Raja Petra ‘arrested under ISA’ (updated)
Posted September 12, 2008on:
|Raja Petra ‘arrested under ISA’|
|Sep 12, 08 1:27pm Malaysiakini.com|
|Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin has been detained under the Internal Security Act, said his wife Marina Lee Abdullah.
According to Marina, 10 police personnel came to their home in Sungai Buloh at about 1.10pm to arrest him.
When Malaysiakini contacted her at 1.25pm, the police personnel were still there.
On Sept 6, Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar had warned the 58-year old editor of popular news portal Malaysia Today he could be charged under the ISA for comments allegedly insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad
Several religious groups – Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim), Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (Maiwp) and Federal Territory Religious Department (Jawi) – had lodged police reports against him.
The groups complained his comment in an article entitled “I Promise to be a good, non-hypocritical Muslim” allegedly used sentences that insulted Muslims.
Raja Petra, popularly known by his initials RPK, is also alleged to have allowed comments to appear on his website that degraded Islam and Prophet Muhammad in an article entitled “Not all Arabs are descendants of the Prophet
Meanwhile, his wife Marina said they had yet to appoint a lawyer to handle the matter.
This is the second time Raja Petra, a father of five and part of the Selangor royal family, has been detained under ISA, which allows for indefinite detention without trial.
His first arrest under the tough security law was on Apr 11, 2001. RPK was detained as part of a crackdown against reformasi activists in which nine others were also held. At that time he was webmaster for the now de-funct FreeAnwar.com
Raja Petra was released after 52 days in detention. However, six of the reformasi leaders were eventually sent to the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping where they were detained for two years.
[More to follow]
O F F I C E O F A N W A R I B R A H I M
P R E S S @A I C A S S OC I A T E S . C OM T : + 6 0 3 7 8 8 5 0 5 2 7 F : + 6 0 3 7 8 8 5 0 5 3 1
— PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE —
(PETALING JAYA, MALAYSIA) 12 SEPTEMBER 2008
I condemn the arrest of social activist and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin under the
draconian and infamous ISA. By sanctioning the use of the ISA to avert the process of
transformational change in Malaysia, the UMNO-led BN government is confirming that it
has lost touch with the will of the people and is no longer capable of leading within the
framework of a just and democratic society.
Raja Petra should be released immediately and any allegations leveled against him by the
Ministry of Home Affairs must be resolved swiftly by the due process of the law. Raja Petra
should be given access to proper legal counsel, and his wife and children should not be
denied an opportunity to visit him while he is held captive under this illegal detention.
Raja Petra’s detention and the show cause letters issued today to Sin Chew Daily, The Sun and
Suara Keadilan, and its earlier banning of prominent political websites, demonstrate clearly the
government’s willingness to subvert the freedom of speech at a time when expression of
dissatisfaction with the government’s policies is at an all time high.
In the aftermath of the March 8th elections and the Permatang Pauh by-election the
Malaysian people have demonstrated their courage and commitment to building a mature
democratic society. The dastardly act of detention without trial will do nothing to abate the
current government’s declining credibility, and in fact will likely hasten its eventual collapse.
Keadilan reiterates its vehement opposition to the practice of arbitrary detention without
trial. We have consistently called for the immediate release of all ISA detainees, as such
practices have no place in a democratic society. The ISA is used to quash dissent and
smother those who in exercising their right to free speech voice opinions contrary to the
preferred views of the ruling clique.
Invoking the ISA just days before September 16th is clearly an attempt to engineer an
atmosphere of fear and instability that would justify the government’s heavy-handed tactics
against those aligned with the political opposition.
LEADER OF OPPOSITION
|Raja Petra arrested under ISA|
|Andrew Ong | Sep 12, 08 1:27pm|
|Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin was arrested today under the Internal Security Act for allegedly being a threat to security, peace and public order.
According to Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar, the 58-year old father of five would be detained under Section 73(1) of the ISA, which allows for detention of up to 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,” Syed Hamid was quoted as saying by The Star.
The minister also confirmed that the Sin Chew Daily, The Sun and Suara Keadilan were issued show cause letters. “They have been given a week to reply,” he added.
Raja Petra’s wife Marina Lee Abdullah earlier told Malaysiakini that 10 police personnel from Bukit Aman came to their home in Sungai Buloh at about 1.10pm to arrest him.
When Malaysiakini contacted her at 1.25pm, the police personnel were still there. However, Raja Petra – popularly known by his initials RPK – was taken away to an unknown destination at 1.50pm. The police also confiscated some books and VCDs.
Marina showed the notice from the police which listed out all the items they have taken from the house (right).
Raja Petra is expected to be held under police’s custody for up to 60 days before being sent to the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping, Perak, where ISA detainees are incarcerated.
On Sept 6, Syed Hamid had warned that RPK, who edits the popular news portal Malaysia Today, could be charged under the ISA for comments allegedly insulting Islam and Prophet Muhammad.
The minister said several religious groups – Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), Yayasan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia (Yadim), Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (Maiwp) and Federal Territory Religious Department (Jawi) – had lodged police reports against him.
The groups had complained Raja Petra’s comment in an article entitled ‘I promise to be a good, non-hypocritical Muslim’ allegedly used sentences that insulted Muslims.
The government ordered the blocking of the Malaysia Today website two weeks ago, but the ban was lifted yesterday.
The ban together with Syed Hamid’s warning to invoke the ISA had sparked a public furore against government censorship of the Internet.
Opposition parties too accused Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s administration of attempting to gag the press in a bid to salvage his party’s sinking popularity.
Second time under ISA
Raja Petra is also alleged to have allowed comments to appear on his website that degraded Islam and Prophet Muhammad in an article entitled “Not all Arabs are descendants of the Prophet”.
This is the second time that RPK, a member of the Selangor royal family, has been detained under ISA, which allows for indefinite detention without trial.
His first arrest under the tough security law was on April 10, 2001. RPK was detained as part of a crackdown against reformasi activists in which nine others were also held.
At that time, he was webmaster for the now defunct FreeAnwar.com site.
Raja Petra was subsequently released after 53 days in detention. However, six of the reformasi leaders were eventually sent to the Kamunting Detention Centre in Taiping where they were detained for two years.
Charged earlier for sedition, defamation
The controversial blogger was earlier charged with sedition and defamation after linking Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife to the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman.
In that case, a close friend of the deputy premier – Abdul Razak Baginda – was charged with abetting the murder of 28-year-old Altantuya Shaariibuu, whose body was blown up with explosives.
Two police officers from an elite force, whose duties included guarding the prime minister and Najib, were also charged with the killing.
The ISA, which human rights groups have pushed to have abolished, provides for renewable two-year periods of detention without trial and is normally used against suspected terrorists.
It has also been used to lock up opponents of the government, and last year five Hindraf leaders were detained three weeks after mounting a mammoth rally in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on Nov 25.
A number of activists, including prominent fellow bloggers, were seen visiting Raja Petra’s house this afternoon. Among them were lawyer Haris Ibrahim and Selangor executive councillor Ronnie Liu (photo above).