahkan perbuatan jenayah, tetapi "penjenayah terus bergembira, Raja Petra yang masuk penjara".

Sebab itulah, katanya, "tangkap Raja Petra bermakna tangkap kita, sebab perkara yang sama boleh berlaku kepada kita".

Naib Presiden PAS menyatakan bahawa beliau sangat menghormati Raja Petra kerana "dia lebih berani dari saya.

"Saya sangat menghormati siapa sahaja yang lebih berani dari saya dan saya tak malu mengakui kelemahan saya yang tidak seberani Raja Petra," katanya lagi.

********

News From Sg. Buloh : RPK Denied Visit Right -excerpt
Posted by Erin
Wednesday, 07 May 2008

RPK Fight for Justice!

updates 1247 : Puan Marina is on her way back to Sg. Buloh Prison (also known as Kuala Lumpur Remand Centre) with a lawyer, Matthaeus Cheng, to meet up with the Warden and get a letter from RPK to prove that he really requested not to be visited by any body at the moment.

This morning RPK's wife, Marina Lee went to the prison but RPK refused to see any body including Marina.

According to the Officer on duty, RPK has requested the prison official not to allow any one to visit him including family members and lawyers. Marina insisted to see him, but the Officer said he has to respect RPK's request.

Marina suspects that RPK is on hunger strike. She left a note and she hopes RPK will read it.

All in, about 100 candlelighters.

Civil Society Groups Express solidarity with Raja Petra Kamarudin

Posted by labisman
Thursday, 08 May 2008

It is with great concern that we, representing several Civil Society Action Groups, note that Raja Petra Kamarudin, Editor of news portal and blog, "Malaysia Today", has been charged in the Petaling Jaya Sessions court with sedition in connection with an article he wrote and posted up at www.malaysia-today.net on April 25, 2008.

We call on all Malaysians concerned with the freedom of information and speech to stand up in support of a fellow Malaysian who has been writing "without fear or favour" on issues of public and national concern.

The charge against Raja Petra is in connection with a Post entitled "Let's send the Altantuya murderers to hell" in which he raised pertinent questions on various facts of the case that are already within the domain of public knowledge. In our view the sedition charge is malicious and without merit. It is also politically motivated and aimed at silencing a principled and ncompromising voice speaking against the abuse of power, including those stemming from the highest level of government and authority.

We urge the Government to re-consider its action in pursuing what is being perceived in the country and internationally as blatantly selective and repressive persecution. The action not only runs counter to the Government's expressed promotion of a democratic, informed and participatory society. It also smacks of a renewal of the tactics of fear and intimidation which were recently resoundingly rejected by the Malaysian electorate.

We are disappointed that, despite the Government's rhetoric of learning from its past mistakes, it continues to rely on heavy handed authoritarian means to instill fear and to discourage its citizens from freely engaging in public discourse.

This action of the Government coming just a few days after World Press Freedom Day (which fell on May 3) especially makes a mockery of the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's expression of commitment to democratic and social reforms to promote a more open and transparent government.

We agree with other human rights advocates that the present Sedition Act รข€“ initially enacted by the British colonial authorities - should have no place in our democratic society. Unlike the law on defamation, one cannot defend himself/herself from a charge of sedition on the ground of truthfulness. In other words, messengers may be shot for simply uttering the truth. That the State is using its legal apparatus to charge Raja Petra for sedition instead of the aggrieved party resorting to civil defamation points to the need for thorough reform of our media laws. This is not a new demand but one which has been consistently raised by civil society and progressive political parties.

As civil society action groups, we call upon all political parties, non-government organizations and individuals to express their concern and to show solidarity with Raja Petra. All freedom loving Malaysians must impress on the Government the need to withdraw this obnoxious action against a conscientious writer and true Malaysian.

Finally, we urge fellow Malaysians to respond positively to any future appeals for donations to a Legal Fund properly constituted in defence of Raja Petra and to show our solidarity for a national cause aimed at protecting our freedom of speech.


