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Give Altantuya justice
Published:  May 7, 2008 1:37 AM
Updated: 7:36 AM

vox populi big thumbnail ‘In a way, every Malaysian is guilty of this murder because we have voted back into power a regime that, for whatever reason, is delaying justice for this woman and her family.’

On Raja Petra charged, chooses jail over bail

Venki: I feel our police force and the entire Home Affairs Ministry should grow up and do a bit of research on the word ‘sedition’ before they rush any Malaysian to the courts of law for redress. My little dictionary defines ‘sedition’ as ‘words or actions intended to make people oppose the authority of the state’.

The problem in Malaysia is that the boundary between the nation, the government, the politicians who form that government and the party they represent is lost in the mists of time so much so that they cannot distinguish one from the other so much so that a remark against an individual in authority is no different from one against the nation.

Until our leaders wake up to distinguish between these various groups, our courts of law will be crowded with unnecessary cases to prove the guilt or otherwise of such critics of the government of the day as Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

Meng: If the leaders of Umno and BN have any fear of God in them, they will realise that the March 8 political tsunami was a divine judgment upon the ruling coalition for delaying justice of an innocent woman violently murdered on our soil. In a way, every Malaysian is guilty of this murder because we have voted back into power a regime that, for whatever reason, is delaying justice for this woman and her family. It is wrong. It is wrong for the government to delay justice for their own selfish purposes.

In a way Raja Petra’s call to send the murderers to hell is not far from the truth – unfortunately blood is not only on the few hands who committed the murder. Blood is on everyone who has a part in delaying justice for whatever reason and on those who are suppressing the truth. If the leaders of this country continue to deny justice, a fate more terrible then March 8 awaits the ruling coalition. There are many questions left unanswered that smells foul to the top, and it will do good that the leaders of the BN government remember that the rakyat are not stupid fools.

Persecute Raja Petra and you may find another 100 Raja Petras coming out for the sake of justice. Justice for Altantuya.

Allan Tam: It is no surprise, Raja Petra’s popularity. There must be reasons for this and the authorities must recognise the factors behind his popularity and influence. Any one who read his last article on Malaysia Today on ‘What is Islam’ will recognise how he understood what Islam was. It was a masterpiece and his understanding of Islam was just a total different interpretation of that done by other scholars. This man is just astonishing.

KSN: This is exactly what Mahatma Gandhi did and he brought down the mighty British Empire the sun never set on! The BN's end is in sight. With best wishes to RPK and family

John Johnson: ‘Incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority’ - this is the meaning of sedition. My question is did RPK incite anyone or go against any lawful authority? On what grounds did he commit an act of sedition? And why is someone trying to bury the Altantuya case and using all powers that they’re capable of to silence anyone who talks about this subject?

Is this going to be a precedent to shut all bloggers up? Well, we have news for you - we will not zip up. We will stay the course and fight for our rights and also against injustices committed by the people in power.

I sincerely hope and pray that all the noble lawyers and friends who are helping him through this ordeal will have the courage to stay the course and may God bless all of you. One for all and all for one.

Dean Kuok: Raja Petra Kamaruddin has started the ball rolling. He has not only written but acted upon it. Not only will he be facing the Sedition Act, the whole country’s legal machinery will probably be used to crush him.

My question is why charge RPK for pointing out issues and irregularities on the Altantuya murder trial when these are direct results of irregular actions taken by the prosecution and the courts? On the other hand, if the charge is in relation to the ‘alleged implied’ involvement of the country's deputy premier and his wife, then the DPM and his wife should instead be the right party to sue RPK. I just cannot see the logic of spending public funds and time to defend a personal allegation especially when it involves the DPM and his wife in a personal capacity. If indeed the DPM is not involved, then he can choose to ignore it, deny it or sue RPK - don't use the taxpayer’s resources to gag RPK.

I am sure there are many out there are already doubtful of the many irregularities surrounding the murder trial of Altantuya. There are just too many questions left unanswered and the prolonged case unfortunately have further add fuel to the many coffee shop speculations on the ‘conspiracy theories’ and ‘backdoor deals’ involving top politicians. While this is happening, the country's legal system seems to be in the garage doing repairs and waiting for parts.

