Silencing RPK at all costs

Richard Teo

Modified 25 Sep 2008, 9:58 am

Outside the prison walls of Kamunting in which Raja Petra is incarcerated, the guilty roam free. When he was outside, the fearless blogger had caused havoc and sleepless nights for those who had reason to conceal their unlawful acts.

Raja Petra's allegation that the deputy prime minister’s wife was present when a Mongolian woman was blown up resulted in a criminal defamation suit.

Raja Petra then went further to reveal a statutory declaration made by the doctor who had examined Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy accuser Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan and concluded that he (Saiful) was not sodomised.

If indeed Raja Petra had made a false statutory declaration, existing laws should be adequate to charge and punish him. Why was he not charged if he had indeed made a fictitious declaration?

Surely there are penalties for making false declarations. And if they are false, the contents of these documents can be investigated. Was this even done?

Conveniently, Raja Petra was charged under ISA for insulting Islam in his articles. I have read all of his articles and I can safely say that none of them come close to insulting Islam. If indeed this is true, he deserves an opportunity to defend himself. Why was he not given that opportunity?

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar will have to one day answer for his act of signing the papers that sent Raja Petra to Kamunting. On whose behest did he act? Why was Raja Petra denied a habeas corpus hearing?

In short, justice has been denied to a man many Malaysians consider a hero. His forced incarceration in Kamunting has totally deprived him of any opportunity to defend himself and to expose and punish the guilty parties in his often explosive allegations.

Now that he is in detention in Kamunting, I dare say the hearing of his criminal defamation suit will be moved to some obscure date. The government is hoping that by that time, public interest in the whole issue would have died away.

If the government was hoping to stifle dissent by locking Raja Petra safely away, they have failed. His unfair detention has only trained the spotlight on the government and its inadequacies. The public now, more than ever, want answers. And they want them now!

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