May 7, 2008

Press Statement issued jointly by:

Dr Lim Teck Ghee
Director,
Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI)

Ahirudin Attan
President,
Interim Council
National Alliance of Bloggers

Wong Chin Huat
Chairperson,
Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI)

Gayathry V.
Executive Director
Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)

Ser Choon Ing
Chairman
Civil Rights Committee
KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall

Ho Yock Lin
Director
Empower (Pusat Janadaya)

Irene Xavier
President
Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor


Tuduhan terhadap RPK didakwa bermotif politik


: May 07, 2008
An alliance of civil society groups and bloggers today expressed their solidarity and support to Raja Petra Kamarudin and blog commentator Syed Akbar Ali, who were separately charged with sedition yesterday.








Tuduhan terhadap RPK didakwa bermotif politik
Jimadie Shah Othman | May 7, 08 12:39pm
Beberapa kumpulan bertindak masyarakat sivil hari ini menyifatkan tindakan mendakwa pengendali Raja Petra Kamaruddin mengikut Akta Hasutan sebagai bermotifkan politik.

Dalam satu kenyataan hari ini, mereka mendakwa tindakan tersebut bertujuan untuk mendiamkan suara-suara yang menentang penyalahgunaan kuasa.

bloggers solidarity for raja petra pc 070508 01"Kami mendesak kerajaan mempertimbangkan tindakan itu yang telah sedia maklum, di dalam negara mahupun peringkat antarabangsa, sebagai terang-terang selektif dan menindas.

"Tindakan ini bukan saja bertentangan dengan apa yang disuarakan kerajaan untuk mempromosikan demokrasi dan masyarakat bermaklumat, (tetapi) ia juga dilihat sebagai pembaharuan kepada taktik menakut-nakutkan yang ditolak pengundi (dalam pilihanraya lalu).


"Kami sedih, walaupun kerajaan mewarwarkan akan belajar daripada kesilapan lalu, (tetapi) ia masih terus menggunakan cara menindas untuk menanamkan ketakutan dan menyekat rakyat daripada bebas mengambil bahagian dalam wacana awam," kata kenyataan tersebut yang dibaca oleh Ahirudin Attan atau Rocky, pengendali blog Rocky Bru, dalam sidang akhbar di Dewan Perhimpunan Cina Kuala Lumpur dan Selangor pagi tadi.

Selain Rocky, yang juga presiden Majlis Sementara Pakatan Blogger Kebangsaan, kenyataan itu turut ditandatangani oleh pengerusi Gabungan Penulis bagi Kebebasan Media (Wami), Wong Chin Huat; pengarah eksekutif Pusat Kewartawanan Bebas (CIJ), V Gayathry dan pengerusi Jawatankuasa Sivil, Dewan Perhimpunan Cina Selangor dan KL, Ser Choon Ing serta pengarah Pusat Inisiatif Dasar (CPI), Dr Lim Teck Ghee.

Insiatif menganjurkan sidang media itu adalah untuk menunjukkan persaudaraan blogger, penulis dan pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) terhadap kes Raja Petra Kamaruddin, kata Rocky.

Perolok komitmen kerajaan

Mereka turut menyifatkan tindakan terhadap Raja Petra itu umpama 'memperolok-olokkan' komitmen perdana menteri, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi terhadap demokrasi dan reformasi sosial untuk mewujudkan sebuah kerajaan yang telus dan terbuka. Tindakan terhadap Raja Petra dibuat hanya beberapa hari setelah sambutan hari kebebasan akhbar sedunia 3 Mei lalu.

raja petra and judiciary court law"Sebagai kumpulan bertindak masyarakat sivil, kami harap semua parti politik, pertubuhan bukan kerajaan dan individu menyuarakan pandangan dan keprihatian mereka untuk menunjukkan persaudaraan kepada Raja Petra. Semua pencinta kebebasan di Malaysia mesti mendesak kerajaan keperluan menarik balik tindakan terhadap Raja Petra."

Mereka melihat undang-udang itu sebagai warisan penjajah British dan tidak lagi sepatutnya berada dalam masyarakat Malaysia yang demokratik.

