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RPK changes mind and turns fugitive


Raja Petra (Pic by johnleemk; source: Wikipedia commons)

PETALING JAYA, 23 April 2009: Influential blogger Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin has turned fugitive after a warrant for his arrest was issued today when he failed to appear in court for his sedition trial.

In his Malaysia Today website, he said he opted not to appear in court because he believed he would be rearrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

He also believed that he would be charged for treason, and decided to go into self-imposed exile as punishment after a fall-out with the Selangor palace over the Perak constitutional crisis.

Petaling Jaya Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayub today issued a warrant of arrest for Raja Petra after he failed to appear in court this morning.

His counsel J Chandra told the court today that his client had explained his absence in a blog posting on his Malaysia Today website, titled Why I am absent in court today.

Raja Petra outlined two main reasons. One was that he faced rearrest under the ISA as he claimed a new detention order had been signed for him.

He said his friends were being asked by the police to reveal his whereabouts so that he could be rearrested.

“If I were to turn up in court today I would never be allowed to leave. The police would immediately detain me and send me to Kamunting,” he said.

“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,” he said.

Different stand

Interestingly, in an earlier blog posting on 16 February, Raja Petra vowed continued resistance against the government even if it meant being behind bars in Kamunting.

In Probably My Last Message To Malaysians, he said he refused advice to seek political asylum in another country, even at the cost of his freedom.

He also said he would refuse medical treatment, and the food provided by the Kamunting authorities. He said he was prepared to be dead by the end of seven to eight days after refusing food and water.

“I lay down my life for this nation of ours called Malaysia. I will sacrifice myself for the sake of the struggle,” he wrote.

Royal fallout

In today’s blog posting, Raja Petra said he also believed he would eventually be charged for treason for his 2 March open letter to Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, in which he expressed views that went against the Perak sultan.

He said the letter had angered his family, and the Selangor royalty, of which he is a member. He said his family wanted him to issue a public apology to the Perak sultan.

He refused to do so, and also refused to attend a family meeting to discuss the situation. He was then given an ultimatum to either make a public apology or be publicly disowned by his family.

Raja Petra said his response to that was to go into exile outside Selangor. “As a matter of fact, I even missed two recent family funerals, as I could not and would not step foot in Selangor ever again.”

He said exile was the normal punishment for any member of the kerabat or royal family who had displeased the palace.

Raja Petra said he would attend his court hearing “when the situation permits”, that is when he is satisfied that he would not be charged for treason, when the government withdraws its appeal against his ISA release, and when he feels that there is no new detention order for his rearrest.

Raja Petra said in his blog he did not believe he would get a fair trial either in the government’s appeal against his release, or in his on-going sedition and criminal defamation cases.

His sedition trial is over an article, Let’s Send the Altantuya Murderers to Hell, posted on his website on 25 April 2008.

Raja Petra was detained a second time under the ISA on 12 Sept and was ordered to the Kamunting Detention Centre for two years on 23 Sept by the home minister. But the Shah Alam High Court released him from ISA detention on 7 Nov. The government is appealing.

His first ISA detention was in April 2001 for his involvement in the reformasi movement.

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21 Responses to “RPK changes mind and turns fugitive”

  1. Chong Fook Choy says:

    Godspeed RPK. In Malaysia, under Umno and BN, the hunter ought to be the hunted and vice versa. What ought to be, Malaysia tak boleh. What we ought to be ashamed about, Malaysia amat boleh. What a country! Its only hope is with wira2 like RPK.

  2. simon khoo says:

    May the good Lord keep you safe, Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin. You are the voice for Anak Bangsa M’sia, the voice for justice, good governance, equality, truth, fair play. I believe in you and support you, so does the Rakyat.

    The Umno/BN government can’t be trusted, the police can’t be trusted, the judiciary can’t be trusted, the civil service can’t be trusted, the anti-corruption people can’t be trusted, the Palace … ooh … heavily compromised (e.g. Perak Sultan).

    So what other institutions are left in M’sia that are honourable … even Parliament and the country’s constitution are not spared by the Umno/BN gomen, their lackeys do the damage.

    What level playing field is Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin left with? Nothing. Do what you need to do, dear Raja Petra. We the rakyat support you wholeheartedly. Keep safe and well, God bless.

