For Pete’s Sake (malaysiakini)
If the Internet stays free then Umno will surely have to reform or be defeated by Anwar.
The single most influential figure in Malaysian cyberspace is Raja Petra Kamaruddin.
RPK has electrified the Malaysian public with stunning exposes of alleged criminality and immorality amongst BN-Umno’s ruling elite, and has advanced a progressive agenda of respecting human rights and freedoms, independent judiciary, clean government, free press and putting an end to prejudice and racism. His is an ethical agenda that appeals to the highest qualities in Malaysians of every race and religion. (Yeah, thats the reason why he was ISAed.)
BN-Umno knows the importance of clamping down on cyberspace freedoms. The one blogger who must be silenced by Umno has to be RPK.
However the public outcry against RPK’s arrest under the ISA has been great, as he is admired and supported by thousands of Malays, Chinese and Indians alike. Instead of stifling dissent, RPK’s detention has only increased public ire.
BN-Umno is therefore, reverting to devious racial ploys in resurrecting the Chinese bogeyman in order to play the role of protector of race and religion by accusing Teresa Kok and Sin Chew Daily journalist Tan Hoon Cheng of being threats to national security.
Umno thought jailing Kok under the ISA would be enough of a smokescreen and red herring to distract Malay voters from seeing through its cynical schemes and manipulations.
But the problem for Umno is that the Malays have become politically savvy and resurrecting the Chinese bogey-men or chinese bogey-women like Kok and Tan is hardly going to scare anybody any more.The large and active Malaysian blogging community will ensure that sooner or later, everyone, regardless of their racial and religious backgrounds will see through Umno’s schemes and abuses.
I think RPK should be freed from ISA soon, before the private disdain that many ordinary people feel for BN-Umno politicians and ministers becomes an open and public contempt.
The real agenda of the ISA is to silence dissent and alternative views and shut down free speech on the Internet.
If Umno succeeds in frightening individual bloggers from speaking the truth, then the ISA, fear, repression, and Umno would have triumphed.
I urge every Malaysian who cares about the country to keep the Internet free so we can speak bravely, freely, and truthfully to each other.
When hundreds of thousands of ordinary Malays, Chinese and Indians find common cause in the issues raised in Malaysia Today, then you can understand why the fearless and outspoken RPK is perceived as such a huge threat to UMNO.
RPK’s huge fan-base and local hero status that crosses racial and religious barriers is a testament to his bravery and the power of the Internet in the country, which is otherwise in the grip of Umno.
We must all keep Malaysian cyberspace free, for all our sakes