Turut hadir dalam sidang akhbar itu adalah pengarah eksekutif Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Yap Swee Sing; koordinator Kumpulan Pembangunan Wanita (WDC), Ho Yock Lin dan Bernard Khoo, juga daripada Pakatan Blogger Nasional.

Mengikut Rocky, insiatif menganjurkan sidang media itu adalah untuk menunjukkan persaudaraan blogger, penulis dan pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) terhadap Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

Mengikut Rocky, usaha ini bukan semata-mata untuk Raja Petra, tetapi juga mengambil kira penulis Syed Akhbar Ali serta tiga pengamal media yang dipanggil memberi keterangan kerana menulis laporan tentang Raja Petra. Mereka adalah dua wartawan The Sun dan seorang wartawan kanan The Star.

Syed Akhbar dituduh menulis kata-kata berunsur hasutan bertajuk 'IT IS EASY TO IMPRESS THE MALAYS' adalah komen terhadap artikel diterbitkan pengendali dan editor lamanweb Malaysia Today, Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin bertajuk '03/06:Malaysia's Organised Crime Syndicate:all roads lead to Putrajaya'.

"Kita mesti mengambil tindakan bersama sebelum penulis blog dan wartawan lain di masa-masa akan datang menjadi mangsa," tambah Rocky lagi.

Saling melengkapi

Bernard Khoo pula berkata, penulis blog perlu menyuarakan pandangan terhadap apa yang mereka rasa benar atau salah yang berlaku dalam masyarakat.

"Kami menulis blog sebab kami ingin menyuarakan sesuatu yang mesti disuarakan. Kami menulis blog sebab ada orang ingin membacanya. Kami ingin sampaikan apa yang mahu kami sampaikan. Kami bukan hendak berlawan dengan wartawan, kita saling melengkapi.

"Masalahnya timbul apabila ada yang tidak mahu dengar apa yang hendak kami katakan dan tidak mahu orang lain mendengarnya," katanya lagi.

Bercakap tentang kempen mengumpulkan seringgit seorang untuk mengikat jamin Raja Petra, Bernard berkata: "Sejak kempen itu dilancarkan semalam bermula jam 2 sehingga 4:30 petang, sebanyak RM34,000 berjaya dikutip. Dan isteri beliau minta kutipan dihentikan kerana ia lebih daripada cukup." Mahkamah mengenakan ikatjamin RM5,000 ke atas Raja Petra.

Ditanya ke mana baki kutipan itu akan disalurkan, Bernard berkata, ia mungkin digunakan untuk tujuan kebajikan.

"Belum diputuskan," tambahnya.

Yap Swee pula mendakwa, tindakan kerajaan itu sebagai balasan kepada Raja Petra kerana berjaya menjadi antara lamanweb paling lantang dan kritikal dalam pilihanraya umum yang lalu.

Raja Petra, katanya, hanya menggunakan haknya untuk menulis tentang isu-isu yang menarik minat awam .

"Kerajaan mahu membisukan diskusi awam terutamanya macam kes Altantuya. Saya melihat tindakan mereka ini seperti amaran kepada yang lain (blogger dan penulis lain)," katanya.

. . . . . from malaysiakini

Marina Lee : Is Parliament still relevant?

Posted by Erin
Wednesday, 07 May 2008

"... when freedom of speech is being brutally subverted by the present regime and false charges can be instituted against anyone who dares to demand for justice and truth."

As a wife and mother, I want to know from my fellow citizens whether a government that has incarcerated my husband in the Sungai Buloh prison on trumped up charges and brought untold suffering on my family, especially when one of my daughters is sitting for her final examinations, is a legitimate government.

No wife, mother or children should to go through this horrible experience when all her beloved husband did was to uphold justice and truth.

On 2nd May 2008, the Armed Might of the regime was unleashed on my family when they came to my house in search of evidence for some alleged crime that my husband was supposedly to have committed.

I thought that this can only happen in a Gestapo state but not in my beloved Malaysia. You be the judge of this.

