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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Free Raja Petra

"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".

Raja Petra

As I stepped out of my home on the morning of the 9th of March, it felt like I had been holding my breath for a lifetime and there I was, suddenly, drawing breath. Perhaps it was the adrenaline, still surging through my veins, the few hours of sleep unable to extinguish the exultation of victory.

And it had been a victory.

It was not just about the fact that the Barisan had been given the trouncing it rightfully deserved. It was also, perhaps more importantly so, about the many personal stories, the sacrifices, of those who had helped change the course of destiny in their own ways, big and small.

We had been involved in a war without even knowing it. Two wars. The first, a war on democracy waged by those who saw only the value of their own empire, to whom the language of democracy was merely a useful means by which to distract from the glint of the weapons as they came hurtling down at us. The arbitrary detentions, the brutality, the perversion of justice, the muzzling of free expression and the subversion of the institutions of state kept us in a constant state of shock that left us blind to all that was being taken from us.

There were visionaries however, those who were our compass stars. They showed us, in their own ways, the true north. They showed us that for us to reclaim democracy, we had to go to war for it. They showed us the way into that war, that second war, the war for democracy.

I saw it as thousands marched for free and fair elections. I saw it as thousands marched against marginalisation. I saw it as thousands marched for justice. I saw it as people stood up in defiance, stood up to be counted. I saw it as people said “No More!”.

And I saw it in the campaigns of truth that spread across the blogs.

Raja Petra, like Haris Ibrahim, and many others, were, are, visionaries who have continued to show us the way through courage and tenacity. These patriots, standing up in defence of their motherland, are the mirrors in which we see ourselves and all that we stand for, all that we should be.

March 8th was a decisive victory for all of us. But it was not the only one that we need. We may have won the battle, but it is the war we want to win. Let the deeds of those who have paved the way with their sacrifice become the standards under which we march. For this time, we march to win. This time, we march for Malaysia.



Anonymous said...


Rakyat's wish must be done by government of the day and NOT the other way around.

May I publish an extract of this post and link readers back to the full post in your weblog.

Thank you.

Starmandala said...

Hear, hear! Stirring words, Imtiaz! Proud to be your friend:-)

Anonymous said...

Raja Petra cannot be free even if he walks out of the Jail!
No Malaysian can be free if Freedom of Speech is not there!
When Individuals can be biased and bullied without consideration of Constitutional Rights for even an Average Malaysian!

He can only be "Free" when Human Rights are clearly stipulated in every walk of life.
That Government is Servant and not the Boss!
That Government are subjected to reply queries and not to challenge queries simply with courts!

Free only when Rights and Obligations are confirmed and enforced!

Old Fart said...

But, Malik, what is the war? What is that war? That needs definition. That needs to be propounded and that needs something every individual has to be immersed into.

Reading through reams of articles and comments, latest being Mahahtir's declaration about UMNO needing to be strong, only goes to show that we have all been governed under certain assumptions about us all this while.

Mahathir declares like as if it is imperative that UMNO rules into perpetuity. That UMNO remains strong. There is this assumption there that the Malays will be lost without UMNO. There are certain characteristics within the Malay psyche that needs preservation and that that preservation has been divinely ordained and bestowed by the Almighty upon UMNO.

Not just Mahathir, but also Badawi and the rest of the UMNO leadership, to a lesser extent, recent statements by the rulers, leaders in PAS and certain Keadilan statements too are made as a matter of course without stating the assumptions upon which their positions ride.

Examine those assumptions and you may just see the fallacy and the unsustainable basis upon which our political leaders present themselves.

Unfortunately although much has been written, very little has been written examining the assumptions. The validit of these assumptions too of course have rarely been tested. For instance, UMNO leaders would have us believe that Malays have the propensity to running amok should their Malayness, privileges, Islamic status, etc be questioned or taken away from them. Therefore, that being so, they expected and got from MCA, MIC and other non-Malay parties to remain silent when their very charter to supposedly represent their races were being abused. Why could not MIC or MCA for that matter rise to defend Sothnathan when he was chastised by the BN? Why were they silent over all those body snatching incidents? Obviously, if it has been unsaid, then all these parties obviously operated under certain assumptions. So what are they?

Siilarly, UMNO operates ont he assumption that they are leaders and like shepherds, they lead the people who are the sheep. And sheeps are not supposed to have abrain of their own. They will use sheep dogs to keep the sheep in their place. Obviously, they dont see us as individual human beings with every right as individual humans to be able to live as we choose within the parameters of our chosen paddocks!