It just goes to show the kind of power that some can exert over others in this country. Maybe RPK is correct to call for justice for Altantuya and restore our country's dignity because at the rate the government and country's legal system is handling the Altantuya murder trail, the country's legal system is obviously heading the wrong way. Free RPK and may I also suggest that the current donation drive for RPK be continued as the ‘Justice for Altantuya Fund’?

Jane: I checked for the meaning of sedition in my copy of Webster's dictionary and various online sites and now I'm confused. The common element in all these definitions is that sedition is ‘the act of stirring up rebellion against the government in power’. Since when did the splendid DPM and his equally splendid spouse constitute a government in power? If they feel they've been wronged, shouldn't they pursue a civil action?

Instead the cops spring into action in their usual efficient manner. I must say the Malaysian government has certainly mastered the art of killing a mosquito with cannons (with apologies to RPK, no disrespect intended; it was an analogy, you're certainly no mosquito.)

Paul Warren: We are told that we are supposed to learn from history. However, it would seem that in Malaysia, the Barisan Nasional politicians, particularly the leaders - and the police, who seem to think it is their duty to preserve the political structures of the nation - appear to be ignoring it altogether.

Fact is Steve Biko would have been a nobody if not for the South Africa’s apartheid police force who eventually killed him in prison. Until today we know of Steve Biko. And his story will be repeated a thousand times more over the next thousand years. Anybody remember the police chief of South Africa at that time? Or anyone remember his tormentors and persecutors, including the Attorney-General at that time? Or the judge?

Well, in case Bukit Aman does not know it yet and in case Gani Patail does not know it yet. A hundred years from now, Raja Petra will be spoken of like the Hang Tuah of our times. But I don’t think your great-great grandchildren will be reading about the scoundrels of this time. Well, they might remember Najib.

Truly Malaysian: These crusaders acted with passion and conviction without fear of intimidation as they were seeking justice and truth of the cause. Should we, the ever nonchalant Malaysian society, sit back and pass our two sen obligatory comments for the sake of it? As a society, we could do so much more, a society is a multiplied individuals who can do so much if our morals are in place.

These crusaders have stirred up society and made them understand that their cause is just and right for the well-being of the society but they are nonetheless crucified for their actions. Hey, I am not asking for too much, but only hope that Malaysian society will wake up to the truth and stand up for justice by contribute constructively rather than being a pillion rider. We always expect someone else to fight for our causes in society.

R Rama Chandran: The police action is a manifestation that the police force is a Barisan Nasional police force and not a Malaysian police force. The IGP should giving proper training to his men to be neutral in enforcing the law and order. We don’t want to see a situation when Pakatan Rakyat forms the next government and these biased chaps in the police facing retribution by the new government by demotions and such.

This is why the police and other active service agencies should always be neutral and fair to all citizens without any bias. The people should not feel or even think that this episode happened because the leaders ordered it.

Disgruntled: Is it really sedition that they want to charge him with? If it is that serious why fix a date for October? Surely fve months from now is not a short time? Have some humane consideration for an innocent citizen. Do not penalise an innocent person for what he is trying to do - disseminate facts to we, an uninformed public. Do keep in high spirits, Petra. We are with you all the way. Take care.

Santan: Dear RPK, you are demonstrating our sentiments. You are voicing our conscience. The eyes of the world are on us and you are showing them Malaysians are not all deaf, dumb and blind to injustice. We’re watching you closely so no harm can come your way. Hang in there.

Mr X: I am worried as to what the police will do to Raja Petra. We can all remember what they did to Anwar. Let us pray that something is done immediately to get Raja Petra freed before the top politician(s) commits more injustice.

On No evidence of indelible ink smugglers

JTB: If I recall correctly the Election Commission said the police has detained some people who has imported the ink from Thailand to sabotage the elections. The Election Commission stated that this imported ink would cause chaos and public disorder. With that reason, we cannot fault the Election Commission for scrapping the idea of marking the electorate’s fingers with the ink.

