Friday, September 19, 2008

RPK writes from ISA detention

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Today is my eighth day of detention under the Internal Security Act (“ISA”). When I was detailed on Friday, 12th September 2008, it was supposed to be in respect of articles I wrote in Malaysia Today about our leaders, which was supposed to have confused the public and articles which insult Islam.

It was since Wednesday afternoon, that the Special Branch officers (“SB”) produced the articles and went through all those articles with me. They found that none of the articles insulted Islam.

The SB officers told me that it is not so much that my articles insult Islam but, that my style of writing is too sophisticated and thereby Malaysians who might not be of the same intellectual level as myself, could possibly misinterpret what I was trying to say and mistook which I wrote as an attempt to insult Islam. This morning, I had another session with the SB officers, and pointed out, what they told me yesterday, which is, ISA detention is about intention to commit chaos which would then be detrimental to public order. I argued that if the SB is of the opinion that the problem lies in my style of writing and how it can be misinterpreted by the public, then this would rule out any possibility of mala fide on my part when I wrote those articles.

I also told the SB officers that it appears that they are looking for something to pin on me, but thus far they have not found anything.

The Monday before my detention, my lawyers sent Syed Hamid Albar a letter of demand, demanding that he apologise for alleging that I insulted Islam. He was given three days to apologise and on Friday, the 12th of September 2008, instead of apologising, they detained me under the ISA.

I believe they are trying to buttress Syed Hamid Albar’s case by “proving” I have insulted Islam thereby justifying Syed Hamid Albar’s allegations against me as well as justifying him not apologising but ordering my detention under the ISA.

Further to that, the Government appears to be trying to get a second bite of the cherry. I am already facing one sedition charge for the article, “lets send the Altanthuya murderers to hell” plus three charges of criminal defamation. My interrogation in the hands of the SB officers is also about that article and the statutory declaration.

Assuming I win my cases in October and November, they can still hold me under the ISA. Either way I will still remain under detention; heads they win, tails I lose.

This has happened before in 2001, in the case of Ezam Mohd Noor, where he was serving both ISA detention as well as a jail sentence in the Kajang Prison for a crime under the Officials Secrets Act. If Ezam had won his habeas corpus application, he will remain in Kajang Prison and if instead he won his OSA case, he would have remained in Kamunting. Both ways, he will not see freedom.

From the way my interrogation is going, they are trying to kill two birds with one stone. First Syed Hamid would have a strong defence against the suit that I am to file against him plus they can ensure how good my lawyers may be in defending me in the sedition and criminal defamation charges, I will never see freedom anyway.

As I said, heads they win, tails I lose.

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