Malaysiakini: RPK detained under ISA

The alarming speed, which the bloggers first got to know the latest sensational news, never ceases to amaze yous truly. How Mad Salo in the forgotten Kalimantan swamp and Doc TA of Melaka heard the wind of Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK) being arrested this afternoon, is beyond me. Mind you, I was right smack in the heart of Bangsar when the test message reached my phone – with overrated Blackberry and fastest internet speed to boot.

RPK has been detained under the purview of Internal Security Act (ISA) this afternoon. Malaysiakini has the report.

However, for purposes of sharing the breaking news with unsubscribers of Malaysiakini, I reproduce below excerpts of the news, stolen without the portal’s permission:

“Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin was arrested today under the Internal Security Act for allegedly being a threat to security, peace and public order.
MCPX

According to Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, the 58-year old father of five would be detained unedr Section 73(1) of the ISA, which allows for detention for up to 60 days.

“The police will do an assessment during this period and if they feel he should be held more than 60 days, the police will then refer to me,” Syed Hamid was quoted as saying by The Star.

The minister also confirmed that the Sin Chew Daily, The Sun and Suara Keadilan were issued show cause letters. “They have been given a week to reply,” he added.

Raja Petra’s wife Marina Lee Abdullah earlier told Malaysiakini that 10 police personnel from Bukit Aman came to their home in Sungai Buloh at about 1.10pm to arrest him.

When Malaysiakini contacted Marina at 1.25pm, the police personnel were still there. However, he was taken away to an unknown destination at 1.50pm. The police also confiscated a computer, some books and VCDs.

On Sept 6, Syed Hamid had warned that Raja Petra, who edits the popular news portal Malaysia Today, could be charged under the ISA for comments allegedly insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad.

The minister said several religious groups – Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim), Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (Maiwp) and Federal Territory Religious Department (Jawi) – had lodged police reports against him.

The groups had complained Raja Petra’s comment in an article entitled “I Promise to be a good, non-hypocritical Muslim” allegedly used sentences that insulted Muslims.

The government ordered the blocking of the Malaysia Today website two weeks ago, but the ban was lifted yesterday.

Second time under ISA

raja petra to police station on burma doctor sd 040908 03Popularly known by his initials RPK, he is also alleged to have allowed comments to appear on his website that degraded Islam and Prophet Muhammad in an article entitled “Not all Arabs are descendants of the Prophet”.

This is the second time that RPK, a member of the Selangor royal family, has been detained under ISA, which allows for indefinite detention without trial.

His first arrest under the tough security law was on April 11, 2001. RPK was detained as part of a crackdown against reformasi activists in which nine others were also held.

At that time, he was webmaster for the now defunct FreeAnwar.com site.

Raja Petra was subsequently released after 53 days in detention. However, six of the reformasi leaders were eventually sent to the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping where they were detained for two years.

Charged earlier for sedition, defamation

The controversial blogger was earlier charged with sedition and defamation after linking Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife to the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman.

In that case, a close friend of the deputy premier – Abdul Razak Baginda – was charged with abetting the murder of 28-year-old Altantuya Shaariibuu, whose body was blown up with explosives.

Two police officers from an elite force, whose duties included guarding the prime minister and Najib, were also charged with the killing.

The ISA, which human rights groups have pushed to have abolished, provides for renewable two-year periods of detention without trial and is normally used against suspected terrorists.

It has also been used to lock up opponents of the government, and last year five Hindraf leaders were detained three weeks after mounting a mammoth rally in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25″.

Ironically, the Star splashes on its headline this morning that Multimedia and Communications Commissions (MCMC) has reinstated access to Malaysia Today, RPK’s controversial web portal.

Personally, I sometimes disagree with RPK’s news and write-ups but I could not – by whatever reasons and means – condone to the usage of oppressive statute the likes of ISA.

(Picture of RPK stolen from his page at Facebook)

6 thoughts on “Malaysiakini: RPK detained under ISA

  1. Sis Elviza,

    Raja Petra dares to rush in where angels fear to tread. I think he is too hot for the authorities to handle. ISA is the best way to shut him up.

    I shudder everytime I read his criticisms of the powers that be. What does he get out of his rantings bewilders me.

    Even tho I might have reliable sources, I won’t dare go the distance he went.

    Anyway with Ramadan in progress, why is there no respite in politics. The acrimony seems to get from bad to worse.

    Yesterday US marked Sept 11. Both contenders of the White House called for a truce as a mark of respect.

    Tho Obama and Hilary Clinton slugged it out for nomination with no holds barred. By tradition, when the battle is over, the loser will call for the closing of ranks.

    But in Malaysia, politics is winners take all. We are still very immature. This shows our politicians from both sides don’t care for Malaysia.

    Sad, very sad indeed.

    Cheang,

    At 51, we are indeed very young. But does not mean we can make mistake all the bloody time.

  2. Nothing should warrant an arrest under the ISA.

    My feelings have evolved from one of utter disbelief, to outrage, to forced calm, and back to outrage again.

    Whatever they claim that RPK has done, using the ISA is definitely not the way to go.

    Su,

    ISA must be repealed under whatever costs. That is my point of view.

  3. To: Elviza
    I’m starting another blog, tentatively named Cendana Blues: Addicted to Politics at http://cendana287.blogspot.com to deal “with everything else” – especially on things political

    (Yes, it is influenced by “Borneo Blues”. Am also thinking of “Cendana’s Bru” because I hope to make this blog “different”)

    That’s because I don’t want to pollute and contaminate my existing Recovery from Drug Addiction blog, which is “inclusive” and is trying to be spiritual in nature.

    It’s still in the works but I hope to launch it `soon’. Hope you won’t mind the advertisements, because I’m also doing it for the money. Hey, I have to make a living too now that the prison and pusat serenti don’t want to take care of me anymore!πŸ™‚

    BTW, you are included under my list of Arrest them first!πŸ™‚

  4. *My comment seems to have disappeared. If there’s a duplicate, Sorry.

    To: Elviza
    I’m starting another blog, tentatively named Cendana Blues: Addicted to Politics at cendana287ATblogspot.com to deal “with everything else” – especially on things political

    (Yes, it is influenced by “Borneo Blues”. Am also thinking of “Cendana’s Bru” because I hope to make this blog “different”)

    That’s because I don’t want to pollute and contaminate my existing Recovery from Drug Addiction blog, which is “inclusive” and is trying to be spiritual in nature.

    It’s still in the works but I hope to launch it `soon’. Hope you won’t mind the advertisements, because I’m also doing it for the money. Hey, I have to make a living too now that the prison and pusat serenti don’t want to take care of me anymore!πŸ™‚

    BTW, you are included under my list of Arrest them first!πŸ™‚

    Of course I wont mind the advertisement – just for you, though.πŸ™‚ Good luck with the writing, my new friend.

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