There is obviously an answer as to why certain things are said or done if only the assumptions were examined. But this we rarely do.

Anonymous said...

We women are so proud of Raja Petra, who’s championing justice for women; and his dear supportive and strong wife and family! He and his family are indeed brave MALAYSIANS and true ones at that! We hope more Malaysian males will be as brave to defend justice for women in this sorry nation-state, especially with the increasing crime rate against women, particularly rapes and sexual murders! And more so when such crimes are committed by people in power who are supposed to protect the rakyat or anyone else for that matter, for the sake of justice!!!! And also we truly are grateful for Raja Petra’s great courage for defending the values of true DEMOCRACY, that includes freedom of speech on behalf of all Malaysians and humanity! As we are to ever courageous Karpal Singh and the tortured Hindraf leaders under the most barbaric ISA! For all we know, we might have to do a vigil too for Karpal soon enough! UMNO is so evil!

Noor Aza Othman.

mei1 said...

Malik, the rakyat should continuously give pressure on the government to revoke all the draconian & outdated acts such as PPPA, ISA, OSA.

Besides candle light vigil, what else can the concerned rakyat do to free RPK & others that have/had been treated unfairly & unjustly?

Perhaps we can initiate something like what was suggested at Minggu Benar Campaign i.e. it's time for the journalists to walk for media freedom.

Steven Foong said...


When do we march? Is there one being organised?

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...


I meant it figuratively, referring to all efforts that we undertake to take on the bigger challenge.

And Mei1,

there are several groups organising events. There is another vigil tonight at Dataran Merdeka, the one last night outside Sungai Buloh prison went smoothly it seems.

On the bigger issues, there are various groups involved in a range of issues pertaining to free press and draconian laws. You may want to get in touch with these groups to see how you can help.

Our collective aim should be to keep the issue - not only RPK's arrest but also the underlying attempt to curb free expression - in the public eye.


Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

What's fair is fair
What's unfair is unfair
Let's keep what's fair as fair
Let's change what's unfair to be fair

What's right is right
What's wrong is wrong
Let's keep what's right as right
Let's change what's wrong to be right

What's good is good
What's bad is bad
Let's keep what's good as good
Let's change what's bad to be good

What's clever is clever
What's stupid is stupid
Let's keep what's clever as clever
Let's change what's stupid to be clever

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 080508
Thur. 8th May 2008.

malayamuda said...

Raja Petra Kamaruddin - the Mahathma Gandhi of Malaysia

Anonymous said...


I salute people like you, Haris and RPK for your principled stand to seek justice. You will all have our support always.

Thank you and God bless.

Anonymous said...

March 8th was the battle.

The war is not over yet

Mr. Smith said...

True 'WE' made the difference. But my definition of "WE" covers every single person who participated in the Bersih, Bar Council and Hindgraf rallies. The many Opposition leaders who were hauled up by the police for the slightest of 'offence'. Every single blogger. Those unknown and unheard of men and women all over the country who helped open the eyes of those who were 'blind' to the excesses of BN.
The church leaders who prodded on their sheep to vote for PAS.
I would say every single voters who picked the Opposition contributed their bit.
Some, including you, contributed your bit. Some gave more, some less.
Yes, it was war when the good triumphed over EVIL.
I pity those who chose BN. Will they too open their eyes or they wish to remain blind?

Anonymous said...

you're all my heroes bah...

Navi said...

The saddest truth of all is that the people who walk the corridors of power have not realized that the people are fed up with their threats and thus the 8th of March.
They continue to use the threats. It is no more May 13th. Its sedition, ISA, "Derhaka" and what not. When is it going to stop?
RPK, Haris and you, the fearless ones should continue the struggle. More and more of us will walk with you as we conquer fear through your courage. You guys are the future of this country.

Unknown said...

Raja Petra adalah manusia tak tau untuk mengunakan kebebasan yang diberi, apa dia ingat undang2 ni tak ada ke, cakap dok sedap aje, memperjuang untuk diri sendiri,tau tak apa tu kebebesan,

kebebasan ada hadnya....bukan sewenang2 apa yang nak kita cakap...kalau mcm tu manusia seperti Raja Petra kebal lah dari undang2

apa punya manusia.....tak tau kerajaan selama ni yang dikutuk memberikan kehidupan yang baik kepada awak dan juga keluarga awak dan juga kawan2 awak....