The detention of blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK) under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the show-cause letters to three newspapers, Sin Chew Daily, the Sun and Suara Keadilan why action should not be taken against them over their news coverage on a number of political issues must be condemned by all Malaysians concerned about human rights and democracy.
These actions make a mockery of the claims of the Abdullah administration to usher in a more open and democratic society under a just rule of law.
It shows the administration’s utter cynicism and Machiavellian politics in unblocking RPK’s news portal Malaysia Today after a two-week censorship only to arrest RPK under the ISA in less than 24 hours.
The unblocking of Malaysia Today was made to demonstrate the country’s commitment and allegiance to the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Bill of Guarantees to the world of no Internet censorship but it is just naive for the government to think that the world can be fooled by such subterfuge – as by detaining RPK and taking him out of public circulation, the Malaysian Government has effectively blocked off Malaysia Today and violated the “no internet censorship” Bill of Guarantee!
The detention of RPK had only deepened the multiple crisis of confidence besetting the Abdullah premiership.
“ISA for RPK and show-cause letters to three newspapers while 3-year Umno suspension for Ahmad Ismail, the Umno Bukit Bendera division chief – is this the Abdullah justice and rule of law?” is the universal response and question of Malaysians today.
RPK has clearly become the victim of a new power play in Umno in post-March 8 general election.
It heralds a larger crackdown against criticism, dissent and diversity of views as RPK’s ISA detention and the action against the three newspapers will open the floodgates for a new repression in Malaysia.
Who are next on the line to be victims of the Abdullah crackdown and will it be reminiscent of the 1987 Operation Lalang?