NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak once told TV3 in 2004 that if I have insulted Islam or the Rulers then I can be charged under the Sedition Act. And if there are no laws that I can be charged under, added Najib, then the government can always use the Internal Security Act (ISA) against me. Not long after that, they brought me in for interrogation under Section 112 for a crime under the Sedition Act. A week later, they raided my house and confiscated my computer as evidence.
This, we must remember, was after they had done the same about three years before that in 2001. On Hari Raya Haji Day of March 2001, they arrested me under no specific charge. (“Kita akan pikir kemudian,” they said, as they handcuffed me.) And, the next day, they raided my house to confiscate my computer. A month later, on 11 April 2001, they detained me under the ISA.
Well, it’s now three years since that 2004 episode, which, in turn, was also three years after the 2001 episode. It looks like every three years they need to come to my house to confiscate my computer and detain me under a charge they will ‘pikir kemudian’. I suppose, therefore, this time around it should be no different. So expect them to come to my house soon to confiscate my computer and probably arrest me and charge me under the Sedition Act -- or maybe take the easy way out and use the ISA on me again.
The fact that my matter has been raised and heavily debated in the Lower House of Parliament, plus every Umno man and his dog (metaphorically speaking of course) has whacked me (and all bloggers in general), while Nazri Aziz and a horde of others have urged the government to use the ISA against me, probably means that the end is very near. (Not sure yet whether it is my end or theirs though).
Anyway, my reply to them is sharp and simple. Raja Petra seditious? Hogwash! If anyone is seditious it is Umno and until today those propagating a blood-bath have not been made accountable for their actions. Was it not Najib, that ex-Selangor Menteri Besar with two Muhamads in his name, and all those others calling for my detention under the ISA who raised their keris above their heads at the TPCA padang in 1987 and threatened to bathe it in Chinese blood? Was it not Umno in November 1999 during the ceremony to launch Barisan Nasional’s election machinery in the Bukit Jalil Stadium that warned the Chinese if Barisan Nasional was to lose its two-thirds majority in the 29 November general election, just like on 11 May 1969, then another May 13 may erupt?
Yes, who in heaven’s name is seditious? (I was going to say ‘who the fuck’ but changed my mind so that I can keep this piece decent and suitable for minors). Is it I or Umno? I am alleged to have raised racial tension by allowing comments in Malaysia Today’s blogs that may rub some races the wrong way. Me? Me who has Malay, English, Welsh, Indian, Chinese, Thai, Filipino, etc., relatives who are Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Taoists, atheists, etc? Hey, if there was a medal for being the most ‘global’ family I would be he who is most eligible to receive it. My family is almost like a mini-United Nations. And I have not even started dissecting the ‘Malay’ side of my family into sub-groups such as Bugis, Javanese, Minangkabau, etc.
Hey Umno! Yes, you, Umno! You, who accuse me of being seditious and who should be detained under the ISA. I, Raja Petra Bin Raja Kamarudin, is not only accusing you of being seditious, I am also accusing you, Umno, of being the cause of an unknown number of deaths suffered in the 13 May 1969 race riots. And I make this allegation with God as my witness and the testimony of the First Prime Minister of Malaya/Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Bapa Merdeka, who went to his grave an extremely sad man and who grievingly said he wished he had died and never lived to see the day that Malaysians would murder Malaysians.
Learning the truth about May 13
The Sun, 27 July 2007
Thank you for your feature on the 1969 riots. This was the first informative article about the event that I have read in my 24 years of life. Never before have I encountered such a revealing account of that episode.
I didn't get it in primary school, neither in secondary school, nor in university either. And all this while I have studied locally. I think somebody somewhere thought that by not exposing young Malaysians to this chapter of the nation's past, we would be better off.
But they should realise that history has a tendency to repeat itself. Thank you for printing the truth. Now we all know what really happened and can learn to avoid it.
The May 13 incident as personally related by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the First Prime Minister of Malaya/Malaysia and Bapa Merdeka
At his residence in Penang, 1972
“It was clear to me as well as the police that in the highly charged political atmosphere after the police were forced to kill a Chinese political party worker on May 4th, 1969, something was bound to happen to threaten law and order because of the resentment towards the Government by the KL Chinese on the eve of the general election. This was confirmed at this man’s funeral on the 9th May when the government faced the most hostile crowd it had ever seen.
Therefore, when the opposition parties applied for a police permit for a procession to celebrate their success in the results of the general election, I was adamant against it because the police were convinced that this would lead to trouble. I informed Tun Razak about this and he seemed to agree.
Now, without my knowledge and actually “behind my back”, there were certain political leaders in high positions who were working to force me to step down as a PM. I don’t want to go into details but if they had come to me and said so I would gladly have retired gracefully.
Unfortunately, they were apparently scheming and trying to decide on the best way to force me to resign. The occasion came when the question of the police permit was to be approved.
Tun Razak and Harun Idris, the MB of the state of Selangor, now felt that permission should be given knowing fully well that there was a likelihood of trouble. I suppose they felt that when this happened they could then demand my resignation.
To this day I find it very hard to believe that Razak, whom I had known for so many years, would agree to work against me in this way. Actually, he was in my house as I was preparing to return to Kedah and I overhead him speaking to Harun over the phone saying that he would be willing to approve the permit when I left. I really could not believe what I was hearing and preferred to think it was about some other permit. In any case, as the Deputy Prime Minister in my absence from KL, he would be the Acting PM and would override my objection. Accordingly, when I was in my home in Kedah, I heard over the radio that the permit had been approved.
It seems as though the expected trouble was anticipated and planned for by Harun and his UMNO Youth. After the humiliating insults hurled by the non-Malays, especially the Chinese, and after the seeming loss of Malay political power to them, they were clearly ready for some retaliatory action. After meeting in large numbers at Harun’s official residence in Jalan Raja Muda near Kampong Bahru and hearing inflammatory speeches by Harun and other leaders, they prepared themselves by tying ribbon strips on their foreheads and set out to kill Chinese. The first hapless victims were two of them in a van opposite Harun’s house who were innocently watching the large gathering. Little did they know that they would be killed on the spot.
The rest is history. I am sorry but I must end this discussion now because it really pains me as the Father of Merdeka to have to relive those terrible moments. I have often wondered why God made me live long enough to have witnessed my beloved Malays and Chinese citizens killing each other.”