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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Malaysian blogger faces jail for sedition


I've watched about this on TV and read on newspapers, websites and blogs. I dare not to comment regarding this issue as I don't think we bloggers are safe enough to talk about politics. This isn't fair tho but that is only my immature opinion [I suppose?]. So, here I want to share some articles/news which I read online. Poor Raja Petra Kamarudin...

I got this article from here.

Malaysian blogger faces jail for sedition

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- A prominent Malaysian blogger was charged Tuesday with sedition for allegedly implying the deputy prime minister was involved in the sensational killing of a young Mongolian woman.

Raja Petra Raja Kamaruddin, who has not denied that he linked Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak to the slaying, pleaded innocent to the charge, telling reporters that he should have the right to hold the powerful accountable for wrongdoing.

He was taken to prison after he refused to post bail. The court set the trial for October 6. If convicted, he faces up to three years in jail.

"I am not posting bail. See you guys in October," Raja Petra told supporters before police took him away. "I will be out for Christmas. Don't worry."

Dozens of opposition members and bloggers gathered to show support for Raja Petra outside the Kuala Lumpur court where he was charged.

"This is an attempt to clamp down on all sorts of freedom," said Nurul Izzah Anwar, an opposition member of Parliament and daughter of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

The sedition charge stems from an April 25 article that Raja Petra posted on his popular Web site Malaysia Today.

The article allegedly implies that Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, were involved in the 2006 killing in Malaysia of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year-old Mongolian interpreter.

Abdul Razak Baginda, a close associate of Najib, is charged with abetting the murder. Two policemen have been accused of killing her and destroying her body with explosives in a jungle clearing. The trial of the three men began in June 2007 and is under way.

The prosecution contends that Abdul Razak had the woman killed because she pestered him for money after he ended their affair.

Prosecutors said Raja Petra "published a seditious article, which contains seditious sentences," including allegations that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is covering up evidence implicating Najib in the killing.

Raja Petra said he was not worried by the sedition charge and suggested he had evidence against the leaders.

"I am happy. We bloggers have declared war on the government. We are not scared of the government. The government should be scared of us," he told reporters.

"Is it seditious to influence people against corrupt leaders? There is nothing seditious," he said. "Do you think I do not have evidence?"

Some of Malaysia's most popular blogs offer strongly anti-government commentaries and present themselves as a substitute for mainstream media, which are controlled by political parties or closely linked to them

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This one is from here.

Raja Petra refuses bail, stages hunger strike
Charles Ramendran and Maria J.Dass

PETALING JAYA (May 7, 2008): Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, the webmaster of malaysia-today.net who was charged with sedition yesterday for news content in his website has refused bail.

In an act of defiance against the charges, Raja Petra has gone on a hunger strike in the Sungai Buloh prison where he is being held and has refused to meet anyone, including his wife Marina Lee Abdullah.

"He won't listen to anyone of us and I am so worried for his health. Except for a drink of water just before being charged in court on Tuesday, he has not eaten or drank anything since. He has kidney problems and I don't think he can take this hunger strike if he goes on for days like this," said Marina when contacted by theSun today.

She said Raja Petra developed kidney ailments when he went on a five-day hunger strike during his detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in 2000.

"My husband's lawyers and I had tried to post bail early today (yesterday) to free Raja Petra but he had not just refused bail but also declined to see any of them.

"I believe my husband is doing this as he feels he has been unfairly judged and persecuted. He is angry, just as how everyone else is with what has happened and I know he will only stop this strike when they release him. I can only pray for his health for now, I hope everyone will do so too," said Marina.

Raja Petra is charged under the Sedition Act for an article in his website titled "Lets send the Altantuya murderers to hell" just days after he was called up by police for questioning.

During the questioning session by police officers in the federal police commercial crimes department on Saturday, the blogger who is known for his fiery and no-holds barred comments and write-ups refused to answer any of the questions put to him.

According to Puchong MP and lawyer Gobind Singh Deo, Raja Petra himself has to agree to posting bail to walk out of Sungai Buloh prison.

"Someone can post the money, but only Raja Petra can post bail," said Gobind, who declined to comment on Raja Petra's current situation.

Civil society groups yesterday urged the government to reconsider its use of the Sedition Act to pursue charges aginst blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin.

In a press statement, the Center for Policy Initiatives (CPI), National Alliance of Bloggers, Writer Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI), Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ) and the KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall said: "In our view the sedition charge is malicious and without merit."

They added that it is also politically motivated and aimed at silencing a principled and uncompromising voice speaking against the abuse of power, including those stemming from the highest level of government and authority.

The group said the Sedition Act, enacted by the British colonial government, should have no place in a democratic society as unlike the law on defamation, one cannot defend oneself form a charge.

"In other words messengers may be shot for simply uttering the truth," said the group.

That the state is using its legal apparatus to charge Raja Petra with sedition instead of the aggrieved party resorting to civil defamation points to a need for thorough reform of our media laws, a demand consistently raised by civil society and progressive political parties.

The group said this action of the government coming just a few days after World Press Freedom Day on Saturday makes a mockery of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s expression of commitment to democratic and social reforms to promote a more open and transparent government.

The groups said the charge against Raja Petra is in connection with a post in his blog titled "Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell" in which he raised pertinent questions on various facts of the case that are already within the domain of public knowledge.

Editor of Malaysia Today news portal and blog Raja Petra Kamarudin was charged in a Petaling Jaya sessions court with sedition in connection with the article which he wrote and posted at www.malaysia-today.net on April 25, 2008.

"This action not only runs counter to the government's expressed promotion of a democratic, informed and participatory society, it also smacks of a renewal of the tactics of fear and intimidation which were recently resoundingly rejected by the Malaysian electorate," the statement said.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I got this from here.

