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Thursday, April 23, 2009

RPK and Malaysian justice — The Malaysian Insider

APRIL 23, 2009 — Raja Petra Kamarudin today decided to stand up for justice by running away from the law.

Irony and contradictions like these are normal in Malaysian life. More so in the life of the Malaysia Today editor who wrote a few months ago that he would end up being detained without trial under the Internal Security Act where he will fast to death.

Today, he wrote: "After two ISA detentions, I do not plan to allow them to get me so easily the third time around. I also refuse to face treason charges that will result in me being sent to the gallows. I love my life and wish to remain alive a few years longer if possible."

Treason or rather durhaka was also his reason for self-exile from Selangor where the sedition charge is being heard in the Petaling Jaya court. The minor royalty claimed to have left Selangor over family differences and reaffirmed today he would never return to the state, sticking to his principles and sense of justice.

Yet, he concluded his post today by saying: "I shall, however, attend the court hearing when the situation permits, i.e. I am no longer to be charged for treason and I get an assurance from the powers-that-be that the government’s appeal against my ISA release is withdrawn forthwith and that no new detention order has been issued."

One knows not whether Raja Petra, called Pete by family and RPK by most Malaysians, will be charged for treason in going against the Perak palace over the state's constitutional impasse.

But he has a slew of charges related to his writings about murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu. He has been held under the ISA, charged with sedition and faces criminal defamation charges for the same weblog posts.

RPK too pointed out that he has been held and charged for the same offence a few times, going against the grain of justice where one cannot be charged twice for the same crime. Such is the irony of the Malaysian justice system.

And therefore, the controversial blogger prefers to be free, seen as some as his way of continuing his crusade and others as his style of running down people and continuing to be a thorn in the flesh of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, whom he has tried to link to the Altantuya murder.

As yet, there is no proof that Najib is involved but conspiracy theories abound, some which have landed RPK in court over the past two years. His brush with the law also reflects the deep divide over whether there is continued selective prosecution and persecution by the state and the state of the Malaysian judiciary.

Prosecuting RPK in the criminal justice system or holding him under ISA might shut him up but it will not lay to rest the conspiracy theories and rumours that have dogged Najib since 2006. The only way is to clear his name to the Malaysian public, which was even recommended by his patron Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Otherwise, RPK the fugitive will not rest until he sees his version of justice is done. And if RPK does not rest, neither can Najib nor the rest of Malaysia for some time to come.

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