  3. Gopal Raj Kumar says:

    This is the case of a trouble maker posing as a journalist and self appointed conscience of the people when he clearly lacked the credentials of both categories.

    Raja Petra Kamaruddin lacked the credibility of those he sought to emulate like the Mandelas of this world. His warped idea of freedom, much like those of Teresa Kok, Elizabeth Wong and Lim Kit Siang does not tolerate dissent or contrarian opinions.

    These are people bent on creating a divisive and explosive situation in an already volatile environment, picking on popular bogeys then acting in a manner not quite unlike that which they accuse their opponents (read government) of behaving like.

    Raja Petra Kamaruddin did insult the prophet Muhammed, the religion of Islam, Malays as a race and incited people holding views both consistent with his own and those with views diametrically opposed to his to act in a manner that would have been both detrimental to national security or public order. In doing so I would argue that he gave much ground to a government seeking to reinforce the ISA. He offered himself by his own actions to stand out as a prime example of why an anachronistic ISA in today’s world is still needed.

    RPK has excised my postings which were critical of those aspects of his published writings which lacked legitimacy either because they were not based on fact, moral or legal foundation.

    His actions and those of his other comrades in arms like Kok, Wong and Kit Siang in banning or placing a bar on their respective websites against anyone with a contrarian view or anyone with the temerity to challenge their distortions of facts or the law have placed them now in an untenable and indefensible position both morally and legally.

    Unfortunately, being critical of these characters is often seen in some sectors in Malaysia as being pro BN. Sad indeed it has taken so long for people to see the real RPK.

    Gopal Raj Kumar

  4. simon khoo says:

    Gopal Raj Kumar, you propagate Umno/BN ideology. Yet you do not admit to subscribe to Umno/BN politics.

    Who dares to expose the wrong doings of our so-called enlightened leaders. Who, I ask you? Would you put your life on the line for the rakyat like RPK?

    I’ve met RPK, he is a true gentleman, a humble man, a man of conviction, a man who speaks against injustice, a rakyat warrior of the tallest order.

  5. jamilkucing says:

    Cakap banyak berani, pergi court banyak takut.

    I agree with Gopal Raj Kumar.

  6. simon khoo says:

    Cakap banyak berani, pergi court banyak takut. Says jamilkucing.

    jamilkucing: do you not read, see and hear what is happening to Zimbabwe. Do you honestly think your children’s children in years to come will prosper in a country devoid of human capital (talent), raped of its wealth? Where diversity, inter-cultural growth and development, free speech, press freedom suppressed and curtailed.

    Talk is not cheap. Need not look further than dear Raja Petra. Keeping silence where there is wrongdoing and injustice is a crime against humanity. A crime against your own fellow citizens.

  7. tun says:

    Drama Queen.

  8. Gopal Raj Kumar says:

    Simon, you have reinforced what I have already said about what happens in taking the middle ground by being critical of RPK and his allies.

    You accuse anyone who does not slavishly adhere to RPK’s ideology of being pro-BN or a BN supporter.

    If in doing what I and many like me have done is being supportive of BN or in suggesting that BN is like minded, then I do not apologise for it. They may after all by your own admission be what Malaysia needs.

  9. salak says:

    “…creating a divisive and explosive situation in an already volatile environment, picking on popular bogeys then acting in a manner not quite unlike that which they accuse their opponents (read government) of behaving like, etc.” Gopal Raj Kumar

    It’s difficult to see, isn’t it Kumar?

    No one has to agree with everything RPK does, but this much is plain … no man should fear justice. When he does fear something, it is not justice!

    No Malaysian should ever SUBMIT to unjust laws and a corrupt system! Buddha, Jesus and Prophet Muhammad didn’t and they changed a lot of things.

    Of course, one is free to submit to injustice and corruption.

  10. salak says:

    Gopal Raj Kumar,

    Thank you, Sir!

    You just taught me what freedom means!

    It does not mean to submit to the BN’s corrupt and unjust government!

    Selamat, siang, Pak! :)

  11. esa says:

    So much for “having the evidence” for all his claims. Mr “I’m willing to die like a Bugis hero” ends up running and hiding. RPK is no longer credible. All that big talk but when it comes to the crunch, he goes running.