The police came in the morning and desecrated the sanity of my home for the fourth time. The fact that this has occurred previously does not make it any easier for my daughter and me. I wish that such nightmares can be forgotten, but let me tell you, especially mothers and wives, that the pain will never go away and that it is only our family self esteem and strength and our faith in god that has enable us to withstand and overcome the trauma and pain that we have suffered together.

I pray that no mother and wife will have to suffer and experience what I had with my beloved husband and my family.

Before we had time to recover our composure, the police handed us a summon to appear before the CCID, the following day. However, at 3.15pm, we received a call to appear at 4.00pm on the same day.

My suspicions for this sudden change in the time for my husband to be interrogated was to prevent publicity and the exposure of their dastardly deeds.

Can anyone of you imagine what I, as a wife and mother had to go through emotionally and psychologically when accompanying my husband to be interrogated by the police when on a previous occasion in 2000, he was brutally assaulted in my presence.

I could not express my anxiety to my husband on the way to the CCID, as I know that my strength and resoluteness would be critical to enable my husband to face his interrogators. He must have also felt the same for me and so both of us, thinking alike kept our silence. But we were determined to see this through together hell or high water.

The Petras’ are not some tofus!! We have enough strength and dignity to overcome such adversity.

My daughter suffered in silence and despite her age, she held up magnificently and no mother can be more proud than I to have such daughter.

As we approached the CCID tears welled in my eyes, but they were not tears of fear, sadness or trepidation, but the expression of my determination and faith that my husband’s struggle will ensure a better future for my daughter and the children of a better Malaysia.

I am proud to say that my husband overcame the intrigues and schemes and came out unscathed. But we knew that this was a mere prelude to more brutality that will be inflicted on my family.

The events of yesterday’s circus are known to all.

But what was most telling was the deafening silence of the judiciary and the bar council which supposedly are the guardians of justice and equity.

The dinner that was orchestrated by Pak Lah, his law minister and other cronies that allegedly ushered “a new era” for a independent and fearless judiciary in upholding justice and human rights, makes me wonder when such a institution that was promised was a fantasy in the light of my experience.
Today, my daughter and I went to the Sungai Buloh prison to visit my husband but we were told that he had no wish to see anyone even any member of the family or lawyers. I was shocked and disturbed by this turn of events as it can only mean that my husband is determined to endure the pain of incarceration and humiliation of being subjected and treated like a common criminal for upholding the freedom of speech and justice.

Being married to him for 35 years I knew only to well that he is capable of making any sacrifices for truth, justice and freedom. I suspect that when I was told that he did not want to see me, that he would be taking the ultimate step – to go on a hunger strike to demonstrate his determination to uphold the cause of truth and justice.

I have nothing more to say, as I am thoroughly exhausted by the turn of events and can only hope and pray that my fellow citizens, especially wives and mothers out there, that you would all come together to protest and to demand for my beloved husband freedom and that you will call upon your member of parliament to boycott parliament as a gesture of support for my husband’s struggle.

His struggle must not be in vain. We as a family will see this through but we will only be able to cope if we know that good and god fearing people like you will be there and standing together with me shoulder to shoulder to strike a fatal blow against tyranny and for justice and truth and for my husband’s freedom.

Marina Lee

“Thank You ALL” for your Donation And Support

Posted by Vineeth Menon
Wednesday, 07 May 2008

Dear Supporters,Readers and Members of Malaysia Today,

On behalf of Malaysia Today, I would like to thank each one of you who donated and who could not donate due to various reasons . Each one of yours support in various forms was the demonstration of the peoples will and the trust on RPK. Your commitment to helping raise the money which exceeded the purpose requirement is sincerely appreciated.

I don't know how to describe your support so far, but I could only quote what Robert F Kennedy said

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or act to improve lot of others,or strike out against injustice,he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. Those ripples built a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance “

Each one of you stood up in one form or other and are still standing....

Thanks again for your generous support for RPK and the success of Malaysia Today.

