My Friend and Brother RPK – Planting the Seed of DISSENT and HOPE
by Din Merican
“But what I can leave them would be a legacy that we must always fight for justice and freedom and rise to the defence of the downtrodden.” - RPK (Raja Petra Kamaruddin)
On September 27, 2010, Raja Petra Kamarudin, that Fugitive Blogger, more famous by his initials, RPK, posted a very touching article “Thank you so much”. Many may have read it, but many may also have missed it because of the rather “misleading” title. If RPK had referred to that day or that article as his birthday message, probably thousands if not millions would have jammed his blog. But that is the classic RPK I know, who would not draw attention to his own plight or sorrow, to his own pain or tragedy. The RPK I know is bigger than life, and I don’t mean it in a demeaning way.
Malaysia above Self: RPK is a symbol of “Critical Loyalty”
The RPK I know and respect does not talk about his life, his family or his personal difficulties. If he does, it is for a purpose – to convey a message to all, about all and for all. The RPK I know wants to help foment disobedience, not in the “biadap” or “kurang ajar” way, though it may seem like that to the establishment, but in a civil disobedience sense following the traditions of all great civil rights movements whether of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Madiba Mandela. RPK wants to provoke critical thinking and make the case for dissent in its most constructive manifestations.
RPK wants to inspire confidence so that one can call a spade a spade and not recoil against the wrong that one sees. Since Malaysia is proud to be a predominantly Muslim country, RPK thus teases Muslims with their own Islamic maxims like “ A mukmin must firstly prevent a wrong with his hands, then with his mouth, then in his heart. And the weakest amongst you is he who disapproves of a wrong in his heart”.
RPK expresses disgust at what he sees as the hypocrisy of Muslims albeit in such strong words. Does the majority of us not feel the same way? And yet how many of us dare say it? He does, and for that he had to suffer the consequences!
Hata Wahari Who?: A Stooge for MACC
I am therefore perplexed when the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) Malaysia President, Hata Wahari, asked the AG Gani Patail to prosecute RPK for exposing the MACC’s hypocrisy in handling big corruption cases including the Khir Toyo investigations. Since Monday, RPK started publishing official MACC documents marked ‘Rahsia’ (classified). RPK claims to have in his possession “hundreds of official MACC documents and said he would publish them in his blog to “punish” MACC for its failure to investigate ex-Malaysia Airlines chairman Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli for his alleged role resulting in massive losses for the airlines. Quite obviously, the documents were handed to him by frustrated MACC officers, officers of the AG Chambers or politicians from within the establishment who want MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Abu Kassim Mohamed to take action or resign. Until now, AG Gani Patail and Abu Kassim have remained mum.
Ramli Yusuff and Lawyer Rosli Dahlan: Their Plight ignored by the Mainstream Media
This is in tandem with my own approach in highlighting the persecutions of Dato’ Ramli Yusuff and his Lawyer Rosli Dahlan. Many have asked why I choose to champion their cases more prominently than say, the murder of Teoh Beng Hock (TBH) or Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II. The answer is simple enough. The attempt to cover up TBH’s case is already covered by the mainstream media in their reports of the Coroner’s Inquiry. It is just a matter of time that Malaysians see the idiocy of the MACC in the form of the suicide note and the ”self strangulation” demonstration by that fat buffoon Razak Musa.
As for Sodomy II, Anwar is already a big name and the world media has already descended in Malaysia to report on it. Even Virgin Air billionaire, Richard Branson, would mention the case to the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, which prompted Muhyiddin’s widely reported response agreeing that Sodomy II is a waste of time and a mistake.
The Dato’ Ramli and Rosli Dahlan’s case is unique and very significant because the mainstream media has refused report on it. The mainstream media wants to bury it. The mainstream media is party to a conspiracy with rogue elements within the government. It is these rogue elements within the government that RPK and I are exposing to give a chance to the government to disavow and distance itself from them. To give the government a chance to purge these rogues if indeed the government is not involved, and a chance to redeem itself. If the government is indeed involved, then we leave it to the masses to decide at the next general elections if these are the leaders that the people want to give their votes to at the ballot box.
The Dato’ Ramli’s case and Rosli Dahlan’s are important because never before has a top ranking Police Commissioner been fixed by his own IGP who conspired with the AG and the MACC to eliminate him just when the trail of the crime syndicate was leading up to the IGP. Never before has an IGP been denounced in court as a liar by a presiding Judge.
Never before has a prominent lawyer like Rosli Dahlan been brutally arrested on a trumped up charge just because he assisted the Police and a Deputy Minister of Home Affairs in the detention of an Emergency Oridinance (EO) detainee and a known underworld operator, Goh Cheng Poh @ Tengku Goh. Never before has the public a chance to see that all that was just a smoke screen to prevent a bigger revelation of the plundering of the national airlines, MAS, for RM 8 billion by the very custodians and people entrusted to protect it.
Former Prime Minister Badawi and MAS: The Hypocrisy of It exposed
The MAS case is a chance to expose ex-PM Abdullah Badawai, touted to be religious and “Mr Clean”, who waxed poetry over Al Shafie and Al Ghazali, for the man that he really is. A chance to ask why Badawi is still made MAS Adviser after being party to its plunder and refusing to take action against Tajudin Ramli and his cohorts despite being briefed by Ramli and Rosli. A chance to ask AG Gani Patail why he is seen consorting with Tajudin and Shahidan Shafie in pictures posted by RPK. A chance to expose the masks that people wear and false oaths that people swear.