  12. esa says:

    simon khoo Posted: 23 Apr 09 : 7.31PM

    Who dares to expose the wrong doings of our so-called enlightened leaders. Who, I ask you? Would you put your life on the line for the rakyat like RPK?

    Exposing is fine, but where is the evidence? Anyone can lay claim to anything, but will you take responsibility for your claims? Tell me, what has he really exposed, and where is the proof? Now is the best time to bring out the truth and expose it in court! After all, two people are going to be hanged for the murder, and he has always claimed to have the evidence. So present it in court then, why run?

  13. Eric says:

    Can Gopal Raj Kumar bear to explain what he means by:
    - “His warped idea of freedom, much like those of Teresa Kok, Elizabeth Wong and Lim Kit Siang does not tolerate dissent or contrarian opinions.” Who exactly is sued (persecuted?) for dissent or contrarian opinion?
    - “creating a divisive and explosive situation”. Do you have any evidence to substantiate your accusation?
    - “to act in a manner that would have been both detrimental to national security or public order” and “why an anachronistic ISA in today’s world is still needed”. Please explain.
    - “placing a bar on their respective websites against anyone with a contrarian view”. What do you mean, they cannot moderate their own websites? Or do you mean they have a public-service duty to let all express their views? Do you extend this to any other media too?

  14. Karcy says:

    To Gopal:

    What if I were to say “I believe that Muhammad was a brilliant man, but not a prophet of God” — which is what I really believe anyway? Should I be tahan under ISA if someone got offended?

    At what point do we know if someone is ‘insulting Islam’ or ‘insulting Muhammad’, much less the even the foggier ‘insulting Malays’?

    It is for this silly reason of being so fearful of ‘offending Muslims’ that some of the best scholarship in Islam has been arbitrarily banned from entering the country. Karen Armstrong’s books were on the ‘ban’ list until enough Muslim apologists declared their praise for it. What about books by skeptics like Ibn Warraq?

    If a country cannot take the ravings of a secularist because it is a threat to national security, what does it say of the country?

  15. Gopal Raj Kumar says:

    RPK is no Jesus, nor Prophet Muhammed or the Buddha. Each of these men stayed back, faced the music because they believed in what they preached and had the courage of their convictions.

    Each of the examples I have cited in my arguments from RPK, Wong, Kok and Siang have unequivocally demonstrated that to take a view critical to their stated position deserves the sanction of a ban from their respective websites.

    At least with Anwar Ibrahim, whom I have also been critical of in a lengthy essay on his website last year, had the courage of his convictions (albeit after the fact that censoring my article had in itself become an issue for a man supposedly championing freedom of expression) to publish the article.

    Apart from that one fact alone, he also moderated the responses removing offensive and irrelevant responses of emotional outbursts from the peanut gallery.

    RPK is no different to the man who lights a fire because he believes it creates heat in winter or gives light at night simply because he believes it is winter.

    Nothing can redeem a runaway. He made statements about Malay Malaysians. Islam and Muslims that were simply unnecessary, inflammatory and bigoted.

    And let me add this to my criticism of RPK: his standards of “journalism” is embarrassing for its poor grammar, style, lack of flow, its content, irrelevance and general lack of logic. The further away he runs the better. It may well create that opportunity for the less self serving in our midst to find that safe middle ground where level heads prevail.

    As far as I and many others are concerned its good riddance to bad rubbish and change that abbreviation of his name to RIP from RPK.

  16. simon khoo says:

    esa post: “Exposing is fine, but where is the evidence? Anyone can lay claim to anything, but will you take responsibility for your claims? Tell me, what has he really exposed, and where is the proof? Now is the best time to bring out the truth and expose it in court! After all, two people are going to be hanged for the murder, and he has always claimed to have the evidence. So present it in court then, why run?”

    esa, I do not mean to offend but you have missed the forest for the trees.

    What RPK has done is allow fair-minded Anak Bangsa Malaysia to come together, to clamour for change, to question WHY? Why must fellow Malaysians be segregated into racial camps. Why not national unity- Malaysians first, ethnicity secondary.

    RPK’s writings has rocked the ruling elites, irritated & agitated the establishment no end. In that same token it inform the rakyat of the shenanigans of the powerful. Now that is powerful!