And now, can you beat this? The Home Minister, a lawyer by training, Syed Hamid Albar, says there is no evidence of the ink’s smugglers. Since the investigations were based on a police report or perhaps several reports, we would like to know who are those who made the report. Look, if there is no evidence and it is all hearsay, you do not need the Attorney-General Chambers to tell you that it is merely hearsay. The police could tell the Election Commission that it is was all hearsay and there is no cause to fear chaos and public disorder.

I would venture further to say that whoever made the report with no evidence whatsoever has caused a mischief and has made a false report. Are the police not going to charge him or them for lodging false reports?

This is no trifling matter for the taxpayers. What are you going to do with the 48,000 bottles of ink worth RM2.4 million? Probably sell it to Umno to be used at the next annual general meeting in December to prevent phantom voters? The explanation by the Home Minister is far from satisfactory.

Ridiculous: In all fairness, please let me know who are the complainants and witnesses.

On Sultan Perak acted unconstitutionally

Ahmad Kamal: If I remember correctly the Sultan (or the Regent in the state where the Sultan is the Agong), has the authority over all matters pertaining to the religion of Islam. The officer in question is an employee of an office related to the religion of Islam, although he is a civil servant as stated by Karpal.

So, Karpal being a lawyer should not be so quick to think that the Sultan has infringed the Federal Constitution. The Malay Rulers have seen their powers curbed over the Mahathir years and at many a time, this has impacted upon the balance of powers and checks and balances to the Barisan-led government.

The matter should be revisited in a court of law if so required. Such a challenge would add to the new jurisprudence for a new Malaysia. Let the courts rework the grey areas of the constitution.

On MyKad may be used to stop foreigners buying cheap fuel

Pang: Why is it that our minister wants to find a complicated way to reduce the cost of subsidy of fuel? Expenses are to be incurred on changing the pumps to be able to read the MyKad, to calibrating the two rates of petrol price at the pump and to have the MyKad activate the one rate for Malaysians and another for foreigners.

And whom, may I ask is going to be paying for this change? If it is the government, then it is coming from our taxes, if it is the oil companies, then it will be passed on to us. Isn't more of the subsidy being wasted because of smugglers, poor enforcement or corrupt officers then to foreigners filling up at the border stations?

Already the Singapore government stipulates that all cars leaving Singapore have to have at least half a tank full so if they are shopping around JB, the most they can fill up is half a tank. Isn't this latest proposal by the Malaysian government a case of wasting resources to ‘solve’ a problem that does not really make much a difference to the overall picture?

On Parliament's live TV to cost RM3 mil a month

Malaysian: I sense an excuse is brewing. People have for years wanted to see, listen and be informed what’s going on in Parliament. This is a major issue for most people over and above the mundane broadcast that we see on television. If money is the issue, just hook up Internet line and pipe the video through it.

Really, its not the money. Its transparency and truth which are the real issues.

Tan Hing Heng: Now that we know the cost of half-an-hour live telecasts of Parliament sessions, can the said minister enlightens us on the cost of the live telecast of the Umno general assembly?

On Urgent need for dog-pounds

Chung, Siew Peng: Thank you Leigh Chen for highlighting this issue. I just do not understand why we need to solve problems by just eliminating whatever is in our way. What the people need most is to be educated and understand the full responsibility of being a dog owner. There are a few groups in town who are willing to provide classes on training but the majority of the public parks are off limits to dogs.

There are people who have become individual re-homers for strays at their own expense but are always afraid of the authority knocking on their doors at any time. The government is spending money on importing trained service dogs from overseas to assist us but no one ever thought of training volunteers within the country with their own dogs for emergency situations. Even a country like Thailand is making use of its strays caught in Bangkok and training them to accompany forest sentries on duty.

Millions are spent on paying contract dog-catchers and killing a handful of strays but this will not really solve any problem arising from dog issues in Malaysia. A new approach is needed urgently but this cannot happen unless the people’s mindset changes.