Raja Petra to be freed
Charles Ramendran and Tan Yi Liang

PETALING JAYA (May 8, 2008): malaysia-today.net's webmaster Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin, who refused bail on a sedition charge and went on a hunger strike in Sungai Buloh prison, has agreed to post bail after being persuaded by his wife today.

However, due to the fact that he only decided past noon, the 58-year-old blogger had to be held until tomorrow and is expected to be produced in the Petaling Jaya sessions court for his release.

In a sessions court here, Raja Petra's lawyer J. Chandra, who was with the blogger's wife, Marina Lee Abdullah, said the court had to follow procedures when releasing an accused under remand.

It is learnt that bail for those held is usually posted in the early hours of the day to enable police to produce the accused before noon.

"We tried to get him out by today but the judge chose to follow procedures and did not want to make an exception for him," said Chandra.

Marina had met with her husband in prison early today for about 10 minutes. She was relieved when he agreed to come home and end the hunger strike.

"Probably the note I left him on Wednesday in the prison helped a bit. All my note said was 'I want you home'. He was fine although he looked down due to a backache. He also told me he had something to eat and drink," she said.

Raja Petra is expected to be brought to court at 9.45am tomorrow after she posted bail of RM5,000.

Marina said although the online fund raiser for her husband's bail was closed several hours after it was open on Tuesday (May 6), it continued to swell and currently stands at more than RM44,000. On the first day, RM34,000 was collected from supporters of the controversial blogger known for his fiery and no-holds barred comments and articles.

She said although Raja Petra would decide what to do with the remainder of the money, she suggests the fund could be used to help bloggers in a similar situation.

"There is another blogger who is being charged, and posted bail of RM3,000. The general consensus is that we should keep the money for other bloggers who get into trouble like this," she said, adding that they would put it to an online vote.



15 comments:

  1. I read about the first one the other day. Pretty wild eh?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Faisal,

    I am amazed by how good you are at collecting information and news on the Internet. I also wrote a post about this issue but I could not find as much information as you did. You are fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tammy - Yes, its scary tho. But he is very brave. Salute to him.

    Sheng Loong - Thank you Sheng Loong for the compliment. I searched for info just to share with friends and bloggers. Hope we can learn something about it =)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmmm... I don't know what to say to this. I guess in Msia there is no such thing as true freedom of speech eh?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Yes, I suppose so. Now wondering about its democracy...

    ReplyDelete
  6. I thot Ismail Sabri wants to meet bloggers? jadi ke tak?

    ReplyDelete
  7. No idea. But he joined the blogger-bashing team. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My father and I already humming about this for a week now. And now, we also include the Karpal Sigh's case too. Yang dia dikatakan mempersoalkan kuasa Sultan tuh. Smua orang nak saman dia. I cant remember they make so much fuss when Badawi said to AGONG to stay out of the MB Terenganu's position. It was like Agong <- much much greater than Sultan right?

    Blah Blah Blah. I hate dirty politic!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Lol. And now Karpal Singh even warned them [Pak Lah and Najib - or you called him Razak as the initial he used to Altantuya?] not to push him so hard in the parliament or else he will sue them.

    You should read the post about disable people too. The duo even insult [accidentally? they both said so...] Karpal Singh about his disable condition which touched other disable people as well. What happen to MP these days?

    Also regarding Khairi blamed RPK whether it was right for Raja Petra to use the word Hell as only God decides who goes to hell or heaven. Which replied by Lim Kit Siang -- "We're not talking about religion! It is a way of saying that those who murdered Mongolian model Altantuya Shariibu in October last year should be punished to the full extent of the law. It is not about going to hell or heaven. If one cannot understand this, what is the point of graduating from Oxford? This is a disgrace of the university"

    ReplyDelete
  10. Khairy laughing away2:17 AM

    Sex and the C4

    Sodomy is a useful word
    recently said and heard,
    in Malaysian homes and offices
    it’s all about famous orifices.
    What is going on, you wonder
    when Bala steals the thunder,
    finger pointing the magic word
    to the delight of a horny herd
    Organs united, names forgotten?
    VIPs are really rotten
    Saiful he knows and did not know
    doubts about Aminah begin to grow
    of whose loose lips he was afraid
    but liked her other end instead;
    of course he knew it wasn't right
    but it felt so good and tight!
    You could not hump like Greeks
    the Hindenburg’s fat cheeks;
    what her hubby found so succulent
    was making Rosmah trucculent.
    And so she thought, the time was due
    for a nice Mongolian barbecue.
    Enter the analyst, not so anal,
    who found the girl too banal;
    fearing supernatural harm
    from her juicy feminine charm,
    he hired Bala straightaway
    to keep the honeytrap at bay
    but private dicks were of no match
    for Aminah's superlative snatch
    and now that Najib had had his fill,
    he would not share the till;
    right after the submarine deal,
    Aminah's fate he would seal.
    Now Rosmah had one idea
    on how to kenakan dia
    "Let’s bomb the bombshell,
    let's send her to hell."
    Thus perished the hapless beauty
    after translation and booty duty;
    now Rosmah’s ass was happy
    until one blogger got yappy;
    this Hindenburg nearly caught fire
    yet to sue she has no desire.
    But Najib's part in this murder
    will travel much further;
    despite his media actions
    and one or two retractions,
    some questions will remain
    a big part of his bane–
    how did Altantuya really die?
    and why did he have to lie?
    Did he pay off Bala savvily,
    or threaten to C4 his family?
    What acts could be more despised?
    With his money, we’re not surprised;
    after all, he's such a bully beast,
    to him and him alone, at least,
    magic words that cannot apply–
    are useful for making rivals die.

    ReplyDelete
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