Published in The Star today - http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2008/9/13/nation/2022372&sec=nation
Yesterday, human rights lawyer Malik Imtiaz blogged this when RPK was first arrested:
"The Government must also do its part and explain clearly how RPK is a threat to national security and why he has been detained. He had presented himself everytime he was asked to at police stations and in court. ..."
I shared his opinion as I blogged here last night - http://fusioninvestor.blogspot.com/2008/09/rpk-detained-under-isa.html
Why? Because only by giving clear explanation will the Government have a chance to win back Rakyat's trust. Without a clear explanation, the Government will create even more distrusts amongst Rakyat.
Unfortunately for the Government, they continue to choose to give a vague explanation, and created even more distrusts amongst Rakyat:
"PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Today news portal editor Raja Petra Kamarudin was arrested under the Internal Security Act for allegedly being a threat to security, peace and public order.
Raja Petra, 58, who was arrested under Section 73(1) of the ISA, is alleged to have posted articles deemed seditious and that also belittle Islam."
Instead of explaining HOW RPK is a threat to national security, the 2 sentence above simply asserted that he is a threat.
When one simply say X = Y, logically, does the assertion make it so?
Yes, in public relations exercises, it is a well known principle since Hitler's time that when X = Y is repeated with enough times, more and more people can be led to believe that X = Y so long as the truth is suppressed and the economy is fine. But those were the days before the Internet.
Today, such an article in The Star has little impact.
It leaves Rakyat wondering HOW is RPK a threat to national security.
It leaves Rakyat wondering if ISA Detention can be used against anyone that the Government doesn't like.
It leaves Rakyat wondering what wrong have RPK committed?
Again, the charge is RPK is alleged to have posted articles deemed seditious.
The Government has simply not explained HOW it is seditious.
As a long-time MT reader, I can say that I have personally never found any one of MT's article seditious when I read them.
So, if its readers don't find it seditious, it begs the question by all right-thinking Malaysians - who finds it seditious?
The Government has also charged that it belittles Islam.
Again, HOW does it belittle Islam?
Specifically and exactly which part of RPK's writings is the problem?
If the Government cannot be transparent with the problem, if the newspapers cannot even quote or even refer to the problem, how can the Government expects bloggers to know the solution?
How can Rakyat knows what to write and what not to write when the big stick - as draconian as the ISA - is used on something with Rakyat doesn't know?
All great religion teaches us to not fear the truth.
To seek the truth at all times.
What does the Government fear?
Why can't the Government point to specific article - specific paragraph - specific sentence that shows how RPK belittled Islam?
Because I for one - as a regular reader of MT - have yet to find any of RPK's article belittling Islam or any other religion, despite reading thousands of MT articles.
But I'm willing to be corrected and I keep an open mind.
I do differentiate between the article written by RPK, against the individual comments that do not belong to RPK.
If the Government has a problem with certain individual commentators, then, point out specifically the problem comment and who commented that, so that RPK is given the chance to explain why he left it there and not delete it or ban that commentator, etc.
In other words, why is such a trivial issue (disliking comments) requires such a draconian act like the ISA to resolve?
Doesn't the Government realize that in blogosphere, every blogger - not just in Malaysia but around the world - is theoretically exposed to the same problem of extreme commentators? Is every blogger in the world a criminal to the same extent as RPK and deserves ISA detention? Surely not! There are more bloggers in this world than there is space in the entire Malaysia, let alone Kamunting Detention Centre!
So, notwitstanding The Star article which simply doesn't explain anything or add anything new and merely repeats the same message which led me to think it is simply Government Propoganda, I strongly urge the Government to please clearly explain to Rakyat exactly HOW is RPK a threat to national security?
Similarly, I urge the Government to do the same for Tan and Kok.
Explain to us Clearly HOW these 3 individuals are a threat to national security.
Explain to us Clearly HOW individuals like Ahmad Ismail is NOT a threat to national security.
Otherwise, don't be surprised if Rakyat comes to the conclusion that since Ahmad Ismail is an UMNO member, the Government plays favoritism, by detaining others except UMNO members.
And don't be surprised if Rakyat comes to the conclusion that the present Government simply don't have Rakyat's best interests in minds, despite the constant rhetorics.
And don't be surprised if more and more Rakyat prefers Pakatan Rakyat to be the next ruling Government.
In conclusion, I strongly urge The Government to either explain clearly how the 3 individuals are a threat to national security, explain clearly how the 3 individuals have caused social unrest, test these assertions openly and transparently in the court of law.
Or if not, release them immediately. And repeal the draconian ISA.