This morning my family and I went to Kamunting to visit Pet. This being our first time there we left home 6am just to make sure we don’t miss the schedule time allowed : 8.30am to 2pm and the family is allowed weekly visits from Monday to Wednesday, Friday to Sunday. We brought some food, fruits, drinks, one pair of jeans, t shirt and his glasses.
When we reached the gates of the Kamunting Detention Centre, we had to register at the gates and proceeded into the prison area, a huge area. There we had to go through another gate and had to deposit all our belongings into two lockers. Went through a door and told to go to counter 10. When we approached counter 10 there was this partition with no grills or glass, Pet was already sitting there waiting for us.
My first reaction was to run and give him a real big hug and kiss, at the same time my heart feeling so heavy seeing this hero of mine on the other side. Pet was sitting down and wearing white prison clothes. He has lost weight, looked very pale probably not seeing sunlight for almost 2 weeks now, his beard and hair growing longer.
At that point I had tears in my eyes but was trying really hard holding back my tears. I really did not want him to see me cry that would only make it really hard for him. I reached out to hold and rub his hands and did not let go for a minute. He was glad to see us because the last time we saw him was 8 days ago at Bukit Aman.
I asked him how he was coping and he said hard being under solitary confinement and it is for 3 months and after that only will he be able to interact with the other detainees. He will be moved into a dormitory where he will get to watch TV and read newspapers, New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia.
He said he had 3 ustaz ( religious teacher) visit him this morning questioning about his religious knowledge and beliefs. The questioning was cut short cause of the family visit and would continue in the afternoon.
I told him to please be strong and don’t let them get to him. I said “Honey they have got your body but not your mind and soul, hang in there love we’ve coming to get you. The Pakatan Rakyat is on track to takeover the government. Just give us a bit more time, ok?”
I told him that this time around there is a difference on the use of ISA and that he had made that difference. There is tremendous outcry on the use of ISA and that Political Parties within the Barisan Nasional, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim the Law Minister had even resigned for the use of the ISA, the thousands of well wishes and support I have received. People all over are praying and standing behind us on this struggle for change that he has started.
I promised Pet that I will do everything I possibly can with the help of the people to get him released and I will stay strong and tough to keep that promise. I will not fail him.
He told me that word was out at the detention centre that RPK was there, and some of them manage to shout out to him across the brick wall telling him that they just saw him and his wife on TV. They were also trying to comfort him.
At one point I told him that I really needed to hug and that missed him so much and was reaching out to do that but he said he was not allowed to because there we two prison officier watching us and they were noting down everything and there were merits points given or taken away. I said “what’s that?” He said that there were certain rules for our visitation and if he break the rules visitation rites could be reduced and so on. I asked him, “you mean to say that giving you a hug is breaking the rules?” He said hugging is considered “kelakuan tak senonoh” improper or unbecoming behavior. I just could not believe it.
He then said that the first visit is the only time we are able to meet face to face and the subsequent visit will be through a screen and will have to talk on the phone. This will be for 9 months and of cause with good behavior from him. They go on merits he said like kindergarden school if you have behaved you get a candy.
He told me that he is being detained on 4 grounds,
1. 2 articles on Islam
2. The article on ‘Let’s Send the Altantuya Murderers to Hell”
3. Articles on the Leaders
4. Comments posted on the Blog, one of the commentor he mentioned was by Anti Anti-Hadith and Pet mentioned that he has his own Blog.
By then we were given the last 5mins call, I then told him, “Luv please trust me, we will get you out!”
Dear readers thank you so much for the well wishes that my family and I have received from all of you and I will stay strong with your help and support to take on this fight for change where my husband has left off until he is FREED.
Lots of love from my family and me.
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — A grey dawn greeted Marina Lee Abdullah yesterday as she journeyed 200km north to meet her husband Raja Petra Kamarudin.
The outspoken editor of the Malaysia-Today web portal was transferred a day earlier to the Kamunting ISA detention camp near Taiping, a former mining town in Perak named for peace.
For Marina and the rest of her entourage — her two daughters, one son-in-law and Raja Petra’s cousin — the day was to get darker still.
Their nerves have been wrought since Sept 12 when some 10 police officers burst into the family home in Sungai Buloh near here and took away Raja Petra under the Internal Security Act, tearing apart the close-knitted family.
And on Monday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar signed an order under Section 8 (1) of the ISA which instructed Raja Petra to be placed in the Kamunting camp for up to two years, purportedly for writing articles which had insulted Islam and could arouse anger among Muslims.
The drive up took about three hours, no thanks to ongoing roadworks at the Jelapang toll of the North-South Expressway which severely restricted traffic to a crawl.
The visit itself lasted only 45 minutes and the family was subjected to much red tape.
“Awful! A lot of can’t do this, can’t do that. We were treated like in kindergarten,” Marina told The Malaysian Insider of her experience upon her return.
“For example, I wanted to pass him some effects, which I gave earlier to the officer to inspect. But when I was going to pass it to Pet, the officer said ‘Cannot!’
“And when I was going to go off, I asked the officer ‘Can I give him a kiss?’ you know, because I’m very affectionate and it’s these little affectionate gestures that have kept us married for 40 years, and the officer said ‘Cannot! Itu kelakuan tak senonoh’,” cried an outraged Marina, upset at the officer who dismissed her request as indecent.
Raja Petra, she reported, had been placed in solitary confinement cell, which thankfully is “not in a box of 6 feet by 8 feet with no windows.”
“He has to be in solitary confinement for the next three months unless they find that he has been cooperative or has changed,” she said.
But for today’s visit, the intrepid 57-year-old had been allowed out to socialise freely. It was a “privilege” the family viewed with great trepidation.
“On the first visit, we’re allowed to touch. It’s the first day privilege which they then take away over the next nine months. This is how they break you.
“On the second visit, we will have to talk through a screen and use a phone. This is the demerit system. If you are a good boy and well-behaved, then they allow you to touch again,” Marina elaborated.
She then related that her husband told her he had been “visited by three ustad to brainwash him” but her timely visit had saved him from their interrogations.
She also recounted how the family was put under the microscope for the duration of their visit inside. Several officers came up close to write down the conversations Raja Petra had with the family and frequently attempted to interrupt their limited visiting time, she said, provoking some rather violent emotions within her.
Their unyielding stance on many things caused the normally placid Marina to explode into rather colourful invectives as she vented her frustrations and fears during the course of the phone interview, particularly when one of the officers, a female, explicitly warned them against “passing any outside information to the detainees.”
According to Marina, there is a very thick wall inside the camp. On one side of the wall is the block holding the isolated detainees; on the other side, another block holds detainees who are allowed to mingle and watch TV.
The only glimmer of sunshine for the renowned writer before his family visit was hearing shouts from beyond the wall. Apparently, the voices belonged to some members of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) who were also arrested under the ISA last year when they held a protest march in downtown Kuala Lumpur demanding the long-forgotten rights of ethnic Indian citizens.
“He told me he heard them screaming ‘Raja, we know you’re here. We just saw you on TV with your wife.’ That was his only way of keeping updated on what’s going on in the world outside,” related Marina.
Her husband’s greatest worry, she said, was that three months down the road, the public would have forgotten his existence.
“He told me, ‘Please tell them not to forget me’,” Marina said, before excusing herself to attend a meeting with the lawyers on filing a new application against her husband’s detention.