Previously, I had blogged about the New (or Old) Administration precisely at the end of the 1st month since its inception. Titled PRU12 Is Not Over Yet ?, it was published in Malaysiakini , Malaysia Today and comment section of Asia Sentinel. Since then, the parliament had presided and I thought finally after 50 years, there will be reform in the way things are being done.
Raja Petra and Arrest
On the 8th of May 2008, precisely the end of the 2nd month, I was greeted by news of Raja Petra (or RPK of Malaysia Today) going on a hunger strike in Sungai Buloh prison for a charge, which later proved to be of another case. Earlier, RPK's home was raided. As a reader since its year of inception, I was shocked. Instantly, the news on RPK spread like wildfire and it has become international. Try these links, to name a few :
CNN : Malaysian blogger faces jail for sedition
Inquirer UK : Malaysian coppers swoop on blogger
AKI - Adnkronos international - Malaysia: Blogger charged with sedition
Agency France-Presse : Malaysian police raid blogger over murder article
Straits Times Singapore : Blogger Raja Petra charged with sedition
UB Post - Mongolia
Two candlelight vigils were held to call for his release. The first, was in front of Penjara Sungai Buloh and the second was on Dataran Merdeka. These reminded me of the Nat Tan incident in July 2007 . I was there to make a voluntary coverage of a similar candlelight vigil in front of the Dang Wangi police station. I could remember that Malaysian bloggers, presumably voters in PRU12 were greatly displeasured. Many NGOs condemned the incident. Nat Tan's case was of a different nature. Surprisingly, the police is quick in dealing with the report on RPK.
It makes me wonder if (not necessarily real) there is someone who waved around with a sword or gun and call for the blood of a certain category or race, the police response would be similar. Of course, neither Nat nor RPK had done something like that.
Bear in mind that RPK is supported and praised by many netizens for his fair stand on national unity regardless of race and religion. As a sympathetic Malaysian, I see it necessary that justice is accorded to the deceased Altantuya. It is sad to see her father, Shaariibuu travelling to Malaysia periodically longing for justice to be served.
Karpal Singh and Sedition Act
Furthermore, there is another police report purportedly on using Seditious Act on Karpal Singh. Karpal earlier spoke in public discussing matters are not within the jurisdiction of certain leadership. Common sense tells me to ask this question : Is it wrong for a law practitioner or a member of Parliament to discuss the roles and responsibilities of a national leader in public as stated and accorded in the Malaysian Constitution?
The Malaysian governance is called Constitutional Monarchy, meaning there is acknowledgment for the existence of Sultans and Agong in reference with a Federal Constitution. State matters are ruled by State Constitutions which do not contradict with the highest law of the land, the Federal Constitution.
From what I have gathered, I did not read in the papers of any call for the abolishment of the monarchy. There were no gigantic demonstrations in front of the palace with banners describing "Natang" or any derogatory words to date. So, it would not be appropriate to equate Karpal's case with any other case with such nature.
Conclusion and Other Matters
Four days ago was 8th May 2008 , the end of the 2nd month post PRU 12. The 1st month completed with plenty of blaming, megaphone diplomacy and internal bickering within BN and Pakatan Rakyat. The dust has not completely settled but at least the situation is better now. Then, I was hoping that the situation would change after the parliament presided.
Quite the contrary, the second month concluded with news of Sedition Act usages coupled by an international media coverage and basic needs price inflations.
In the meantime, for some personal reasons, I have already lost confidence in Najib. In order to be fair, I would not place a 100% blame on Pak Lah and his Administration for the rising price in commodity goods. It is a global phenomenon. At least, he is trying to do something about it like speaking with the Thai government to work out something.
On the other hand, I am really concerned is the usage of Sedition Act and the image of Malaysia in the eyes of the world.
As I said in an earlier post, shouldn't we place more emphasis on handling any potential economic crisis resulting from the U.S. economy meltdown? Otherwise, is it necessary to give voting Malaysians a chance to see more less than positive news in the eyes of the world? Would that really help in gathering more support for the government? This is too easy to answer and I leave this to the readers' discretion.
What Malaysians need are motivating international news and policies to propel the nation into the next level of development. A Federal government was chosen to perform great things and put the name of the country back in international papers with positive and great achievements, rather than spending time on using Seditious Act, Internal Security Act, Official Secrets Act, certain clauses of Printing Publishing and Presses Act and Universities and University Colleges Act.
In fact, I believe some quarters want the Federal Government to repeal these acts. As a blogging Malaysian, I would sincerely hope to see that happen. Could it be possible when Barisan Nasional is still the Federal Government?
This article is also published in http://www.malaysia-today.net/2008/content/view/7358/84/
Tuesday, May 13, 2008