    RPK becomes the beacon for fair minded intellectuals, may it be Malay Malaysians, Chinese Malaysians, Indian Malaysians & lain lain the “voice”; that it is ok to question the rulers who are not doing a good job running the country. It enables fair minded Malaysians to come together to foster genuine change for the betterment for ALL Malaysians.

    RPK’s blog MT acts as a conduit also for alternative views to be presented and heard. It counters the blatant Umno/BN propaganda.

    Most important, just in case esa you miss it outright. What RPK has done in his writings is that it gives back the rakyat the space to ponder, to question, to argue, to speak out, to express themselves, to invite soul brothers & sisters to envisage how they like their society to be like. That “space” has always been dominated by Umno/BN MSM.

    I’m happy RPK has change his mind, now a fugitive from Umno/BN government. It make sense to have a live hero who fights another day than a dead hero. There is still lots of work to be done by RPK and fair minded bloggers for “the dream to dream” one day Malaysia is truly Malaysia for ALL Malaysians. NOT Ketuanan this or that, racial politics is the devil sword.

  17. ernest says:

    Hi Gopal Raj Kumar. There are two type of personality in all these, one is envy the other is jealousy. If the cap fits, then wear it.

  18. Paul says:

    I think it is high time some brave Malaysians stand up and voice their heartfelt concerns. And sometimes we need to make shocking statements. And I think RPK is one of them. Let’s wait and see what comes out of this. No one (human) is perfect. Not me, not RPK and definitely not those who look down on RPK. I think he’s got more guts that all of us. Let’s encourage more people to come forward and make a stand. We need to be free to discuss issues openly. They are paving the way for a more open society. Let’s give them their due. With what’s going on in our country right now do you think RPK will get a fair trial? I doubt. Just look at some of the recent judgments. RPK has his reasons. He knew something was about to happen and he reacted.

  19. Gopal Raj Kumar says:

    Whatever evidence is required to establish proof of my assertions in comments on RPK, Wong, Kok and Kit Siang whether here or in another blog is irrelevant here. But if the evidence to establish proof from such comments in other blogs is required to corroborate the character of the man, then it is up to the authorities who try him to subpoena or summons me to a hearing in which he is defendant.

    To obtain my IP address and thereafter my postal or physical address is not rocket science. One merely has to ask the Wongs, the Kit Siangs and the RPKs about the postings of Gopal Raj Kumar if you really need it. Considering their established reluctance to publish anything that challenges their world view, I doubt they will either acknowledge my postings or what I have said about their censorship. There are I have since discovered more than one Gopal Raj Kumar now. I do maintain records of my postings anywhere though. I also note the senseless and meaningless ‘edits’ in each of these when published. But I am prepared to accept it as long as it does not alter the meaning of my posting.

    If they (RPK, Wong, Kit Siang or Kok) choose to deny I have ever posted on their blogs, then deny their subsequent conduct by banning my posting from their websites or blogs I am happy to extract from my collection, material which I have also posted in copious volumes on the Star Online Blog since late last year. They are the same material duplicated for the widest possible coverage.

    However if one truly reads with an open mind what RPK has been publishing, there would be no need for such contrived emotions about the man and the consequences of his actions he has now run away from. Even he must have known at some stage that, what he has done had gone beyond the pale of reason and common decency.

    Just because others do wrong, his being wrong is not necessarily justifiable. Two wrongs do not make a right.

    I stand by my comments.

  20. Eric says:

    Basically, Gopal Raj Kumar, you are holding a personal grudge against RPK, Teresa Kok, Elizabeth Wong and Lim Kit Siang as they refused to post your comments and you wish the former (perhaps the others too) to go to jail for this. Is that right?

    If this is the case, I believe there are other ways for you to expel your anger. Good that you did not decide to simply kill these people!

    Another thing, how can you justify putting someone in jail merely because they do not agree with you? Where is the threat to national security, the cause for sedition, where are the riots, pogroms, mass conversions you are leading us to believe RPK is creating?

  21. Andrew I says:

    “Each of these men stayed back, faced the music because they believed in what they preached and had the courage of their convictions.”

    Take that to the bank, Anwar.


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