>>> snip

Malaysia Today Continues...

Best wishes,

Vineeth Menon

On Behalf of Malaysia Today Team & RPK's Family


Isteri: Raja Petra enggan jumpa sesiapa


Syed Jaymal Zahiid | May 7, 08 11:55a
Pengendali Malaysia Today - yang kini ditahan kerana enggan membayar ikatjamin - enggan untuk berjumpa dengan sesiapa pun, termasuk isterinya, Marina Lee Abdullah.

raja petra court case 060508 marina lee abdullahKetika dihubungi pagi ini, Marina berkata, beliau pergi ke penjara Sungai Buloh untuk menemui Raja Petra dan untuk bertanya sama ada beliau mahu ikatjamin dibayar hari ini.


"Pegawai di kaunter pendaftaran memberitahu saya bahawa suami saya enggan menemui sesiapapun termasuk saya," katanya kepada Malaysiakini.

Marina berkata, beliau berkeras mahu menemui timbalan warden untuk mendapatkan maklumat lanjut.

Selepas menemui timbalan warden itu, Marina berkata, beliau mengesyaki “ada sesuatu yang tak kena” dan mendesak timbalan warden itu memberitahunya sama ada suaminya telah diberi makanan.

raja petra and judiciary court law“Pegawai itu memberitahu saya bahawa mereka beri dia kopi, minuman dan makanan tetapi suami saya tak mahu makan dan berulangkali berkata beliau tidak mahu menemui sesiapa pun, peguam ataupun anggota keluarganya,” kata Marina tenang.

"Saya tidak salahkannya tetapi dia adalah suami saya dan…jika kami pun dia tak mahu jumpa, ini satu berita buruk,” katanya.

Marina tetap berkeras mahu menemui suaminya tetapi diberitahu oleh timbalan warden tersebut bahawa tahanan juga mempunyai hak mereka dan Raja Petra juga berhak untuk berjumpa atau makan makanan yang disaji padanya.

Cuba lagi esok

Selepas mendapat pesanan suaminya untuk mendapat kaca matanya, Marina pulang ke rumah dan datang semula bersama peguam Matthias Chang petang tadi untuk mendapatkan surat dari suaminya sebagai bukti dia benar-benar enggan untuk bertemu sesiapa termasuk anggota keluarganya.

“Pegawai penjara memberitahu saya yang tahanan tidak dibenarkan memberi apa-apa dari dalam penjara kerana itu adalah peraturan di situ,” kata Marina.

Malah, peguam Chang pun tidak dapat menemui Raja Petra.

Menurut Marina, beliau akan cuba lagi untuk menemui atau berhubung dengan suaminya esok.

raja petra court case 060508 petra lockupSemalam, Raja Petra dihadapkan ke Mahkamah Sesyen Petaling Jaya berhubung satu artikel yang ditulis dalam lamanwebnya itu.

Artikel tersebut didakwa mengaitkan timbalan perdana menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dan isterinya dengan pembunuhan wanita Mongolia, Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Raja Petra didakwa mengikut Seksyen 4(1)(c) Akta Hasutan kerana menyiarkan artikel yang berunsur hasutan pada 25 April dalam Malaysia Today.

Kesnya ditetapkan didengar pada 6 hingga 10 Oktober dan dibenarkan ikatjamin RM5,000,

Beliau bagaimanapun enggan membayar ikatjamin itu dan ditahan di pusat remah Kuala Lumpur.

Walk With RPK : One Ringgit One Person

Posted by Erin
Tuesday, 06 May 2008

PLEASE we only need RM1 from you, nothing more.

Latest Update :

updates 09.09am 7th May 2008 - Total Donation after we call off the campaign

* From CIMB bank account : RM24,500.00 (still waiting updates from Puan Marina, but the donation still keep coming in even after we mark the account number with **** sign)

* From Paypal account : $4,330.10 USD (net total, after deduction of fee charges by Paypal services, last donation received at 5.47pm 6th May 2008. Updates on Paypal Fund Withdrawal process will be published at Special Report section)

Respond to comments: The proposal for using excess fund for political purpose will be forwarded to RPK.



