Raja Petra Arrested Under ISA

Via Malaysiakini, 12 September 2008


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 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.


 Second time under ISA


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”.


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 April 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 defunct FreeAnwar.com site.


Raja Petra was subsequently 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.





Malaysia Arrests Blogger, Probes 3 Newspapers    


 KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Malaysian police arrested a prominent blogger on Friday while authorities probed three newspapers, including a Chinese daily, in a major crackdown against dissent and racial hatred.




‘Raja Petra has been arrested under the Internal Security Act,’ a senior police officer told Reuters on condition of anonymity. Raja Petra’s family confirmed the arrest.


The arrest under the ISA, which allows indefinite detention without trial, came days after Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the government would use the law if needed.


Two weeks ago, the authorities pulled the plug on Raja Petra’s popular news portal ‘Malaysia Today’ because it posted comments they said could incite the country’s multi-racial society.


Racial tensions have mounted after a mid-ranking official of Abdullah’s political party UMNO labelled ethnic Chinese as ‘immigrants’ and likened them to American Jews who he said were hungry for power.


UMNO moved swiftly on Wednesday to quash the row by stripping the outspoken official of all party posts for three years.


The Home (Interior) Ministry ordered Sin Chew Daily, the Chinese daily which first reported the comments by the UMNO official, to explain or face suspension or its publishing licence revoked, the newspaper said on Friday.


It has one week to reply to the show cause letter, it said.


The ministry also issued similar show cause letters to the the Sun newspaper and Anwar Ibrahim’s party organ, Suara Keadilan.


The Sun, an English-language daily, was singled out for allegedly ‘manipulating and playing up numerous sensitive issues’, domestic media said.


Suara Keadilan was hauled up after it published a report that Malaysia’s police chief Musa Hassan, was paralysed after heart surgery, one of the editors said.


Musa has denied the claim.


Under the law, the home ministry can suspend or revoke the publications’ annual permit if they fail to provide a satisfactory answer.


‘We owe the responsibility to the society in general to ensure conflicts do not occur and anger is not prompted as a result of what we write about race, religion or even culture,’ Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said late on Thursday.


(Reporting by Jalil Hamid, Editing by Bill Tarrant)




Lim Calls On Govt, Police To Release Tan And Kok

PENANG, Sept 13 (Bernama) — Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has called on the government and police to free Sin Chew Daily News reporter Tan Hoon Cheng and DAP member of parliament for Seputeh, Teresa Kok, who were arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) last night.

He said the arrest showed that the government seemed to be desperate, particularly as Sept 16 was nearing.

The reporter was only doing her duty and should not be blamed, he told reporters at the Penang police contingent headquarters last night.

Meanwhile, Lim, who is DAP secretary-general said the party would discuss the matter at a meeting today in Kuala Lumpur.

Some 100 leaders and supporters of political parties, including from MCA, Gerakan and DAP gathered outside the police headquarters and lighted up candles as a sign of protest over the reporter’s arrest.

They gathered there since 9.30am upon hearing the news of Tan’s arrest at 8.30pm.

The situation was under control with Federal Reserve Unit personnel seen inside the compound to control the situation.

The two were among three people arrested under the ISA yesterday.

Blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin was earlier picked up in his house in Sungai Buloh, Selangor, following the posting of articles in his Malaysia Today blog which the police found to be a threat to national security.




About Md Radzi Ahmad
A retired Malaysian civil servant. Served the Malaysian government for thirty-one years. Posted to London, Rangoon, Johannesburg, Pretoria and Bangkok. Born in Kampong Hutan Kandeh, Alor Star, Kedah. Educated at Sultan Abdul Hamid College, Alor Star and University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Currently resides in Subang Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan,Malaysia.Blessed with three children, a son, two daughters, daughter in law and two grandaughters.

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