Saturday, 27 September 2008

Free RPK!

I miss RPK. :(

I started reading his blog over 2 years ago, stuff which I found highly entertaining, and at times, even informative.

He brought us Malaysians all together.

The irony of being Malaysian is that the really good ones go to jail and the bad ones ... go to the parliament house.

Today RPK is under a draconian piece of legislation which has outlived its usefulness - the Internal Security Act or ISA.

And today is his birthday.

He took a gamble some time ago, and lost. He gave us an ultimatum, and it remains unfulfilled today. I don't like having my back pushed into a corner, but I still like this old bugger.

I want him out. I have signed this petition, have you? I am spreading it to my friends and relatives, will you?

The ISA may have had its uses once upon a time. Oscar The Grouch of The Dandelions gives us a brief glimpse into the conception of it and why it has no place in our political system today.

Haris Ibrahim of The People's Parliament has some great ideas with Hartal ISA. I can't seem to get into his site for longer than brief snatches, probably due to the high volume of traffic, so I can't read every post.

But I think some of ideas are actually workable, and I'm in!

I'm sure you're aware of what this Hartal constitutes but let me remind you through the words of Fahmi Reza of 'Sepuluh Tahun Sebelum Merdeka':

Hari ini aku berhartal. Maksudnya dari jam 6 pagi tadi sampai ke 12 tengahmalam nanti, aku ambil bahagian dalam satu tindakan mogok dan general stoppage of work.

Ertinya aku…
…tak keluar bekerja
…tak naik bas
…tak naik LRT
…tak bawa motor
…tak pergi pasar
…tak keluar beli suratkhabar
…tak pergi shopping
…tak beli apa-apa barang
…tak keluar makan
…tak keluar tengok wayang
…tak keluar lepak dengan kawan-kawan
…batalkan semua temujanji aku hari ni
…terpaksa cancel interview dengan media untuk cakap pasal Revolusi '48
…tak pergi acara sambutan Hari Malaysia hari ni
…tak pergi candle-light vigil malam nanti
…tak pergi parti housewarming kawan malam nanti

Aku hanya duduk kat rumah

Now you're wondering what staying at home has to do with making a change in our legislation.

Firstly, it will show how many people are supportive of this initiative. It is sending a message to the government.

Secondly, it is about unity. It remains to be seen whether we can be easily broken down by threats and concern for one's job. I am curious to see who puts one's job first before the best interests of the nation.

That day hasn't been decided yet, this initiative is on standby.

If that day is like any other, there is only one thing I can say: We truly DESERVE the government we currently have.


Patricia said...

I can't get into Haris's site at all! I get some funny message, and then Explorer shuts me down on me :(

I'd like to tell Haris I'm willing to hartal - and you are right: just to show 'them' how many we are, and as a sign of unity, of sticking together to fight the good fight in the only way in which I can participate: in a peaceful, no-blood-all-over-the-place way.

I think many people just don't get this. It is not about how long the hartal is, or when. It is about how many of us are 'with' RPK and the other ISA detainees, and willing to just do it.

And, like you, I miss him, too. I have grown so accustomed to reading his posts, and laughing out loud at his marvelous tongue-in-cheek brilliance, that my days seem somewhat empty now he is no longer posting.

And I believe he is a good man. In no way are the charges against him valid.

May god keep him safe - on his birthday, and for many many years to come.


walla said...

Obviously there are guidelines to apply the ISA. But when you build the checklist that decides whether someone is to be hauled up, you are getting into the second part of the process - justification to haul someone in.

The question is - what about the first part of the process - qualification of the charge?

Contrary to first impression, that is not so easy to determine. Let's say someone makes inflammatory remarks about a faith. First, what you deem inflammatory may be because (a) you received complaints from certain bodies that they find the remarks inflammatory, or (b) you think they are inflammatory enough to warrant such a firm extra-judiciary measure. But what is 'inflammatory' to one is but 'measured argument' to another. Additionally, the certain bodies may be official in name but unrepresentative of the final true nature of what is believed since one cannot even deny that they are only called official because they were so appointed - and who appointed them, one may ask? Furthermore, the entire edifice of knowledge whether secular or theocratic is built on argument based on levels of logic, even logic applied to determination of how some faith statements are to be analysed. Without that edifice, incoherence and unreasonableness will rule and injustice will take place.

In jailing RPK to shut him up, that exactly is what has happened.

After all, the original idea for the ISA was to crimp the movement of those deemed terrorists, i.e people who have the means to personally cause mass destruction. In modern parlance, they are mobile-WMD. Does shortie here measure up to that? For that matter, the hindraf and heavens-know how many other recalcitrants?

And the reason why they want to crimp the freedom of terrorists is that they think the guys are terrorists but they don't have enough proof on hand to hold and charge within the deadline given for custody of suspects.

Then change the law. Why have a sideline thing like this which enables the Executive to hold anyone without recourse to judiciary instruments when the detainee could very well be held because he has some evidence against the Executive which has executed the order to detain him or her? The Executive can never be the Judiciary so why play that double-trouble role without any judicious reason?

The other thing not lost on anyone is that this ISA thing seems to have been hijacked into something that was not its original intention - and so far not a single friggin' leader has been able to say why although all could say it should continue. But why, and on what basis, and what's the justice equation for it? No answer.

So we conclude the danger is not RPK. It is the application of games like this which may be used to hold back the natural process of discourse towards the realisation of truth that can be used in the championing of right, justice, even national interest finally.

Because if what was written is true, won't national interest be served even more when what was written can prick formal investigation (as in criminal matters such as blowing someone up) or discussion (such as how to practise a faith truly)?

Because if what was written and to be written but for the incarceration is squashed, then all the mala-fides and evil things that have taken place in other areas such as one can read now and then in the Auditor-General's annual reports will continue unabated.

Isn't the primary objective of any government to govern cleanly and justly using leaders who are clean and unsullied by criminal activities?

If the authorities who put him in can understand all this, then there is only one thing left to do.

Before the eyes of All, in the hearts of all Malaysians, facing a world looking on carefully:

free RPK, now.

The home minister has more intelligence than he shows. He wouldn't have missed the nuance of the entire matter. One cannot rule by being afraid of the complainants. A govt that excuses ITSELF from doing the right thing in order to satisfy the undiscoursed or uninvestigated demands of some by incarcerating someone who wants discourse and investigation as stepping stones to truth and justice is as bad as the complainants who want destruction and denial.

Right or wrong?

But this home minister had already not had the foresight to presign a letter of temporary release of one ISA detainee to rush home to see his dying daughter. She died without seeing the father.

He should not make the same mistake about the need for a leader to have foresight. In this case, hindsight too.

If an idiot like me can write this, those smarter and higher can do something right about things for once.

We were all once Malaysians. That had some value and meaning. What has happened to us? Ask yourself.

Crankster said...

Ah, I get exactly the same response when I get into Haris' site, Pat.

I think this Hartal is a peaceful and yet powerful way of showing what we mean.

RPK does tend to spin some of his stories, but none can be considered worthy of the ISA.

Walla, you bring up a brilliant point. What is considered inflammatory to some is not necessarily inflammatory to others. In fact, I had a deeper respect for Islam after reading some of RPK's stuff.

RPK's charge is ludicrous, almost as silly as HINDRAF's, where 29 men where accused of attempting to murder one policeman.

You, an idiot? Hardly. :)

zewt said...

now i know what u mean by writing long comments.