Now, can Malaysians understand why RPK and I will not relent on this? Can Malaysians now see the connection of the Rosli Dahlan’s case and the revelations that RPK is making daily on the failures of the MACC? Can Malaysians see how ridiculous the MACC is by not withdrawing the charge against Rosli whereas the principal suspect, Dato’ Ramli, has been acquitted not once or twice but three times! Yet, the MACC is so unwilling to prosecute the real crooks and rogues and instead skew their investigation recommendations to suit certain evil objectives. WiIl Abu Kassim now resign since his pledge is shown to be a munafiq (hypocrite’s) oath? Or should the whole MACC be disbanded and abolished?
We deserve the Leaders we get: Our Apathy is perplexing
RPK’s courage in making all these revelations is to remind Malaysians that we deserve the leaders that we get. The days of lore where rulers demand obedience by invoking divine right is long gone. The European kings have been deposed with the emergence of new republics. If royalty exists, it is not by divine right but because we the people wills it so. In Japan, even the Meiji emperor recognises that and members of the royal household behave themselves. In Malaysia, if anyone were to question it, we could be charged for sedition or treason. Thus, it is only befitting that when RPK raised it, none could say he is anti royalty or anti kesultanan Melayu. Amongst the ranks of the dissenters, none can have a bluer blood than RPK.
Not Ketuanan Melayu, Ketuanan Rakyat
RPK articulates that if there is no such thing as rulership by divine right, then no politician can demand obedience based on just race or colour rights. Have you noted the subtle shift of PERKASA’s slogan from Raja Melayu to Ketuanan Melayu? Have you wondered why that is so? It is to suit Ibrahim Ali’s political flight of fancy. It is to elevate the politicians to the same level as the hereditary rulers such that disobedience to the politicians can be equated to disobedience to our Sultans.
Thus, RPK asked why is he being charged for sedition when all that he had maligned, if he did, was just Rosmah Mansor, the wife of a politician who seeks to elevate herself as the First Lady of Malaysia. Perhaps because Rosmah is from Negeri Sembilan, she thinks her adat pepatih gives her matriarchal rule over Malaysians. That is how frivolous things can be in Malaysia. The illusion of grandeur can never be removed from the Malay psyche. “You can take the Malay out of the kampong but you can never take the kampong out of the Malay” (Bakri Musa).
It is this critical thinking that RPK attempts to imbue amongst Malaysians. It is this civil courage that RPK wants to inspire. And at what personal cost? RPK suffered personal persecution, disowned by his own royal cousin, the Sultan of Selangor and is now a fugitive. During Musa Hassan’s time, the police fixed his son on trumped up drug charges and petty theft, then beat the boy up in the hope of luring RPK back to Malaysia. The conduct of Musa Hassan as IGP is anything but that of the son of an Ustaz. Even his own Aide De Camp (ADC), ASP Azizul, swore a Statutory Declaration to denounce him as a “Pengkhianat Bangsa”. If that was not true, why wasn’t that ADC hauled up and charged like the other six policemen who were charged for fabricating evidence against Musa?
The courage RPK displayed and the personal retribution inflicted on him by the powers that be is what has turned him into a Malaysian Hero. That is indeed a befitting status. His fight for ideals can be clearly seen in his writings and especially from the following passage of that article:
“But what I can leave them would be a legacy that we must always fight for justice and freedom and rise to the defence of the downtrodden. That, I believe, are virtues which even money cannot buy.”
This is exactly what is the crux of RPK’s – ”Thank you so much” article which touched my heart and made me feel very sad. It is the sincere outpourings of a man in reflection as he considers his birth and unavoidable death away from his home and family. RPK is younger than me and although our styles may differ, our ideals are not. I would quote another passage from RPK’s article :
“ …even if I go tomorrow I would go knowing that I have helped plant the seed of dissent and have been able to teach Malaysians that we must never fear the oppression perpetuated by the government but rise and oppose oppression and make the government fear us instead.”
Truly, that is not inconsistent with the Malay peribahasa “ Raja adil raja disembah , Raja zalim raja disanggah”. That was how Hang Jebat understood it and thus duelled Hang Tuah to uphold those values. That was also why in the 1970’s former DPM Musa Hitam suggested that the Malays “ harus belajar menjadi kurang ajar”.
Just replace the word “Raja” with “Kerajaan” and it would aptly apply to our modern day government of the day, which is how that peribahasa is meant to be understood. Those in the establishment and holding the reins of power, should not look at dissenters as enemies of the state. Dissenters are a check and balance to excesses and abuses. Dissenters are the voices of the masses.
Happy belated birthday ,RPK and thank you so much for helping us to learn to dissent and to do it in a democratic way! Let there be peace, justice and prosperity. We deserve none more liberating than that. Here is to you, Marina and Malaysians: be of good cheer as there is light at the end of tunnel.
Technorati Tags: RPK, Civil Society, Disobedience
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