Friday, 12 September 2008


This afternoon I read on the Net that Raja Petra Kamaruddin was taken in under the ISA. Surfing through various sites, it was obvious the news had spread through cyberspace fast and furious, and reactions were mainly protests, disbelief, apprehension, anxiety and some even outright defiance.

Sketchy initial details coming through appear pointing to the content of certain postings and comments on Islam in Malaysia Today. The arrest was in many ways to be expected since RPK's Malaysia Today had been in the thick of numerous major political issues in the country. Even RPK was expecting it.

What was totally unexpected when I got home late tonight was the news that Sin Chew Daily reporter, Tan Hoon Cheng who is embroiled in the Ahmad Ismail "squatters" controversy was also arrested under the ISA! And even more baffling is the breaking news of DAP MP Teresa Kok's arrest awhile ago. I hope we are not witnessing a repeat of the 1987 Ops Lallang.

There was talk of Ops Lallang II in the internet the whole day and personally I was not too convinced that we were witnessing the beginning of the recurrence of that nightmare. The thing of concern which came to mind as a blogger myself was to wonder whether I had posted stuff that would provoke the ire of the authorities and put me at risk of incurring their wrath. I honestly do not think so. Certainly my so-po postings especially on Bangsa Malaysia are mild and measured compared to thousands of postings on both sides of the political divide!

Now with the arrests of Tan Hoon Cheng and Teresa Kok I am totally shocked that it has come to this. At the moment, I really do not know what to think anymore.

In relation to the "messenger" i.e. the Sin Chew reporter; after reading the "perpetrator" Ahmad Ismail's 14-paged press statement explaining himself, I scoured the www for video/audio of that infamous speech to see if he had been taken out of context. I have not been able to find and indeed there are also other bloggers searching too. Does any record exist that shows verbatim what was actually said? Certainly that would prove beyond doubt who has been wronged. Admittedly, I do not read Chinese so I do not know exactly what was reported in Sin Chew but I have read their statement in English, standing by their story.

As for Teresa Kok, I only noticed the Toyo/Utusan/Masjid Kota Damansara/Azan episode the last few days. I had not really paid attention because I felt it was a "storm in a teacup" since it was obvious the matter could be easily clarified and cleared up. Theresa Kok did come across as shocked and incredulous that she had found herself embroiled and "broiled". She is either a great actress or she was totally clueless about her alleged involvement.

I cannot help thinking: if these two women have been taken in for what they appear to have been taken in for, then certainly many, many more have said and done worse in recent months. Is no one safe from these draconic measures? I hope I am wrong.

I hope sensibility will prevail...I hope whatever happens in the immediate future, peaceful protests will not escalate into civil disorder...I hope members of the public remain calm. Our nation needs hope and I know we have reached a watershed; for many there is no turning back.


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