Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Raja Petra Kamarudin – Our Very Own Prisoner of Conscience

RPK has been incarcerated since 12th September and how he continues to blog from his current domicile is as amazing as the man himself. This latest posting, Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death appeared yesterday in MT.

He is supposedly in solitary confinement but his sense of humor is obviously intact as he seems alluding to a mangy pussy smuggling his blogging notes to a waiting accomplice. How else is he blogging la!?!

Humor aside, he must be hurting and especially today being Hari Raya, he must be pining for loved ones who I am certain are suffering an even greater agony; few torments are worse than a combination of longing and uncertainty.

There are those who may still ask who is this man Raja Petra Kamarudin. Yet many already know him so well, probably not as RPK the man but for his deeds. No one under detention (not even Anwar) has ever sparked so much public outcry, with such fervor and amongst so diverse a cross-section of society.

RPK is being imprisoned and persecuted for the non-violent expression of his conscientiously-held beliefs. In this day and age we have RPK as Malaysia’s very own
prisoner of conscience! How wonderful!

RPK is a man whose pen the authorities say is more dangerous than a keris and his writings cause racial discord. Yet, I see Malaysians of all races together at candle light vigils for his freedom.

RPK is a man with the gumption and bollards to say more than many of us dared to think about the injustices in our country yet they have charged this true patriot with

RPK is the man they say insulted Islam yet I have
gained more sense from his writings on Islam than from material expounding the brand promoted by the Preacher Man who “leads” my country.

He is the man they ISAed because of
“intention to incite public chaos” yet the People only came out in the thousands because they arrested him.

He has
taunted and tainted the powerful and the influential without fear or favor yet he hides in plain sight, ever challenging to be put to strict proof in a court of law.

And what is his crime? He just refuses to lie down!!!

I do not claim to know RPK (nor Marina) well but I have met them on more than a couple of occasions. I certainly have not interacted with him socially and cannot lay claim to know RPK the man, like Bernard aka Zorro, Haris (Ibrahim) or Imtiaz would. Yet, I think I know him; I know him as a fellow human being.

I know him through watching his enduring love affair with his wife in his writings and through my own conversation with Marina at Blog House one day. If there is such things as soul mates then they are.

I have read his open letter to his son and I have read about his trials and tribulations in business.

I have read his account of own insecurities and the significance of the number 27 in his life. He is in his third 27 years and says;

“… my first 27 years of phase one was the jahil period, and the second 27 years of what I call phase two, the Iranian Islamic Revolution period, my ‘enlightenment’ period. Phase three; however, appears to be my questioning and doubting period, which is giving rise to my disillusionment period.”

Yang Mulia Raja Petra Kamarudin, you are no ordinary man yet you are as ordinary a human being as I am. With all your strengths, you are vulnerable to pain and anguish and for all the good you have done for so many; you certainly do not deserve the ISA! That your detention is factually and morally unjustified has been represented by so many to so many, yet you languish in solitary confinement in my (and Zorro’s) hometown, Taiping.

On the other side I see a man who clearly knows how “sunyi” it can feel when he lost his wife of more than 3 decades. On the other side, I see a man who also loves his family just as much, if not more. On the other side I see a man who claims religious piety yet is so easily seduced by the great temptation called self-justification. On the other side I see a man under siege but still having the power to do the right thing; release RPK. On the other side I see a man who is just as ordinary a human being.

This is the season for forgiveness and well wishes yet it appears the man on the other side is still able to reconcile himself to himself in festive cheer, for his own sake. But Mr. Preacher Man, if you do not listen to your conscience, please listen at least to Zaid as he wrote to you in Malaysiakini. The end does not always justify the means and even with all your weaknesses; do not do unto others what you do not want done unto you.

Mr. Preacher Man, you need not promise to be a PM for all Malaysians because you just cannot. Listen to the majority of Malaysians and do the right thing.

Selamat Hari Raya RPK, Marina & Family

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