Saturday, September 13, 2008

Political antagonists more dangerous than rapists, robbers and murderers?

Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin was arrested today under the Internal Security Act for allegedly being a threat to security, peace and public order. [Malaysiakini, 12/9/08]

Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng has been arrested today under the Internal Security Act at 8.30pm at her home in Bukit Mertajam, Penang. [Malaysiakini, 12/9/08]

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP MP Teresa Kok is the latest to be arrested under Section 73 (1) if the ISA Friday. [The Star, 12/9/08]

Three arrests under the ISA in a day? Though Malaysians have yet to see any extensive arrests of robbers/rapists/snatch thieves/kidnappers by the authorities in one day, at least we know the government is good at something.

Raja Petra Kamaruddin (image) was arrested for allegedly "insulting Islam" in his article Not all Arabs are descendants of the Prophet and his commentary on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's letter, I Promise to be a good, non-hypocritical Muslim. His arrest, of course came under the orders of Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar who acted on the Internal Security Act (ISA).

You may read both the articles here and judge for yourself whether they were truly disrespectful to Islam:

  1. Not all Arabs are descendants of the Prophet
  2. I promise to be a good, non-hypocritical Muslim
The Internal Security Act allows the arrest of a person without trial on the claims of national security by the government. This legislature was first introduced by the British to quell the communist insurgency in 1948. It was then inherited by the Malaysian government when the country gained independence in 1957. Since communism no longer pose any threat today, the question still remains on why the ISA is still being allowed to run; creating potential avenues for it to be used for political agendas.

The Home Minister explained that Raja Petra was arrested under Section 73 (1) of the act. Plus, his ministry has the authority to extend Raja Petra's detention period to more than 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,” he said. [The Star, 12/9/08]
Ironically, Raja Petra was arrested 24 hours after the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) lifted the ban on his site, Malaysia Today. He was previously charged for sedition for linking Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with the murder of a Mongolian citizen, Altantuyaa.

Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng (image) was also arrested at her home in Penang. Tan was the journalist responsible for reporting Ahmad Ismail's racist comments. The latter had allegedly called the Chinese "squatters" and had refused to apologise for his racial slur. He related the refusal to apologise as a gesture of defending the pride and dignity of the Malays.

Ahmad Ismail had also expressed his intention to sue the reporter who, according to him, have "blown the issue out of proportion" and turning it into a "racial issue". The Sin Chew Daily reporter chose to stand by her report and claimed that the other reporters who were with her then can back her up. Datuk Seri Najib Razak's prior apology also meant that he agreed with the reporter that Ahmad Ismail had indeed said those racist remarks.

So since when reporting racism was racist?

However, Ahmad Ismail was only given a slap on the wrist - a 3 year suspension of his party membership; sentenced not by a civil court nor the ISA but by UMNO's supreme council.

Seputeh MP and Selangor state exco assemblywoman Teresa Kok (image) became the third person to be arrested under the ISA. She was accused of leading a petition to the state assembly for the ban on the Muslim Azan prayer call by mosques in Puchong and Kota Damansara. Former Selangor Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Mohd Khir Toyo made the allegation through the Malay-language newpaper, Utusan Malaysia. [Malaysiakini, 12/9/08]

Khir Toyo could not provide any evidence at the moment but have said that he had "seen the petition with his own eyes."

PAS came in defense of Teresa by filing a police report against Khir Toyo for his baseless accusations. Kota Raja MP Dr. Siti Mariah Mahmud have called on the police to investigate Khir Toyo's accusations which she claimed were seditious and had the intent to incite racial disharmony. Both Teresa and Dr. Siti Mariah have denied the existence of any petition for the ban on Muslim prayer calls.

Teresa was returning home from a mooncake festival function in Kuala Lumpur when she was stopped by three police cars at approximately 11.20pm. She will also be charged under Section 73 (1) of the ISA.

There is no certainty if there would be any more arrests to follow in the next few days. The previous political spring cleaning was back in 1987 which saw the arrests of 106 persons and the revoke of printing rights on four publishers under the infamous ISA.

Could September 12 be the beginning of history repeating itself?

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  1. Anonymous said...

    The ISA detentions only go to show how dangerous it will be to have a low mentality politician to hold the power of a minister. He claimed to have the support of the majority. What type of majority when only 3 out of 10 persons supported you! Furthermore, this low mentality is very capable of acting like a warlord, brandishing the power given by the people to him to threatened the citizens of this country at his own irrational whims, just to serve his own purpose. A politician making racist remarks and no action by the law is taken against him while a journalist reporting the statement is being arrested! A politician making a false racist claim against another is not acted on by the law while the wrongly accused with proof of false claimed being arrested! How low the level of mentality the minister is prepared to go? Please bear in mind you are also just an ordinary citizen before you are given the power by your party and the people through the election. Please go and ask those who have elected you whether all of them agree to such draconian action taken by you towards your fellow malaysian without proper reason! It will be even more dangerous to give you the power of the DNA Act! Come malaysian, we owe it to our future generations to protect our country against this madness!

  2. Anonymous said...


    To all BN components’ MPs with consciences, throw them out tomorrow to welcome a new Dawn of Malaysia with the divine grace.

    Was UMNO so scared of RPK that they have to place him under ISA arrest? Or they have now collaborated with the murderers of Altantuya because more dirty linens have to be washed in Public that leave the Guilty C4 no choice despite his Swearing Circus & in order to silence RPK by placing him away safely is by using ISA to avoid more revelations of their crimes if he is taken to court under the sedition charges???

    Come the new Dawn of Malaysia that Justice must now be done to those Guilty of Murder and Conspiracy and also for those who were detained without trial or the rights of appeal.

  3. Anonymous said...

    This is Madness!
    This is Malaysia!
    No, this is Patrick!

    Go Malaysia! Malaysia Boleh [verb]!

    Seriously, the Malaysian government still has emergency powers from the 1960s, and they are likely to perpetuate it via false flag operations.