Actually the title is from a movie Silence of the Lambs starring Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter. The picture depicts RPK being silenced by the BN Government for exposing corruption and other sins committed by their cronies ( hence the title ‘Silence the Lambs’). The lambs that were put to the slaughter were innocent human rights defenders like RPK, Tan Hoon Cheng and Teresa Kok. The recent crackdown clearly shows that ISA can be abused for political reasons and perpetrators like Ahmad Ismail, Khir Toyo, Utusan etc got away scot free. My sincere apologies if this poster has caused any misunderstanding.
RPK’s pic, thanks to Scott Thong
Brave Marina: “Continue the fight until ISA is abolished”
SEPT 24 – Raja Petra Kamarudin holds almost nothing sacred and has had almost everyone scared with his writings.
Those writings – a heady brew of facts, innuendos, speculation and hearsay – have now landed the Malaysia-Today news portal editor two years in the Kamunting Detention Camp, sparking outrage for most and relief for those at the receiving end of his scathing articles.
His detention is ostensibly for articles that have ridiculed Islam, Malaysia’s official religion, leading the police to recommend incarceration under the Internal Security Act. “His articles could arouse anger among Muslims,” Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar was quoted as saying by local newspapers.
Others suspect political motives, and possibly so if one reads the pro-government New Straits Times with its editorial today that says, “The extension of detention orders on Raja Petra Kamaruddin, however, state the case for the proposition. This infamous blogger’s unalloyed contempt for the national administration – and willingness to say anything to undermine it – had apparently won him legions of fans and cheerleaders, generating self-reinforcing loop of calumny with which to lynch the government.
“His fate should be sobering to all such prospective rabble-rousers; they should remember that rabbles are inherently fickle,” the editorial said in an allusion to the his many articles that criticise and castigate Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his government.
The government had earlier tried to shut the blogger – popularly known as RPK – up by blocking his Malaysia-Today news portal but to little effect as the wily blogger had immediately set up mirror sites across the world – reflecting his ease with the medium and the authorities’s lack of knowledge in dealing with cyberspace activism and news outlets.
The authorities then stuck to its tried and tested methods by bringing RPK in and sending him to Kamunting, making him an instant hero and martyr for freedom of expression and the press.
The Bar Council expressed that point when it said yesterday, “It confirms the impression that the ISA is being used for purposes other than national security. It is being used to stifle dissent.”
“This is ridiculous. It is all a political move,” said RPK’s wife Marina Lee Abdullah.
“Incarcerating Raja Petra and others without affording them their due process is the height of injustice; and to do it during Ramadan is both cruel and vindictive. It is also an affront to our religious sensibility; the very act desecrates our holy month,” Malaysian author and surgeon M.Bakri Musa said.
While RPK’s detention is seen as a blow to the federal opposition which has relied much on cyber activists and non-governmental organisations to help prod the Barisan Nasional into a corner and perform badly in the last elections, the ruling coalition and its leaders will rejoice that their bugbear and constant thorn in the flesh has been put away.
His stay in Kamunting will help leaders like the government’s prime minister-in-waiting Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak who has been the prominent blogger’s target since Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu was killed in 2006 and the blame placed on people close to the deputy prime minister.
Najib, who just became Finance Minister after RPK was initially held for investigations under the ISA, has had his faith, fidelity and financial acumen questioned by the blogger’s relentless vitriol in a stream of articles in the Malaysia Today news portal. The articles in his No Holds Barred column are now subject of sedition and criminal defamation cases.
Another Umno politician who has been a subject of Raja Petra’s attention is Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin, the party Youth deputy chief and prime minister’s son-in-law, who is now aiming to contest for the Youth leader’s post against a crowded field that includes Datuk Seri Khir Toyo and Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.
With RPK out of the way, these and other politicians in Umno can charge ahead knowing full well that their chief critic will not be there to dog their every step and snap at their heels.
Raja Petra himself summed up that sentiment when he told the BBC in his last known interview, “Over the last four years, Malaysia-Today has been a real pain… The government has tried all sort of things – arrest, harassment, confiscation of computers, criminal charges and civil suits.
“They find that we do not let up and continue. I suppose the government is going for its last attempt, its last tango, to silence us.”