Message from MT's Team: 5.30pm 6th May 2008

We would like to CALL OFF the donation campaign as we already collected enough fund to at least bail out our dearest YM RPK. It is the matter of RPK principle, and collecting excess wouldn't be appreciated by him. As stated aerlier, all excess will be given to charitable home/center, and RPK or his family will make known of the statement from time to time. Thank you MALAYSIAN for supporting MALAYSIA TODAY!

"ONE RINGGIT ONE PERSON" RPK's court bail donation can be deposit into this account:

***********************************************************************************************************

Bank: XXXX

Account No.: xxxx xxxx xxxx xx

Account Name Holder: Xxxxxxxxxxx

notes: the account number supplied by RPK's wife and she knows Mr.Visva well

***********************************************************************************************************



updates 1045: we are waiting for RPK to approve on using PayPal Donation -- RPK approved at 1105. To donate via PayPal please click the donate button the Right Column --->

updates 1231: RPK's bail out set to RM5,000.00

updates 1616: Account statement made by RPK's wife on the donation as at 4pm today

From CIMB bank account : RM24,500.00
From Paypal account : $3,283.61 USD (net total, after deduction of fee charges by Paypal services)

Message from RPK's wife and family:

Only RM5,000.00 is needed to bail out RPK. The remaining balance will be given to charitable home of RPK's choice. We would like to thank you all for your tremendous supports.

updates 1730: CALL OFF donation campaign

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pakatan Rakyat Serang Penahanan Raja Petra

PARLIMEN: Dewan Rakyat kembali bergema apabila Ahli-Ahli Parlimen Pakatan Rakyat mengkritik penahanan Raja Petra sebagai tindakan politik dan bermotif balas dendam.

Ahli Parlimen Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) berkata tindakan-tindakan yang dikenakan keatas editor Malaysia-Today itu adalah implikasi keputusan pilihanraya umum lalu.

“Adakah semua Ahli Parlimen bersetuju dengan artikel ‘Lets Send Altantuya Murderer To Hell’? Saya tidak merujuk kepada sesiapa secara khusus tetapi atas dasar keadilan dan kebenaran, kita sememangnya mahu pembunuh Altantuya dihukum,” kata Lim disambut dengan sokongan seluruh MP Pakatan Rakyat.

Beliau meneruskan hujah dengan mempertikaikan Akta Hasutan yang dikenakan kerajaan keatas Raja Petra. Lim berkata demikian ketika membahaskan titah ucapan Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin di Dewan Rakyat

Ahli Parlimen BN bagaimanapun cuba mengalihkan isu kepada persoalan agama. MP Khairy Jamaluddin (BN-Rembau) berkata isu hantar pembunuh Altantuya ke neraka tidak harus dibangkitkan kerana persoalan syurga-negara adalah rahsia Tuhan. MP Tajuddin Abdul Rahmah (BN-Pasir Salak) menyindir MP-MP Pas kerana enggan membahaskan isu syurga-neraka.

Lim membidas kenyataan Khairy dengan menjelaskan bahawa Pakatan Rakyat tidak membincangkan rahsia Tuhan, tetapi mahu penjenayah yang membunuh dan meletupkan mayat mangsa diheret ke mahkamah dan dihukum setimpalnya.

Menjawab sindiran Pasir Salak, Lim berkata pembunuh Altantuya harus dihukum dan dihantar ke neraka atas jenayah kejam yang dilakukannya.

“Kalau ini pun tidak boleh difahami, tidak gunalah lulus daripada Oxford University tetapi masih tidak boleh memahami isi kandungan perbincangan,” tegasnya sambil disambut sokongan MP-MP Pakatan Rakyat.

Meneruskan hujah beliau, Lim berkata kerajan harus menubuhkan suruhanjaya menyiasat kes Altantuya kerana ianya membabitkan Timbalan Perdana Menteri Najib Tun Razak.

syafiq @ May 6, 2008


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